Credibility, relevance and legitimacy

Making science useful.

Cash et al 2003 developed three touchstone concepts for making science useful and meaningful for stakeholders and scientists alike.

The methods that are used to create the knowledge and how reliable they are considered to be. For scientists this may involved using currently accepted methods, or peer reviewed findings. However others have different ways of evaluating credibility. Farmers for example may rate local knowledge derived from experience as more credible. In their paper on the role of scientist in decision-making processes, Robson-Williams et al talked about global and local credibility to describe these two different types of credibility.
Where the information is seem as directly relevant, or translatable to the issues in hand or the questions being asked.
The fairness, inclusiveness, transparency and equity of the process of knowledge production.

These are great concepts to keep in mind throughout an integrated research project - is what we are producing credible, relevant and legitimate for our stakeholders. And if you don't know....ask them!

Cash, D. W., Clark, W. C., Alcock, F., Dickson, N. M., Eckley, N., Guston, D. H., Jager, J. & Mitchell, R. B. 2003. Knowledge systems for sustainable development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100, 8086-8091.

Leith, P., O'Toole, K., Haward, M., Coffey, B. 2017. Enhancing Science Impact. Bridging research, policy and practice for sustainability. CSIRO Publishing.

Robson-Williams, M., Norton, N., Davie, T., Taylor, K. & Kirk, N. 2018. The Changing Role of Scientists in Supporting Collaborative Land and Water Policy in Canterbury, New Zealand. Case Studies in the Environment, 2018, 1-5.

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