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      Building university-based boundary organisations that facilitate impacts on environmental policy and practice

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          Abstract

          Responding to modern day environmental challenges for societal well-being and prosperity necessitates the integration of science into policy and practice. This has spurred the development of novel institutional structures among research organisations aimed at enhancing the impact of environmental science on policy and practice. However, such initiatives are seldom evaluated and even in cases where evaluations are undertaken, the results are rarely made publicly available. As such there is very little empirically grounded guidance available to inform other organisations in this regard. To help address this, the aim of this study is to evaluate the Baltic Eye Project at Stockholm University–a unique team consisting of researchers from different fields, science communicators, journalists and policy analysts–working collectively to support evidence-informed decision-making relating to the sustainable management of the Baltic Sea environment. Specifically, through qualitative interviews, we (1) identify the impacts achieved by the Baltic Eye Project; (2) understand the challenges and barriers experienced throughout the Baltic Eye Project; and (3) highlight the key features that are needed within research organisations to enhance the impact of science on policy and practice. Results show that despite only operating for three years, the Baltic Eye Project has achieved demonstrable impacts on a range of levels: impacts on policy and practice, impacts to individuals working within the organisation and impacts to the broader University. We also identify a range of barriers that have limited impacts to date, such as a lack of clear goals at the establishment of the Baltic Eye Project and existing metrics of academic impact (e.g. number of publications). Finally, based on the experiences of employees at the Baltic Eye Project, we identify the key organisational, individual, financial, material, practical, political, and social features of university-based boundary organisations that have impact on policy and practice. In doing so this paper provides empirically-derived guidance to help other research organisations increase their capacity to achieve tangible impacts on environmental policy and practice.

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          Most cited references 62

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          The need for evidence-based conservation.

          Much of current conservation practice is based upon anecdote and myth rather than upon the systematic appraisal of the evidence, including experience of others who have tackled the same problem. We suggest that this is a major problem for conservationists and requires a rethinking of the manner in which conservation operates. There is an urgent need for mechanisms that review available information and make recommendations to practitioners. We suggest a format for web-based databases that could provide the required information in accessible form.
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            The Honest Broker

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              Creating Readiness for Organizational Change

               A A Armenakis (1993)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                13 September 2018
                2018
                : 13
                : 9
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
                [2 ] CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere, Hobart, Australia
                [3 ] Baltic Sea Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
                [4 ] Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
                [5 ] Centre for Rural Economy and Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle, United Kingdom
                Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, SPAIN
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-18-07809
                10.1371/journal.pone.0203752
                6136716
                30212515
                © 2018 Cvitanovic et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, Pages: 19
                Product
                Funding
                Financial support was provided by the Baltic Eye Project at Stockholm University, Sweden, and the Centre for Marine Socioecology at the University of Tasmania, Australia.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Science Policy
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Conservation Science
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Earth sciences
                Marine and aquatic sciences
                Bodies of water
                Baltic Sea
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Neuroscience
                Cognitive Science
                Cognitive Psychology
                Decision Making
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Psychology
                Cognitive Psychology
                Decision Making
                Social Sciences
                Psychology
                Cognitive Psychology
                Decision Making
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Neuroscience
                Cognitive Science
                Cognition
                Decision Making
                Science Policy
                Science and Technology Workforce
                Careers in Research
                Scientists
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Professions
                Scientists
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Social Policy
                Social Sciences
                Economics
                Labor Economics
                Employment
                Careers
                Custom metadata
                This study has been approved by the Tasmanian Social Sciences Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval reference: TSSHREC: H0016870). Data is in qualitative form, and ethical restrictions have been imposed on the data underlying this study to protect the identities of participants. For further information, or to request access to the data, please contact the Tasmanian Social Sciences Human Research Ethics Committee who imposed the restrictions ( human.ethics@ 123456utas.edu.au ) or the lead author.

                Uncategorized

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