Interviews are a widely used methodology in conservation research. However, researchers with natural science backgrounds have been criticised for poor and inadequate reporting on the application of the method.
Our paper published in a Special Feature of Methods in Ecology and Evolution (January 2018) examines the use of interviews in conservation science. Led by Juliette C. Young and David Rose, we reviewed 227 papers that have used interviews in conservation decision making. The review examined the use of interviews and assessed whether key data on the application of the method have been reported. The study found that researchers have applied the method for a broad range of purposes including gaining ecological and/or socio-economic information on specific conservation issues, understanding knowledge, values, beliefs or decision-making processes of stakeholders and strengthening research design and output. However, the findings also confirmed the problem of insufficient reporting on the use of the method. The results indicate that the researchers fail to provide a rationale for the selection of the method, pilot the interviews, outline ethical considerations, describe data analysis, as well as critically review the method.
The paper offers a methodological guide to using and reporting on interviews in conservation science research. Detailed checklist aims to help conservation researchers with the application of the method and identify key data that need to be provided. The guide can also be helpful for journal editors and reviewers to ensure the robustness of methodology use.
To find out more, read
Young JC, Rose DC, Mumby HS, et al. A methodological guide to using and reporting on interviews in conservation science research. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 2018; 9:10–19. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12828