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Researchers identify five key principles for effective knowledge exchange

Site managers may wish to use the latest research in their work, but can face a number of obstacles when attempting to do so. For instance, research may not be communicated clearly and effectively, and this can be compounded by a lack of technical expertise on the part of site managers.

In order to identify ways of overcoming these barriers, research published in the Journal of Environmental Management outlines the five key principles of effective knowledge exchange.

The key principles, as summarised in ‘Science for Environmental Policy’ are:

  1. Design: It is important to know what everyone involved hopes to achieve through knowledge exchange and that these aims are built into the environmental project from the beginning.
  2. Representation: The distinction between those who carry out research and those who use its results should be made as early as possible. The input of the two groups should be used to help design both the research and knowledge exchange.
  3. Engagement: Two-way communication and long-term trust should be encouraged between researchers and other stakeholders wherever possible, to facilitate knowledge exchange.
  4. Generate impact: To keep potential users of research engaged with the research process, there should be a focus on creating tangible results as early as possible, and ensuring that the results that will be valued by as many stakeholders as possible.
  5. Reflect and sustain: Effective knowledge exchange is based around long-term relationships and learning. Monitoring and reflecting to continually improve the process is key. Considering ways to sustain knowledge exchange, even after project funding ends, is also important.

Download the Five principles to guide knowledge exchange in environmental management. To receive weekly news alerts from ‘Science for Environmental Policy’, subscribe here.