Quantifying research waste in ecology

Marija Purgar, Tin Klanjscek, Antica Culina*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan wetenschappelijk tijdschrift/periodieke uitgaveArtikelWetenschappelijkpeer review

10 Citaten (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Research inefficiencies can generate huge waste: evidence from biomedical research has shown that most research is avoidably wasted and steps have been taken to tackle this costly problem. Although other scientific fields could also benefit from identifying and quantifying waste and acting to reduce it, no other estimates of research waste are available. Given that ecological issues interweave most of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we argue that tackling research waste in ecology should be prioritized. Our study leads the way. We estimate components of waste in ecological research based on a literature review and a meta-analysis. Shockingly, our results suggest only 11–18% of conducted ecological research reaches its full informative value. All actors within the research system—including academic institutions, policymakers, funders and publishers—have a duty towards science, the environment, study organisms and the public, to urgently act and reduce this considerable yet preventable loss. We discuss potential ways forward and call for two major actions: (1) further research into waste in ecology (and beyond); (2) focused development and implementation of solutions to reduce unused potential of ecological research.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)1390–1397
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftNature Ecology and Evolution
Nummer van het tijdschrift9
Vroegere onlinedatum2022
StatusGepubliceerd - 2022


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