Participant information sheet – online survey

You are invited to partake in research looking at barriers to and incentives for collaborating with researchers on marine and coastal related issues. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

Purpose of the study

This study aims to better understand why practitioners of policy and/or management in the marine or coastal area do or don’t engage with researchers and academic institutions and what can be done to facilitate better collaboration in the future. In particular, this study aims to discover what barriers exist to participation, how policy and management practitioners have overcome those barriers in the past, and what incentivises practitioners to invest in collaborations with researchers.

Why have I been invited?

The study aims to capture the full spectrum of policy and management practitioners who do or could collaborate with researchers and academic institutions to carry out marine and coastal management, including policy and governance. There are a wide variety of Marine and Coastal management issues, covering a very broad spectrum of government departments and organisations, devolved and not, and thus input is needed on engagement experiences with individuals across all those organisations. Even within organisations, individual experiences are expected to vary greatly and so as many responses as possible are needed to best capture the reality of interacting with researchers and academic institutions.

Do I have to take part?

Participation in the research is entirely voluntary. You will be asked to confirm that you consent to take part before you participate. You may choose to withdraw at any time during the participation process. If you withdraw during the participation process any data provided up until that point will not be kept.

What will happen to me if I take part?

Participation will involve completion of an online questionnaire, which will take approximately 10 minutes.

You will be also asked if you would be interested in participating in a follow-up interview. This is entirely optional, and is not a requirement for completing the online survey. Indeed, only a sample of those who volunteer for the follow-up interview will be interviewed.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

There are no risks foreseen for participants. Your confidentiality will be safeguarded during and after the study. All responses will be confidential and will be anonymised for any publication. Access to identifiable parts of the data will only be had by the research team (Dr Katherine Yates and Dr Jacqueline Tweddle).

Raw data will be stored on secure computers, backed up on secure servers, and only accessed by the research team. Anonymous summary data will likely form part of subsequent publications and will be made available on open access data repositories. The data stored on open access repositories will not contain any information that could link back to any participant.

The study will hopefully contribute to changes that improve opportunities for collaboration, which should benefit marine and coastal management efforts.

What if there is a problem?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should ask to speak to the researchers who will do their best to answer your questions. Contact details are at the end of this sheet.

If you have any further concerns or if wish to complain you should contact the research ethics coordinator at the School of Environment and Life Science, University of Salford, Dr Mags Adams:

What will happen to the results of the research study?

Results from this study will be used to write a report for government institutions and a peer reviewed journal article. Results will also feed into research that will look at solutions to the issues identified in this study. Results from the survey may influence participant selection for follow-up interviews (only in the sense that it may be used to inform selection of a representative sample of interviewees).

Who is organising or sponsoring the research?

Research is funded by NERC, the Natural Environment Research Council, with additional funding from SAGES, the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society. Research is being led by Dr Katherine Yates, University of Salford, and Dr Jacqueline Tweddle at the University of Aberdeen.