A methodological guide to using and reporting on interviews in conservation science research

Young, Juliette C.; Rose, David C.; Mumby, Hannah S.; Benitez-Capistros, Francisco; Derrick, Christina J.; Finch, Tom; Garcia, Carolina; Home, Chandrima; Marwaha, Esha; Morgans, Courtney; Parkinson, Stephen; Shah, Jay; Wilson, Kerrie A.; Mukherjee, Nibedita. 2018 A methodological guide to using and reporting on interviews in conservation science research. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9 (1). 10-19.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
N519146JA.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (904kB) | Preview


1. Interviews are a widely used methodology in conservation research. They are flexible, allowing in-depth analysis from a relatively small sample size and place the focus of research on the views of participants. While interviews are a popular method, several critiques have been raised in response to their use, including the lack of transparency in sampling strategy, choice of questions and mode of analysis. 2. In this paper, we analyse the use of interviews in research aimed at making decisions for conservation. Through a structured review of 227 papers, we explore where, why and how interviews were used in the context of conservation decision making. 3. The review suggests that interviews are a widely used method for a broad range of purposes. These include 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. The review, however, identifies a number of concerns. Researchers are not reporting fully on their interview methodology. Specifically, results indicate that researchers are: failing to provide a rationale as to why interviews are the most suitable method, not piloting the interviews (thus questions may be poorly designed), not outlining ethical considerations, not providing clear guides to analysis and not critically reviewing their use of interviews. 4. Based on the results of the review, we provide a detailed checklist aimed at conservation researchers who wish to use interviews in their research (whether experienced in using the methodology or not), and journal editors and reviewers to ensure the robustness of interview methodology use.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2041-210X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: conservation, decision-making, interviews, qualitative methods, semi-structured interviews, social science, structured interviews, unstructured interviews
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Data and Information
Date made live: 30 Jan 2018 11:59 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...