Quantity Does Not Always Mean Quality: The Importance of Qualitative Social Science in Conservation Research

Niki Rust, Amber Abrams, Daniel Challender, Guillaume Chapron, Arash Ghoddousi, Jenny Glikman, Catherine Gowan, Courtney Hughes, Archi Rastogi, Alicia Said, Alexandra Sutton, Nicola Taylor, Sarah Thomas, Hita Unnikrishnan, Amanda Webber, Gwen Wordingham, Catherine Hill

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Qualitative methods are important to gain a deep understanding of complex problems and poorly researched areas. They can be particularly useful to help explain underlying conservation problems. However, the significance in choosing and justifying appropriate methodological frameworks in conservation studies should be given more attention to ensure data are collected and analysed appropriately. We explain when, why, and how qualitative methods should be used and explain sampling strategies in qualitative studies. To improve familiarity with qualitative methods among natural scientists, we recommend expanding training in social sciences and increasing collaboration with social scientists. Given the scale of human impacts on the environment, this type of nuanced analytical skill is critical for progressing biodiversity conservation efforts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1304-1310
    Number of pages7
    JournalSociety and Natural Resources
    Volume30
    Issue number10
    Early online date2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • Human–wildlife conflict
    • qualitative methods
    • quantitative methods
    • social sciences
    • study design

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