How we can make ecotoxicology more valuable to environmental protection

M. L. Hanson, B. A. Wolff, J. W. Green, M. Kivi, G. H. Panter, Michael St. John Warne, M. Ågerstrand, J. P. Sumpter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


There is increasing awareness that the value of peer-reviewed scientific literature is not consistent, resulting in a growing desire to improve the practice and reporting of studies. This is especially important in the field of ecotoxicology, where regulatory decisions can be partly based on data from the peer-reviewed literature, with wide-reaching implications for environmental protection. Our objective is to improve the reporting of ecotoxicology studies so that they can be appropriately utilized in a fair and transparent fashion, based on their reliability and relevance. We propose a series of nine reporting requirements, followed by a set of recommendations for adoption by the ecotoxicology community. These reporting requirements will provide clarity on the the test chemical, experimental design and conditions, chemical identification, test organisms, exposure confirmation, measurable endpoints, how data are presented, data availability and statistical analysis. Providing these specific details will allow for a fuller assessment of the reliability and relevance of the studies, including limitations. Recommendations for the implementation of these reporting requirements are provided herein for practitioners, journals, reviewers, regulators, stakeholders, funders, and professional societies. If applied, our recommendations will improve the quality of ecotoxicology studies and their value to environmental protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages18
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date6 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Science of the Total Environment. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Science of the Total Environment, VOL 578, (2016) DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.160

© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Publications
  • Quality
  • Reliability
  • Relevance
  • Risk assessment
  • Reporting recommendations
  • Peer review

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