|What is exactly a Brief ?||Authors of a brief||Registration|
|Contest||Instructions for participants||FAQ||Display|
|Key dates and deadlines||Where to find examples of briefs||Acknowledgements||Contact|
We thank the organisations for providing in-kind prizes for the contest
Decision-makers often need to rely on scientific results but they have little time to read the huge amount of scientific literature produced on each topic of interest. The SCB-Europe Section regularly highlights the need to bridge the gap among conservation scientists, policy-makers, managers and other stakeholders such as social scientists or economists.
For several years, in UK, NERC and the British Ecological Society have proposed Science-Policy workshops during which participants can try to write a policy-brief and get some feedbacks and recommendations from professionals.
ECCB2012 wants to offer an opportunity to renew this exercise at a larger scale and offer to acknowledge skilled writers for their talent. The first idea is to display examples of existing briefs (or similar documents) already written by professionals in order to provide benchmarks and also present the diversity of formats and styles. The second idea is to allow novice briefmasters to present a brief that will run a competition and may get a prize.It is also an opportunity for all to benefit from the feedbacks of the professionals present as well as those from the participants of the congress.
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What is exactly a Brief?
A Brief is a very concise version of a published scientific paper (including a review). It targets readers outside the academic realm such as policy-and decision-makers (in which case it is called a Policy brief) who have little time to read and need straight-to-the-point, although precise and comprehensive information on a topic. A policy brief must minimize risks of misunderstanding by the reader as the reader is not in direct contact with the authors when he/she may use the brief. Briefs represent a new challenge for briefmasters as they must accurately reflect the science presented in the original published research paper, but altogether in an extremely concise way, and in a language understandable by its target audience.
A brief presents the issue, the context and the scope of the analysis, the main results and recommendations for practices. It may also include elements of methodology, indicators of quality assessment or confidence and validity of the results if this helps the decision maker to support his/her case. It also includes enough key references and contacts so that the reader knows where to find more information if needed.
Similarly “Research briefs” or “management briefs” specifically provide recommendations for future research (or methodologies) or management practices and methods (know-hows).
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Authors of a brief
To distinguish between the authors of a brief and those of the research paper from which it is extracted we will call the former briefmaster(s). A briefmaster can be one of the authors of the research paper. If he is not, the research paper used to write the brief must belong to the public domain (normally the case if published in a peer-reviewed journal). We recommend that briefmasters inform authors about their intention to write a brief, the authors being important readers of briefs to ensure the scientific rigour is ensured.
- Send an expression of interest to Barbara Livoreil to receive detailed instructions and updates
- Register to ECCB2012 as a participant (see FAQ for special conditions)
- If you compete for a prize, send the PDF of the brief as well as PDF(s) of the literature it is created from, to Barbara Livoreil by August 1st, 2012
- Competing or just exhibiting, bring printed versions of your brief (see format/display at the bottom of the page) to ECCB2012
Displaying a brief at ECCB2012 requires that you reserve a place to do so. It does not prevent you from presenting an oral communication or a traditional poster, and registering a Policy brief does not need you to send an abstract (see below). It does not cost any extra fee. It can also be the only “communication” that you present during ECCB2012 as a registered participant if you wish.
Only participants in ECCB2012 who have paid their registration fees will be allowed to exhibit their brief (see FAQ for special conditions).
To submit an existing brief (already published), please send us a PDF of this brief to Barbara Livoreil by email. Please ensure that the email is entitled: Policy Brief Submission.
When you register as a participant of ECCB2012, please use the conference registration form, where you can indicate that you will submit a policy-brief and eventually run for the Policy brief contest.
The number of briefs that will be displayed will be limited by space available. Depending on the number of submissions, the policy-brief session may be divided in two sub-sessions.
Each briefmaster can only present one brief, but there will be desks to make your other briefs available if needed.
The contest intends to reward the best Policy-brief(s) (several prizes may be available). The Jury will be made up of scientists, decision-makers, knowledge-brokers and journalists to assess the quality of the briefs from different perspectives.
The basic criteria to judge a brief will be the following:
- Scientific precision: the brief must report the science of the original published paper with rigour and comprehensiveness, avoiding distortion or misinterpretation of results. The briefmaster must strictly report what has been written by the authors without adding his/her own interpretation or conclusions.
- Effectiveness: The decision-maker must be able to understand rapidly what the brief is about, and get immediate access to the main results, conclusions and recommendations. It should also provide the key-elements necessary for a decision-maker to understand the robustness of the results or their possible limitations
- Presentation: the design should be eye-catching to be able to find the document easily in a wallet or during a meeting. The language should be jargon-free, concise and simple to maximize understanding by non scientists.
Prizes: Nota: this section is susceptible to change if several categories of briefs are created.
The winner’s brief will be published in the Bulletin of the British Ecological Society and disseminated to members of SCB via its communication to its membership. SCB is also happy to donate a one-year free membership in the Society along with a one-year online subscription to Conservation Biology. Oxford University Press will also donate books. A sum of money will preferably allocated to students or low-income participants winning the contest (this will be refined if several prizes or categories are created – Update expected mid-May).
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Instructions for all participants (special instructions for the contest: see below)
The idea for each brief is to display the cover page of the brief (normally containing major information) as an A3 poster, and the whole brief will be available beside the poster for those who would like to read it (reprints can be made available by the briefmaster if willing to disseminate. It is up to the briefmaster to print several copies and make them available to the audience or provide a link to a website where the brief can be downloaded).
There is no guideline/instruction regarding the design of the brief, and no instruction regarding its structure, except if it is submitted for the competition (see below). It is up to the briefmaster(s) to create what they think would convey the message with efficiency. Only paper briefs are allowed in this event (no digital).
All briefs should relate to topics linked to conservation sciences (biology, social sciences...).
Special instructions for the contest
In order to standardize the briefs to facilitate the task of the Jury, the competing briefs will not be longer than 2 double-sided A4 pages. The cover page will be enlarged to an A3 format to increase visibility during the exhibition. There is no special instruction regarding its structure or design in order to encourage creativity. We recommend the use of a font 14pt minimum in A4 format but this is not compulsory.
Why should I participate if I have already published professional briefs?
To present the work done by knowledge brokers in that respect, highlight the diversity of formats and contents, to encourage interaction between ECCB2012 participants, to allow those who will run for the contest to benefit from advice and encouragements from those with experience.
Can I present a talk or a poster at ECCB2012 and also a Policy-brief?
Yes you can. Policy briefs do not belong to the normal range of oral or poster communications so you can add a Policy brief to your other communication with no extra registration fees.
What are the criteria for pre-selection of briefs?
For the contest, they must be extracted from a scientific paper published in a peer-reviewed conservation sciences journal. It can be a paper reporting primary research, or a review. For the exhibition without contest, they must report scientific results and cite them explicitly at the end of the brief.
Who will be in the Jury?
The Jury will be made of scientists, decision-makers and journalists to assess the quality of the briefs from different perspectives.
What are the criteria for winning the contest?
A brief must report the scientific objectives, results and conclusions of the paper (or review) simply and rigorously (minimizing risks of distortion or possible misunderstanding). It must be useful for a decision-maker (understandable, with the appropriate information, not too long, easy to read and key-elements easy to pick-up quickly). It should also be eye-catching, without jargon and concise. Judges will also consider how easy the original paper was to turn into a brief (as some topics may be more difficult than others, which should be acknowledged).
Can I present a brief written in another language than English?
There is no constraint of language for the exhibition. For the contest, please contact us (BL) so that we make sure the Jury includes persons who are fluent in this language.
Can I present several briefs?
Yes but only the cover page of one of them will be displayed as an A3 poster. The others could be pinned beside the main displayed brief, or made available on a table, at your convenience.
For the contest, only one brief can be submitted by briefmaster.
Can I present a management brief or a research brief?
Yes. Although the initial idea was to target policy-makers, and to use a terminology already familiar to some, a brief generally wants to help decision-makers, and they can be managers or other researchers.
Please mention this specificity when you contact us so that it will be taken into account if you were willing to participate to the contest.
Can I display a brief if I do not attend ECCB2012?
This will not be possible if you want to participate to the contest. But this may be authorised for the exhibition , and will be examined case by case. Such briefs may not be displayed as A3 posters (see instructons above) if space is limited but they could be made available on tables. It would be the responsibiilty of the briefmaster to send reprints to Barbara Livoreil before the congress starts.
Why do I have to pay ECCB2102 registration fees?
If you give a talk or present a traditional poster at ECCB2012 you will pay registration fees for the congress and will not be charge any extra money for the Policy brief exhibition and contest if you are willing to contribute.
You can also choose to attend the congress only for one single day and participate to the brief event, in which case you will pay a one day regstration fee
If you do not attend ECCB2012 and wish to exhibit a brief you will not have to pay any registration fee but do contact BL as this is strictly limited to the only exhibition of a brief (not to the contest) and conditions apply.
To download the document please click here.
Key dates and deadlines
Now open: send expressions of interest to Barbara Livoreil (BL)
August 1st, 2012: send the PDF of your brief as well as PDFs of the published papers it is extracted from to BL (see above). This will allow the members of the Jury to read the original papers prior to the event.
August 28th: all the PDF should have been received by this time.
August 28 - Sept 1st: briefs are displayed during the whole duraction of the congress.
August 31st: award ceremony for the contest (exact timing will be given later on)
Next update of this webpage: it is planned around mid-May. Send me a mail to be kept informed if you are interested to receive further news by email.
Where to find examples of briefs?
|for their help in promoting the event|
Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversite
195 Rue Saint Jacques - 75007 Paris