End-user surveys: A practical approach to evaluating fisheries research performance

James Wells-Green, Debra Rickwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Expenditure on fisheries research is big business in Australia, with over $A20 million spent annually by the Federal Government through its Fisheries Research and Development Corporation. There is little published international literature evaluating the performance offisheries research. Australian-based evaluations are similarly rare, while the topic of research management relating to fisheries, or environmental research more broadly, is largely absent from the literature. This is surprising given the importance of research in informing natural resource decision-making, particularly within fisheries management agencies. The results of our study show that Australian fisheries research undertaken between 1990 and /998 has performed well, averaging a score of 70 per cent when evaluated by end-users. However, areas where improvements may be required were identified, as were the most critical points in the life-cycle of a project. The results also show that end-user surveys are a practical technique for portfolio or program-level evaluations as an augmentation to, but not replacing, traditional benefit-cost analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-155
Number of pages10
JournalAustralasian Journal of Environmental Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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