Notes on Elizabeth Perry’s chapter in “What do we know?”

Results of a Literature Search Regarding the Impact of Climate Change on Canadian Work and Employment: Indicators and Context

— Elizabeth Perry

What do we know? Project

TASK:  To examine climate change literature

GOALS:  1) Find publications that would be easily and publicly available

2) To learn what social actors and labour market actors are researching (these groups do not usually publish through established commercial or academic channels)

RESULTS: For the years 1995-2009, 18.5% of the documents found regarding climate change were scholarly (peer-reviewed), while 81.5% consisted of “grey literature”

“Grey Literature”

Reasons for the limited amount of scholarly work in climate change literature search…

1) A lack of interest in climate change in the traditional disciplines of management, economics, political science and sociology

Why have the leading journals in management (and other social sciences) failed to respond to climate change? – Amanda Goodall

-        The relative newness of climate change

-        Political bias

-        Climate skepticism

-        Career incentives within the discipline

-        ULTIMATELY… climate change is being reported in fields considered “peripheral” to traditional disciplines, such as environmental studies (the issue of climate change is being “sidelined intellectually”)

2) The development of new journals outside traditional core journals

-        The launch of specialized journals for these “peripheral” fields  (i.e. Mitigation and Adaption Strategies for Global Change, Greener Management Journal, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, and many more)

3) The growth of research centres outside the traditional academic environment: “think tanks” and collaborative bodies

-        Significant research and publication occurring outside the traditional peer-reviewed process

-        “Think Tanks”

CONCLUSION: Most scholarly articles are available only through licensed, restricted databases. Most grey literature is available on the web (although some important bodies restrict access). However, web archiving for grey literature is inconsistent among government departments and university research organizations. Thus, there needs to be a way of capturing and preserving these documents before they disappear or move so that they are available for future researchers.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: What are the implications of this for public discourse?