Climate change research and credibility: balancing tensions across professional, personal, and public domains

Nordhagen, Stella, Calverley, Dan, Foulds, Chris, O’Keefe, Laura and Wang, Xinfang (2014) Climate change research and credibility: balancing tensions across professional, personal, and public domains. Climatic Change, 125 (2). p. 149. ISSN 1573-1480

Accepted Version
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (204kB) | Preview
Official URL:


For research to positively impact society, it must be scientifically credible. The researcher plays a key role in establishing and maintaining credibility, particularly in the climate change field. This paper provides a structure for relating the credibility of researchers themselves to that of research outputs, analysing ‘researcher credibility’ with reference to three overlapping domains: personal, professional, and public. The researcher’s role in each domain is considered in a reflexive way, examining the research process and the researcher’s actions. Varied definitions of researcher credibility and possible means to achieve it in each domain are discussed, drawing on relevant cross-disciplinary literature. We argue that, in certain contexts, the actions of researchers can have a direct impact on the credibility of their research. There is scope for broadening researcher credibility to include more public-oriented behaviours. This, however, may be contentious and problematic: potential conflicts exist between public action and professional credibility, with the latter usually taking precedence. By contrast, though personal action/inaction rarely affects professional credibility, researchers’ personal behaviours may influence public perceptions of research credibility and the importance of addressing climate change.

Item Type: Journal Article
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2015 13:41
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:01

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item