Thatje, S., Laudien, J., Heilmayer, O. and Nauen, C.E.
Understanding El Niño - the importance of grey literature in coastal ecosystem research and management.
Marine Policy, 31, (2), . (doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2006.04.007).
Access to information about past states of the environment and social systems is fundamental to understand, and cope with, the challenges of climate change and over-exploitation of natural resources at the onset of the 21st century. The loss of (old) data is a major threat to understanding better and mitigating long-term effects of human activities and anthropogenic changes to the environment. Although this is intuitively evident for old and local literature of any kind, even present-day international publishing of papers without the underlying raw data makes access to basic information a crucial issue. Here, we summarise experience resulting from a EU-funded International Science & Technology Cooperation (INCO) project (CENSOR) addressing Coastal
Ecosystem Research and Management in the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) context. We show that indeed ‘‘Grey Literature’’ is still one of the most important sources of knowledge about natural science research and management of natural resource systems in Latin American countries. We argue that public archiving of original data of present-day research and old (Grey) Literature and easy public access are important for appreciating today’s global environmental challenges caused by human activities, both past and present.
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