Assessment of the Use and Benefits of the Invasive Species Compendium
Published: April, 2021
The use of information and communication technology, including e-resources, to deliver information has expanded rapidly in recent years. They have certain advantages including quick access to relevant and current information that may not be available through other means. There are several online resources that provide information about invasive species including the Invasive Species Compendium (ISC). There has been limited work to assess these websites, including whether they provide up-to-date information, the extent of their
global coverage, and how users perceive their usefulness. This study assesses such factors for the ISC, analysing usage statistics, data from three user surveys and information from key informant interviews. Findings show that the ISC is highly valued by users, in particular researchers, and that the information is up to date, reliable, and open access, which is of particular value to those working in the Global South. While considerable use of the ISC is to seek out information related to invasive species, it is apparent that other users explore the website to discover information to help manage crop pests and diseases. Key feedback included how users access datasheets within the ISC, and the low level of awareness of the resource. Going forward, it is critical that the ISC can remain as an open access resource, with sufficient funding to ensure it is continuously updated. This will enable researchers in the Global South to continue to access key data and literature, while concentrating resources on fieldwork, pest risk analysis, management and control.
The global cost of invasive species is estimated at US$1.4 trillion per year – close to 5% of global gross domestic product. Invasives disproportionately affect vulnerable communities in poor rural areas, especially in developing countries which depend on natural resources, healthy ecosystems, trade and tourism for their livelihoods.
Start: 02/01/18 -End: 31/03/21