We use evidence-based information and analysis to promote progressive policy-making and public awareness of complex environmental issues. To uphold scientific principles, we commit to peer review of research and analysis, transparency and access to relevant information and accuracy in our communications.
This Science Integrity Protocol is intended to provide guidance to David Suzuki Foundation staff and consultants regarding the integrity and accuracy of information and materials released to the public.
External review of our work.
Purpose: Ensure the scientific integrity of our reports, analyses and recommendations through an external review process.
- Accuracy and credibility of all DSF reports, analyses and recommendations.
- Applies to all reports completed by DSF staff or contracted externally where an analysis was undertaken for the purposes of making a recommendation.
- Reports that fit the criteria above must receive an external peer review from two or more impartial reviewers. Peer reviewers are identified by the sponsoring Director, where possible ensuring anonymity from the report author.
- When sent out for peer review, the DSF staff member responsible also informs the Science & Policy Coordinator of the report.
- The peer reviewers are responsible for providing an impartial evaluation of the work to DSF, noting problems and weaknesses, along with suggestions for improvement The DSF staff member overseeing the report is responsible for ensuring the reviewers’ comments are addressed, documented and returned to the reviewer.
Availability of our analysis and data for others to use, reproduce results and analyze.
Purpose: To support the principle of open data and transparency, develop methods for making data and supporting materials used by DSF available to the public.
- Transparent data and analyses.
- Institutionalize the concept of open data.
- Contribute to the body of scientific knowledge.
- Process applies to all reports, either completed by staff or contractors where an analysis was undertaken for the purposes of outward-facing DSF recommendations. Where necessary, intellectual capital that DSF agrees may remain in confidence between DSF and a contractor may be withheld from publication.
- Data for reports undertaken with multiple organizations and/or private contractors will be made available when agreeable to all organizations involved.
- Report writer is made aware that all non-confidential datasets will be made available upon request from the public, critics or allies.
- Report writer or DSF staff responsible for overseeing report submits available files along with written report to Science & Policy Coordinator, who is responsible for maintaining an archive.
Internal process to ensure quality science and policy-related communications.
- To provide a clearly understood fact-checking and approvals process for communications outputs, ensuring that relevant content experts review materials for accuracy and consistency.
- All written materials for external audiences are subject to this protocol, except social media posts. This includes reports, blogs, op-eds, annual reports and briefing notes.
- Accuracy and credibility in our communications.
- Consistency of our positions across departments and regions.
- Clear approval process.
- The author of a new communications output will consult with the relevant content experts
- A content expert is a staff person that has either/both content expertise on an issue relevant to the output (e.g., climate change, energy policy, endangered species) or a project person that is responsible for a project related to an issue relevant to the output (e.g., the project lead of the Right to a Healthy Environment project should review any environmental rights related pieces even if they themselves are not explicitly an environmental rights expert.) prior to public release of the new material. Team coordinators will act as a resource in identifying relevant content experts should the author require assistance.
- Where a relevant content expert is not available, a director may provide the review and approval.
- Directors can provide or delegate approval for urgent communications pieces.