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De Vries P.,Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies Wageningen UR | Murk A.J.,Wageningen UR Toxicology Section
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety

Reliability of research data is essential, especially when potentially far-reaching conclusions will be based on them. This is also, amongst others, the case for ecotoxicological data used in risk assessment. Currently, several approaches are available to classify the reliability of ecotoxicological data. The process of classification, such as using the Klimisch score, is time-consuming and focuses on the application of standardised protocols and the documentation of the study. The presence of irregularities and the integrity of the performed work, however, are not addressed. The present study shows that Benford's Law, based on the occurrence of first digits following a logarithmic scale, can be applied to ecotoxicity test data for identifying irregularities. This approach is already successfully applied in accounting. Benford's Law can be used as reliability indicator, in addition to existing reliability classifications. The law can be used to efficiently trace irregularities in large data sets of interpolated (no) effect concentrations such as LC50s (possibly the result of data manipulation), without having to evaluate the source of each individual record. Application of the law to systems in which large amounts of toxicity data are registered (e.g., European Commission Regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) can therefore be valuable. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

van Hoof L.,Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies Wageningen UR | Hendriksen A.,Mixed Methods | Bloomfield H.J.,University of Liverpool
Marine Policy

Implementing the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive explicitly calls for regional cooperation between the EU Member States in the different regional seas. This regional cooperation, although set in a general framework of EU Member States and non-EU states utilising existing Regional Sea Conventions as focal point, develops along different tracks. Based on a series of interviews with different stakeholder groups in the different regional seas the drivers for this regional cooperation were determined. These drivers were used to develop a set of scenarios to depict possible ways and structures for cooperation at the different regional seas. In this paper the result of this analysis and the different scenarios developed are presented. The five scenarios developed were very helpful in elaborating alternative governance models for regional cooperation. From the validation by the stakeholders it became clear that both the drivers used, as the scenarios developed were found to be relevant. There is no single solution that is going to fit all regional seas, or that is going to appeal to all stakeholders within a regional sea. Especially in this setting the scenario approach does help people to explore the full range of possibilities that exists for the development of alternative governance models that address two issues raised but not detailed in the MSFD: cooperation and participation. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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