Katarina Hedlund. Foto.

Katarina Hedlund


Katarina Hedlund. Foto.

The benefits of systematic mapping to evidence-based environmental management


  • Neal R. Haddaway
  • Claes Bernes
  • Bengt Gunnar Jonsson
  • Katarina Hedlund

Summary, in English

Reviews of evidence are a vital means of summarising growing bodies of research. Systematic reviews (SRs) aim to reduce bias and increase reliability when summarising high priority and controversial topics. Similar to SRs, systematic maps (SMs) were developed in social sciences to reliably catalogue evidence on a specific subject. Rather than providing answers to specific questions of impacts, SMs aim to produce searchable databases of studies, along with detailed descriptive information. These maps (consisting of a report, a database, and sometimes a geographical information system) can prove highly useful for research, policy and practice communities, by providing assessments of knowledge gaps (subjects requiring additional research), knowledge gluts (subjects where full SR is possible), and patterns across the research literature that promote best practice and direct research resources towards the highest quality research. Here, we introduce SMs in detail using three recent case studies that demonstrate their utility for research and decision-making.


  • Environmental Sciences


  • Environmental policy
  • Evidence review
  • Evidence-informed policy
  • Forestry
  • Secondary synthesis
  • Soil carbon




  • ISSN: 0044-7447