Our titular plea, Please keep to the path, echoes the often futile messages found on signs posted around the world that implore pedestrians to Please keep off the grass, hikers to Please keep to the trail or public transport passengers to Please keep feet off seats (to list only several of the forms in which this ubiquitous appeal can be found).
Yet Please keep to the path also embodies a greater appeal to us all, that we navigate our lives in a way that treads more lightly upon nature. Because human behavior is the cause of so many environmental problems, including the biodiversity crisis, shifting how people behave is key to achieving a future in which people better value and better protect nature. And sometimes, an appropriately worded sign in a strategically chosen place can nudge us in the right direction.
Please keep to the path aims to make research about human behavior more accessible to all who are interested in applying it to promote nature conservation.
This site is not a collection of our opinions, nor is it primarily a place for contributors to spruik their own research (although we welcome suitable contributions). The purpose of Please keep to the path is to make the most relevant and useful conservation psychology research available to all, particularly researchers, managers, and policymakers.
Researchers continue to produce knowledge useful for guiding nature conservation. However, this is often difficult to access, sometimes held behind paywalls and almost always reported in discipline specific language, imposing barriers to those who live beyond the research field.
To better share this knowledge and make it more available for use in nurturing nature, Please keep to the path reports the best contemporary and past research in short and (hopefully) engaging bytes. Each byte captures the essential aspects of the original peer reviewed research, including why it is useful for understanding the human aspects of nature conservation.
We read and report the best conservation psychology science so that researchers, practitioners and anybody with an interest can readily access this information in easily digestible bytes.
What’s in a byte?
Each byte captures the essence of a peer reviewed article relevant to conservation psychology. We read the original article, distil its essential learnings, and report this as succinctly as possible whilst also giving you enough information to understand how the original research was undertaken.
In this way, a byte is much like an article abstract, except that is:
- Written to engage a general audience instead of fellow researchers
- Focussed on application to conservation psychology (not all research important to conservation psychology originates from conservation psychology research), and
- Not word limited, thereby allowing it to have enough information to stand alone.
By perusing our growing database of bytes readers may more quickly, easily, and cheaply become familiar with important research in the field than if they were to rely on accessing published journal abstracts and articles. While no synopsis is ever a substitute for reading the real thing, our bytes will help you focus energy on those articles most useful for providing the information you seek.
Links to original articles are included at the end of each byte. As practising researchers ourselves, we endeavour to ensure that each byte can be relied upon.
How we choose which research to byte
Owing to our limited resources (i.e. the spare time of two active researchers), we make no pretence that this database can be exhaustive. Articles reported here are simply the most interesting and useful pieces of research, both past and emerging, that we happen to encounter. However, we do make sure that each byte is in itself reliable and accurate.
How you can be involved
Unlike many of the peer reviewed articles that our bytes report, Please keep to the path is freely accessible to everybody. But, with only the two of us to initially contribute, our initial collection of bytes will only grow slowly.
However, you can help us as all keep to the path by contributing your own bytes. A greater number of contributors from a variety of backgrounds will create a much more valuable resource.
If you know of or have conducted any important, useful or interesting research that is not yet in our database, why not consider submitting your own bytes. Get in touch with us through our contact page.