Using academic evidence to support your messaging

Using peer reviewed research to support your campaign messages and data is really important. Researchers are widely viewed as experts in their field and research papers are peer reviewed by other experts in the field. This expert support gives additional weight to the messages your organisation wants to convey. Governments often require substantial, accredited long-term evidence of the issue to make big decisions, such as changing legislation or defining plastic pellets as hazardous.


Building an evidence portfolio increases awareness of the issue, when people care, politicians start to listen. Government is more likely to trust scientific evidence and experts with academic credentials, therefore peer reviewed science is the strongest argument you will ever have in your portfolio when trying to build momentum on a policy level.


Academic research articles are for academic audiences, therefore the level of detail and language can be difficult to communicate to different audiences without loosing the scientific credentials of the information.

Access to research articles is often restricted behind journal paywalls that non-academics may not be able to access easily.


Join Research Gate
This is a research community social networking platform for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators.
Contact the research author directly
Check your local academic and non-academic library
Many academic libraries are open to the public, even if you are not affiliated with the university. If your library does not have access to relevant journals check if they are able to access them for you via inter-library loan
– Use google scholar
– Use an Open Access browser extension
More and more research is published Open Access as governments around the world are mandating that research paid for by taxpayer money be freely available to those taxpayers. Browser extensions have been created to make it easy to spot when the full text of an article is free.


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Research papers and open access platforms

MDPI – Open access peer reviewed research

This link takes you through MDPI, an open access publishing site which includes peer-reviewed journal and pdf versions of articles….

Frontiers – Open access peer reviewed research

This link takes you through Frontiers, an open access publishing site which includes peer-reviewed journal and pdf versions of articles….

Nurdles in fish 2021 – Research Paper

Research Paper Title: ‘Plastic ingestion by marine fish is widespread and increasing’ Authors: Savoca, M. S., McInturf, A. G., Hazen,…

Nurdles in Turtles 2021 – Research Paper

Research Paper Title: ‘Plastic Pollution and Small Juvenile Marine Turtles: A Potential Evolutionary Trap’ Authors: Duncan, E. M., Broderick, A….

Nurdles in Turtles 2018 – Research Paper

Research Paper Title: ‘Microplastic ingestion ubiquitous in marine turtles’ Authors: Duncan, E. M., Broderick, A. C., Fuller. W J., Galloway,…

Nurdles in Cassin’s Auklets 2017 – Research Paper

Research Paper Title: ‘Plastic in Cassin’s Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) from the 2014 stranding on the Northeast Pacific Coast’ Authors: Floren,…

Nurdles in fish in pacific 2018 – Research Paper

Research Paper Title:  ‘Ingestion of plastic by fish destined for human consumption in remote South Pacific Islands’ Authors: Forrest, A….

Nurdles in seabirds 2010 – Research Paper

Research Paper Title:  ‘Polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides in plastics ingested by seabirds’ Authors: Colabuono, F. I., Taniguchi, S., Montone,…

Nurdles in squids 2012 – Research Paper

Research Paper Title:  ‘Preying on Commercial Fisheries and Accumulating Paralytic Shellfish Toxins: A Dietary Analysis of Invasive Dosidicus gigas (Cephalopoda…

Nurdles in edible fish 2015 – Research Paper

A baseline assessment of plastic pellet ingestion by two species of important edible fish caught along the eastern coast of Brazil is described in this study

Microplastic in flying fish and yellowfin tuna 2018 – Research Paper

This study quantified and described plastic fragments in the digestive tracts of 43 Easter Island flying fish (Cheilopogon rapanouiensis) and 50 yellowfin tunas (Thunnus albacares) from coastal waters around Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the South Pacific subtropical gyre, and of fish preyed upon by T. albacares. Overall, seven C. rapanouiensis (16%) individuals had ingested microplastics, most of which resembled the common planktonic prey of the fish

Nurdles in Sea cucumbers 2009 – Research Paper

This study demonstrates that four species of deposit-feeding and suspension-feeding sea cucumbers (Echinodermata, Holothuroidea) not only ingest small (0.25 mm < maximum dimension < 15 mm) nylon and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fragments along with sediment, but also ingest significantly more plastic fragments than predicted given the ratio of plastic to sand grains in the sediment.

Trophic transfers of microplastics from mussels to crabs 2013 – Research Paper

This study is the first to show ‘natural’ trophic transfer of microplastic, and its translocation to haemolymph and tissues of a crab. This has implications for the health of marine organisms, the wider food web and humans.

Plastic particle accumulation by seabirds 1985 – Research Paper

Plastic particles were found in the gizzards of Leach’s Petrels, Manx Shearwaters and Fulmars from Scottish Colonies

Ingested microplastic in mussels 2008 – Research Paper

The mussel, Mytilus edulis, was used to investigate ingestion, translocation, and accumulation of microplastic debris.

Microplastic effects on Lugworms 2013 – Research Paper

This study provides the first controlled study of plastic effects on benthic organisms including transfer and accumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs.)

Plastic particles ingested by seabirds 1997 – Research Paper

This study found plastic particles in the stomachs of 8 of the 11 species of seabirds caught as bycatch in the pelagic waters of the eastern North Pacific

Accountability for nurdle pollution, Swedish case study 2018 – Research Paper

Swedish case study identifies regulations, laws, and policies have not been adequately enforced on industrial spills of microplastics. These results therefore highlight the importance of addressing plastic spills from industry through existing regulations and regular inspections.

Debris in Stormwater drains, Australian case study 2023 – Research Paper

Gross pollutant traps were installed in 120 drains in Greater Melbourne, Australia, and citizen scientists trained by Tangaroa Blue Foundation weighed and classified debris at 6-week intervals between October 2019 and October 2020. Four survey cycles were conducted before lockdowns were implemented, then another four during lockdowns

Nurdle lake pollution 2011 – Research Paper

This study represents the first detailed examination of the distribution, types, and physical and chemical degradation processes of plastic particles in a fresh water setting.