Analyzing, discussing and revising experts’ opinion via an anonymous online forum: video

Today, we are launching our ‘albopictus’ online forum to allow our experts to analyze, discuss and revise their opinion while remaining anonymous. This project is about providing guidance on which pathways to manage in priority to reduce the risk of infestation of mainland Australia by the invasive mosquito aedes Albopictus. Our experts are based in different locations across Australia and Asia. When asked if they would be willing to participate to such ‘online forum’, all experts responded positively. It is now time to check if we can use that tool for future expert elicitation exercises.

The need for anonymous discussion prompted us to use a web forum rather than emails. Setting up the forum has been time consuming and we are still learning how to make it clearer for non-nerdy experts. It’s also easy to assess how many experts actually went to the forum or contributed.

Chrystal has recorded a video to help our experts. Have a look. Fingers crossed. I will report on this experience in 2 weeks time!



Expert elicitation and priority threat management in the Pilbara

This year, our team has been working on a cost benefit analysis project to determine the priority threat management options to protect the listed species of the Pilbara, WA.

Part of our project consists in gathering data from different sources, published and grey literature, and most importantly experts knowledge. We ran an anonymous expert elicitation workshop in March 2013 to gather the critical information needed for our project.

When running an expert elicitation exercise it is recommended that experts remain anonymous so that bias is limited when collecting the expert knowledge (benefit estimates, in this case). Once the preliminary analysis is done and individual mistakes are corrected, it is important to provide a way of discussing the results as a group so that additional information can be exchanged and informed discussion can lead to less divergence in opinions.

To set up that discussion phase and maintain an anonymous process, we have set up a forum for our experts to comment and discuss the current group trends and divergence. We’ve had a couple of responses to our forum from contributors who said that they’d appreciate more information about how to use the forum. In response I recorded a quick video that captures my screen as I go through the features of the forum. The video is available on YouTube, and can be accessed at the link below. You can play this video full screen and you can also increase the quality to High Definition (HD).