The need for scientific advice to manage the aquatic environment in an ecosystem context has never been greater. Many assessments of ecosystem state and change use inadequate data on non-conspicuous, non-target organisms. These include meiofauna, a diverse group of small-sized organisms (<1 mm) that live in a range of terrestrial and aquatic environments. Meiobenthic research published between 2007 and 2011 has failed to underpin ecosystem management and conservation practices. This is partly because of the belief amongst decision-makers and the public that microscopic organisms beyond our normal range of perception are ecologically unimportant. Methodological limitations related to the taxonomic identification of small-sized organisms and the narrow scope of many contemporary meiofauna studies are also to blame. This article explores ways in which meiobenthologists can improve the impact and uptake of their research.