FAQs: Call for ecosystem and biodiversity data

GENERAL

  • Who will and how are the data used in the project context?

The data provided by the eLTER sites are used to scientific analysis in the different science cases (PDF File) led by a number of different institutions. Data transformation and harmonisation across sites will be done by the science case contributors in the eLTER PLUS work packages 7, 8 and 9. Data will not be published or made available outside the project consortium without consent from the data provider. Please also note that once we have collected the data, the scientific task leads will be in contact with you as the data providers in order to discuss the research done in detail as well as site-specific data issues.

  • Are there criteria to prioritise most relevant data sets for the data call and the data submission? What data are needed first?

At the moment there are no priorities concerning  the type of data sets because a number of different tasks will use it for different purposes (PDF File). If your site was selected for several different data sets, you do not have to deliver them all at the same time (consider starting with the data, which is easier to provide and where you think it is a high-quality long-term data set). 

  •  If the data is from more than one person, will all these people be included in a future publication or do you have a limit on the number of people for each data set?

We will follow the common publishing rules saying that all having contributed significantly to a data set will be offered co-authorship. Please also note that once we have collected the data, the scientific task leads will be in contact with you as the data providers in order to discuss the research done in detail as well as site-specific data issues.

  • Are there workshops, teleconferences or any other activities foreseen in the coming weeks to clarify upcoming questions?

We can discuss all the questions bilaterally. Please note that once we have collected the data, the scientific task leads will be in contact with you as the data providers in order to discuss the research done in detail and site-specific issues. Apart from that, the first Site and Platform Forum (SPF) meeting is planned for Dec. 15. There, general questions about data use in eLTER PLUS can also be discussed. 

  • Can this message be forwarded to other national partners/other LTER sites that could be interested in the task? Sites that did not receive data call: possibility to participate from their own initiative?

Thanks for offering this! We are not looking for additional sites at this moment (might be later on in the project once a gap analysis has been carried out by the scientific task leads). 

  • Is there a plan to create more data papers?

Yes, but be assured that we will discuss this with you as the data owners.

  • What will happen with the data after WP8 and WP9 finished their work? Will it be published as open data? Receive a DOI? 

For the moment, the data will be accessible for the members of the research tasks, it will be stored in a closed repository. The aim is for the data products to be published but again, but be assured that we will discuss this with you as the data owners.

  • Will somebody report back to site managers when data is quality controlled?

Yes, the scientific task leads will be in contact with you as the data providers in order to discuss the research done in detail and site-specific issues such as quality control procedures. Any quality-controlled eLTER data products will discuss this with you as the data owners. 

 

DATA FORMAT AND SPECIFICATION

  • Our data is in ICOS / Fluxnet / ICP Forests / ICP Waters / ICP IM / Darwin Core GBIF Format. Can you tell me what procedure we should follow?

ICP Forests: we try to get the data we need via the program center depending upon your approval, so please focus on preparing other data.

ICP IM and ICP Waters data can be provided in the reporting formats you used for them 

The rest: please deliver the links to the data (DataSubmissionReport), you don’t have to change the format. Please make sure the relevant metadata is included.

 

DATA SUBMISSION

  • We store our data already in a public database and it is important that there is only one version publicly available. Is it possible to redirect a data query to the official site?

Yes, please send us the link and information on how to get hold of the data.

 

BIODIVERSITY DATA

  • Temporal resolution of the biodiversity data: Some data has only been sampled once – does that data matter to you?

Biodiversity data has to be sampled at least twice in a timespan of ten years, however, more samples and longer periods are preferred.

 

PLOT/TIME SERIES DATA

  • Which period of time should the data cover?

This is not so easy to define. The time series should be as long as possible. Preferably the last 10 years, but the longer the better.

 

METADATA 

  • Metadata: Is the workflow such that first the datasets are created in DEIMS-SDR, then summarized in the data submission report?

The data submission report should contain the link to the metadata set, which was previously created on DEIMS-SDR.

 

DEADLINE

  • What is the deadline for the data provision?

We set the deadline for December 18th. A lot of sites can deliver data early next year (end of January), that’s also ok. However, please understand that we cannot postpone the deadline any further because the scientific task leads have to start with their work.


FUNDING

  • Is funding available?

The beneficiaries of eLTER PLUS are funded through their budget in WP7. All others, unfortunately there is no funding available. The main reason is that in our previous H2020 eLTER project, where we had similar data collection tasks, we applied a Third Party Funding Model, which proved impracticable (very low incentive versus extraordinary management effort). However, there are many reasons why you should consider being part of the development of the eLTER RI: 

  • Increased visibility and use of data
  • Co-authorships in publications 
  • Enhanced data set of your site
  • Comprehensive training tools for data management
  • Participation in site manager network (peer support)
  • Contributing to a vibrant network and research cases
  • Being part of harmonized eLTER data pilots
  • Head start towards the national implementation of the eLTER RI
  • Information (and participation) on ongoing and new projects

Your eLTER site, together with many others, will be used to develop a unique whole system understanding of the impact of external threats on ecosystem function and health.

 

PARTICIPATION

  • Is there a possibility for site managers to participate in the research project/publications?

Site managers will be contacted by the scientific task leads once they start working with the data. Be assured that they will be in contact with you to discuss your participation. eLTER considers the site managers crucial for the results we can derive from your data and for the further development of the eLTER RI. Therefore the Site and Platform Forum (SPF) will be launched on Dec 15 where this kind of discussions can be deepened. 

  • Who will communicate with the site managers? Who should be contacted for specific questions from site coordinators concerning data?

For specific questions about the data use the scientific task leads of the science cases should be contacted (see DATA USE). Concerning data format and provision please contact Sarah Geiger and Melanie Tista: sarah.geiger@umweltbundesamt.at / melanie.tista@umweltbundesamt.at