A Retrospective of Information Management in the Long Term Ecological Research Program

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Book Section
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Stafford, Susan G. 2021. A Retrospective of Information Management in the Long Term Ecological Research Program. In: The Challenges of Long Term Ecological Research: A Historical Analysis. 13.375-402. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-66933-1


This chapter describes the evolution of information management protocols for Long Term Ecological Research, starting with work conducted at the Andrews Forest Long Term Ecological Research site in Oregon in the 1980s. This early work involved the design, testing, and implementation of a data and information management system that helped establish standards and protocols across the Long Term Ecological Research Network. Following this initial work, a growth period ensued. The chapter discusses the creation of Ecological Metadata Language, explores the impact of the internet on ecological data management and shows how other countries adopted the same model for their long-term research networks. The Network Information System that was developed had broad applications to other projects, such as EcoTrends, the Environmental Data Initiative, and DataONE. Innovations in information management represent major and far-reaching accomplishments of the Long Term Ecological Research Program, and have influenced the entire field of interdisciplinary ecological research. They have helped to change the culture of scientific collaboration by making it both feasible and fair for scientists to share their data, and have in general promoted greater data literacy within the long-term ecological network.
Keywords: LTER program Long-term ecological research Ecological networks Data management Data literacy Data sharing Information management Cyberinfrastructure Ecological Metadata Language