The LTER Network makes data available online with as few restrictions as possible. LTER data is reviewed for errors and inconsistencies and thoroughly documented so that it can be incorporated into broader comparative and synthetic studies. LTER Information Managers, stationed at each LTER site, work to ensure that LTER data is reviewed for errors and inconsistencies and thoroughly documented so that it can be incorporated into broader comparative and synthetic studies.
LTER data form the backbone of long-term ecological inquiry. Freely available data are used and reused many times over, often to answer unexpected questions years after their collection. And, data form the backbone of cross-site synthesis, both within the LTER network and beyond.
How to access LTER data
Environmental Data Initiative
The Environmental Data Initiative (EDI) is the main repository for LTER data. EDI is an environmental data repository that curates and maintains data from many environmental science research programs — especially those funded through NSF’s Division of Environmental Biology. It grew out of the information management systems and practices of the LTER Network and was established as an independent program in 2016.
LTER data are also available through disciplinary or regional repositories such as the Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO), the Arctic Data Center, the Dryad Digital Repository, and others. The most comprehensive search of public data at this time is available via the DataONE Federation, LTER member node.
Local Site Catalogues
Many LTER sites also have a local data catalog that includes LTER and non-LTER data, presented in a way that is most usable for site-based researchers. It may also include data that are not yet publicly available because it hasn’t been cleaned and documented or because manuscripts using the data haven’t yet been submitted to journals.
Using LTER Data: Best Practices
We love it when LTER data can contribute to scientific discovery and environmental management in unexpected ways and we encourage researchers to cite LTER data using the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) associated with each data package.
When using data collected by another investigator, it is both courteous and wise to make direct contact with the investigator before incorporating the data into your analyses. Contact information and funding sources are available in the metadata associated with each data package.
The LTER Data Access Policy was last updated at the 2017 LTER Science Council Meeting. Guidelines for LTER information management systems were updated in Fall, 2017.
LTER Data Community
LTER Information Managers have a strong cross-site community, with weekly watercooler meetings to share all sorts of data management ideas plus formal meetings across the network. They also publish the DataBits Newsletter approximately twice a year, with updates on information activities at sites and deep dives into topics of interest to LTER and other Environmental Information Managers. All current and past issues are available in the LTER DataBits archive.
Recent DataBits Stories
John Porter and An Nguyen, with the LTER Information Managers, outline 8 reasons to archive and share data supported by the literature.
Below you’ll find the latest roundup of IM news from sites that have updates related to new staff, funding, project development. Luquillo LTER – Miguel Leon Greetings from the Luquillo (LUQ) LTER. I’m Miguel Leon, the newish Information Manager, starting in late 2019. I came to the LTER network after about 10 years working as… Read more »
By John Porter, Virginia Coastal Reserve LTER The big decision and assessing virtual meeting needs Each January, the Virginia Coast Reserve LTER holds an “All Scientists’ Meeting” to exchange information about research progress and to plan for upcoming activities over the coming year. Typically, this is an in-person meeting held at the Anheuser-Busch Coastal… Read more »
Databits: ezEML — A Do-It-Yourself Form-Based Editor for Creating Metadata Documents in EML, the Ecological Metadata Language
By Jon Ide and Mark Servilla, Environmental Data Initiative ezEML is a form-based online tool to streamline the creation of metadata in the Ecological Metadata Language (EML). It was created by the Environmental Data Initiative (EDI) and employs EDI’s Metapype library, which is a general-purpose framework for creating and validating metadata, along with Metapype’s implementation… Read more »
By Kristin Vanderbilt (EDI) & Colin Smith (EDI) Scientists, students, and information management professionals often find themselves in need of code or software to help clean, process, document, and manage data. The Information Management Code Registry (IMCR) aims to make it easier to find existing tools by guiding users to discover software that performs… Read more »
LTER Site Information Managers
|Site Name||Data Manager|
|Andrews Forest LTER||Suzanne Remillard|
|Arctic LTER||James Laundre|
|Baltimore Ecosystem Study||Mary Martin|
|Beaufort Lagoon Ecosystems LTER||Tim Whiteaker|
|Bonanza Creek LTER||Jason Downing|
|California Current Ecosystem LTER||Marina Frants (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve||Dan Bahauddin|
|Central Arizona - Phoenix LTER||Stevan Earl|
|Florida Coastal Everglades LTER||Gabriel Kamener|
|Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER||Adam Sapp|
|Harvard Forest LTER||Emery Boose|
|Hubbard Brook LTER||Mary Martin|
|Jornada Basin LTER||Greg Maurer|
|Kellogg Biological Station LTER||Sven Bohm|
|Konza Prairie LTER||Yang Xia|
|LTER Network Office (UCSB)||Julien Brun|
|Luquillo LTER||Miguel Leon|
|McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER||Renée F. Brown|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul LTER||Mary Marek-Spartz (email@example.com)|
|Moorea Coral Reef LTER||Hillary Krumbholz|
|Niwot Ridge LTER||Sarah Elmendorf|
|North Temperate Lakes LTER||Corinna Gries|
|Northeast U.S. Shelf||Stace Beaulieu|
|Northern Gulf of Alaska||Chris Turner|
|Palmer Antarctica LTER||John Kerfoot|
|Plum Island Ecosystems LTER||Risa McNellis (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Santa Barbara Coastal LTER||Li Kui|
|Sevilleta LTER||Kris Hall|
|Virginia Coast Reserve LTER||John Porter|