Unfortunately, efficient and reliable searches are not currently possible because of eclectic application of keywords in LTER metadata. Most existing keywords are used by only a single LTER site, or worse yet, in only a single dataset, making them unsuitable for identifying data for cross-site syntheses. To address this problem, the LTER Information Management Committee (IMC) created a working group to help create a controlled vocabulary for use in LTER datasets (http://databits.lternet.edu/spring-2010/controlled-vocabulary-lter-datasets).