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Title: Suggestions for maintaining records for long-term field studies. A supplement to papers by Berven et al. and Kenefic and Kern (this volume)

Author: Kenefic, Laura S.; Kern, Christel C.; Brissette, John; Russell, Matthew; Irland, Lloyd; Weiskittel, Aaron; Berven, Kate

Year: 2013

Publication: In: Camp, Ann E.; Irland, Lloyd C.; Carroll, Charles J.W. Long-term silvicultural and ecological studies. Results for science and management. Vol. 2. GISF Res. Pap. 013. New Haven, CT: Yale University, Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry: 126-133.

Abstract: Robert Lewis, former U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief for Research and Development, used to say that "researchers leave tracks." By this he meant that part of the research process is recording all aspects of a study from initial plans to notes about installation and changes, as well as the raw data. This is especially important for long-term studies, which often span the careers of multiple generations of scientists, field assistants and technicians. This paper offers our perspective on the important tasks of recording long-term studies and preserving those records. This perspective is based on our experiences in re-opening (and attempting to reopen) discontinued long term studies. We have been working collectively and independently to access data from a number of ongoing and closed studies. The studies of primary interest were initiated by the Forest Service between the 1920s and 1950s. Many of these studies were closed in the 1960s, and we have had variable success re-opening them.

Last Modified: 3/18/2014


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