CODE OF CONDUCT
ForestPlots.net aims to promote sustainable and equitable collaborations among tropical forest researchers across the world. Our code of conduct therefore aims to ensure co-operation and trust among participants and support the long-term future of ForestPlots.net to ensure the full potential of this collaborative endeavour is released.
We expect all users of the data to contribute to ForestPlots.net (see ‘Contribute’ below). We therefore ask that:
- All data users discuss with other current participants, such as the principal researcher, project grant holder and field lead, the research question they wish to address, and involve them in the analysis, writing, and co-authorship of results.
- All users of ForestPlots.net obtain the explicit consent of the relevant principal researcher, project grant holder and field lead before submitting any work for publication that uses data that are not publicly available: the transfer of any data between project participants does not imply the transfer of rights to publication of the data.
- Even if using publically available data, as a courtesy, we encourage data users to involve the data owners as you develop the project.
- The lead author of any publication using ForestPlots.net data ensures that all co-author contributions are clearly defined: who was responsible for conceiving the idea, designing the study, collecting the field data, performing the analysis, contributing materials or analysis tools, analysing the data, and writing the paper.
- ForestPlots.net is fully cited (see ‘How to cite’) in all publications that use any data or information obtained through ForestPlots.net, including publically available data.
ForestPlots.net relies on contributions of high quality forest plot data and funding to manage and develop the resource. To (i) protect the rights of partners who have worked for years for their hard-won data, (ii) ensure that these data become part of the scientific process, and (iii) develop a sustainable Pan-Tropical Forest Observatory:
- We request that leaders of multi-site proposals and analyses reinvest in network development, by: (1) funding recensuses and expansion of the plot networks into under-sampled regions, and/or contributing to the costs of database management and functionality; and whenever possible also (2) uploading their own data into ForestPlots.net,
- We ask that commercial or institutional users and large research consortia contribute towards the costs of maintaining the database resource and of reinvesting in forest measurement and technical training. Decisions on whether or not to enter into such agreements are decided on a case-by-case basis.
- We encourage contributors to agree that their data can be downloaded and used five years after the data are first published in an analysis utilising data downloaded from ForestPlots.net. We will only make data publicly available with the data owner’s permission.
- Data quality control on measurements and nomenclature is strictly applied in the field, at the data entry stage, and at the final database checking stage, under the responsibility of the principal investigator(s) of each site.
Make an impact
We all have a responsibility to promote equitable long-term collaborations, respond to the climate and biodiversity crisis and help ForestPlots.net to support forest conservation and management in the tropics. We therefore expect and encourage users to:
- Support analyses led by tropical scientists including under-represented groups.
- Mentor junior participants to develop Masters and PhD theses.
- Promote leadership by individuals and institutions in tropical forest countries.
- Invest in research institutions in tropical forest countries.
- Consider the need for international travel for conferences, fieldwork and policy engagement, by combining visits or extending stays, using online solutions and supporting in-country leadership.
- Ensure that ForestPlots.net research findings drive national and international policies to reduce deforestation and degradation and increase the value of biodiversity