JOIN FORESTPLOTS combines the work and shared vision of thousands of partners across the globe. We all want this collaborative effort to continue and thrive, and so we have a code of conduct that we ask those interested in joining  to first read and sign.

CODE OF CONDUCT 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 to ensure the full potential of this collaborative endeavour is released. To help achieve this all users are expected to contribute (see ‘Contribute’ below).


We 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 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.
  • Data curated by should not be stored in another database, redistributed, nor shared with any third parties, without the express permission of the Collaboration Committee and the data owners.
  • 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.
  • The lead author of any publication using 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.
  • is fully cited (see ‘How to cite’) in all publications that use any data or information obtained through, including publically available data.


Contribute 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,
  • We ask that commercial, large research consortia or institutional users of data curated within the ForestPlots platform 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.


Make an impact

We all have a responsibility to promote equitable long-term collaborations, respond to the climate and biodiversity crisis and help 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 research findings drive national and international policies to reduce deforestation and degradation and increase the value of biodiversity


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