|Title||Fostering ecological data sharing: collaborations in the International Long Term Ecological Research Network|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2015|
|Authors||Vanderbilt, KL, Lin, C-C, Lu, S-S, Kassim, ARahman, He, H, Guo, X, San Gil, I, Blankman, D, Porter, JH|
The International Long Term Ecological Research (ILTER) Network was established in 1993 and is now composed of thirty-eight national networks representing a diversity of ecosystems around the globe. Data generated by the ILTER Network are valuable for scientists addressing broad spatial and temporal scale research questions, but only if these data can be easily discovered, accessed, and understood. Challenges to publishing ILTER data have included unequal distribution among networks of information management expertise, user-friendly tools, and resources. Language and translation have also been issues. Despite these significant obstacles, ILTER information managers have formed grassroots partnerships and collaborated to provide information management training, adopt a common metadata standard, develop information management tools useful throughout the network, and organize scientist/information manager workshops that encourage scientists to share and integrate data. Throughout this article, we share lessons learned from the successes of these grassroots international partnerships to inform others who wish to collaborate internationally on projects that depend on data sharing entailing similar management challenges.