If you've found this web site useful or would like to send any comment on the TRY initiative please e-mail us or provide feedback in the forum below. We'd like to know how the TRY website is being used.
If you have cited the TRY initiative in a publication, please send us that reference. This will help to document that the TRY initiative has value, and will help if / when we look for additional funding.
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2020-05-01 12:39:50||Dear Vinay - there are no limits on requests. It is however recommended to submit requests for traits instead of datasets.|
|Vinay Turpati on 2020-05-01 12:08:55||Hi, Im working on a project, I need as much data as possible. Is there any limit to request datasets? If yes, can you tell me whats the threshold?|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2020-04-30 18:51:51||Dear Vinay - Trait values can only be obtained via a request. So, instead of selecting the measurement table, click the request button, if this is what you want.|
|Vinay Turpati on 2020-04-30 18:34:24||Hello, when I opened "Request by dataset", I chose "Measurement table" but I couldnt find observation values correspond to ObservationId in the table.|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2020-03-25 12:02:57||Dear Rachel - Sorry for answering late.
In the next version of TRY, we will include StdValueStr in the output. This will give you standardized date data.
You are right concerning OrigObsDataID and ErrorRisk. The first points to the ObsDataID of the original in case of a duplicate. The second tells you how far the value is from a mean in units of standard deviations.
|Rachel Mason on 2020-03-23 17:06:04||Hi again, I have been reading the description of the data cleaning carried out on data from TRY 3.0 in Bjorkman et al. (2018), Nature, 562, 7725. The cleaning included identifying duplicates and trait values that were likely to be erroneous. In TRY 5.0, it seems that this is no longer necessary - the OrigObsDataID column identifies likely duplicates, and the ErrorRisk gives a value that can be used to identify possible "problem" measurements. Is that correct? Thanks!|
|Rachel Mason on 2020-02-19 14:30:34||Hi TRY team, I have a question about some of the metadata in the text files Ive downloaded. I see that latitude, longitude and sampling/measurement date are available as standardized metadata, and I can also see that the actual, standardized values of latitude and longitude live in the "StdValue" column. However, for observations that have dates, it seems that the standardized date (6601) values are found under "OrigValueStr". Is that correct? Can I assume that for DataID=6601, the standardized date data will always be in OrigValueStr instead of StdValue?
Thanks for all your work in making this resource available!|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2019-09-06 09:27:36||Dear Dhio - I think you talk about the data explorer. As stated in the introduction and on every page in the header, the numbers are number of measurements, not trait values. You are very welcome to submit a request for trait values. |
|Dhio Hidayatullah Hutagaol on 2019-09-05 06:21:22||Dear TRY Team, Im totally new to the database -- when I searched a specific species, what do the trait numbers mean? e.g. when I looked up for Zamia loddigesii (no 57376), the leaf type trait (no. 43) showed number 5. Is there any manuals for this? Thank sou so much (and sorry for the very basic question).|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2019-07-17 11:16:24||Dear Anh Tuan Dang-Le - What kind of features do you want to change? Since you talk about columns, are you meaning a dataset in the database or a file in the archive? It is probably best, if you send an email with screen shots for clarification, since this subject is probably not of interest in a oublic discussion.|
|Anh Tuan Dang-Le on 2019-07-17 09:57:33||Dear TRY team,
I am trying to change the features of my dataset in Manage Your Datasets. However, I could not find any option(s) to do that (there are no pop up, just a table of columns). Please help.
Anh Tuan Dang-Le,|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2019-07-01 11:58:49||Dear Marc - sorry, this is not possible.|
|Marc Peaucelle on 2019-07-01 11:42:16||Dear TRY Team,
Is there any possibility to request traits data for a region/biome (as in the data explorer) without selecting specific traits or species?
I am working on the heterogeneity of ecosystems. In order to capture that heterogeneity I would like to perform unsupervised analysis, but I am afraid that I will miss some key traits with the traitID request system. In addition, it will lower the dataset size by removing observations outside the region of interest.
Thanks for your help,
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2019-06-22 11:11:56||Dear Oguz - Number of measurements and number of geo-referenced measurements as stated in the header|
|Oguz Sariyildiz on 2019-06-21 18:53:46||What are MeasNum and MeasGRNum fields?|
|Jens Kattge on 2019-04-15 09:49:09||Dear Zhang Shuangshuang, please wait for a few days. If you do not receive a note from TRY please contact me via email: email@example.com |
|zhang shuangshuang on 2019-04-12 04:02:02||Dear TRY team, I sent out a data request two weeks ago and have not received a reply so far. I wonder if my operation is wrong or I need to wait.|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2019-03-19 09:10:01||Dear Manasee - you will get an email with instructions once the files are ready for you. This usually takes a workday or two. With my compliments. Gerhard|
|Manasee Weerathunga on 2019-03-19 07:33:22||Dear TRY team, Thank you very much for your amazing database which is really valuable. I did two data request today both which were public data. The request IDs are 5889 and 5890. I received emails acknowledging my requests. But I am not sure how I can download the data and where I can find them. Can you please guide me on where to find the zipped files and how to download them. Thank you|
|Jens Kattge on 2018-11-13 15:49:40||Dear Cibele, the zip file released in the context of your request is quite large, containing all information for 1144327 trait records. It is therefore likely that the size of the zip file is too large for the computer you used to open the file. I would therefore recommend using a computer with 64 BIT operating system. If such a larger computer is not available, you may consider requesting the data via two or three smaller requests. I hope this information helps. Please let us know, if this does not work to solve your problem. With best wishes, Jens|
|Jens Kattge on 2018-11-13 15:33:38||Dear Songhan, you will find the measurement date in the data released from the TRY database under DataID 241. Unfortunately you cannot search the TRY database via the Internet using observation time. I would recommend to request the traits of interest and to select the relevant data from the requested records. I hope this information helps, Jens |
|Cibele Queiroz on 2018-11-05 23:29:24||Dear Try team,
Thank you for making my request number 5004 available for download. However, it seems like there is a problem with the zip file as I cannot open it in any way. Could you please check what might be wrong?
thank you so much!
|songhan wang on 2018-11-05 12:46:37||Dear TRY team, I want to use some long-term observations of leaf traits (e.g., leaf N and P). But I cant find the observation time in this database. And another question is, can we search the database using observation time? Such as, filtering the data from 1980-2015? Is there any continuous observations that I can search or use? Many thanks,Songhan|
|Jens Kattge on 2018-09-20 15:38:59||Dear Cibele, thank you very much for the positive feedback and please accept our apologies for the delay with respect to data release. Everything is OK with your request, but unfortunately Gerhard and I (who are working on the TRY database) were on holidays at the same time and data release has been delayed. We had announced this on the TRY homepage, but not very obvious. Now we are working on a backlog of about 60 requests. Please give us a few more days and you will receive the data. Many thanks again, Jens|
|Cibele Queiroz on 2018-09-20 15:06:05||Dear Try team, first of all thank you so much for putting available so much valuable information. We have now in different projects used try data and two of those papers are now getting ready for submission (will report the publications back once those are accepted). This would hardly be possible some years ago before the existence of this database! I did a recent request with the number 5004 for a new paper that needs to take some speed more than two weeks ago, and I am wondering if there is any problem since the data hasnt been released yet and I only asked for public available information. Could you please get back to me on this and let me know if you need anything else from me or if there is any reason why the request hasnt been approved so far?
Thank you very much,
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2018-08-09 08:48:22||Dear 鑫 代 - Request 4870 includes the restricted data. At the time you submitted this request you received an email explaining how to proceed after the 14 days the custodians have to review it. I am therefore wondering why you are waiting for an email from TRY. We however send reminder emails to all request PIs every Tuesday for pending requests older than 2 weeks.
Request 4871 is on hold, that means you have not asked for the data yet. Once a month we remind request PIs of such requests.|
|鑫 代 on 2018-08-09 04:48:16||Dear TRY team,This is the case. It has been 15 days since I applied for the number 4870. I still havent received the email and I was told whether I passed the application, but I received the email number 4871. I am not ready to apply for 4871. I will take it. cancel. Can you tell me if the number 4870 has passed the request? I urgently need an email reply with the number 4780. Thank you!
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2018-07-19 09:13:28||Dear Ignacio - It usually means the custodian has not replied yet. Although a decline is possible, this rarely happens. We do not distinguish between the two to avoid bad feelings. Anyway, you should feel free to contact these custodians. This is why we provide the email addresses.|
|Ignacio Sevillano on 2018-07-18 13:34:36||Dear TRY team, I have requested data from try and I am able to start data release. I am just wondering if when in the permission Column says "No", that means that it not possible to have access to these trait or just that the data custodians have not replied yet. Thank you.|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2018-06-25 09:47:37||Dear Sarah - providing more information about the traits in the Data Explorer is more difficult unfortunately. Obviously, we had started providing trait definitions together with Top-Thesaurus, but there currently is no funding to continue the project.|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2018-06-21 15:26:41||Dear Sarah - Thanks for the suggestion. I have added the TraitID to the output table.
|Sarah Dalrymple on 2018-06-21 12:09:20||Sorry, I also forgot to add that it would be really useful to have a list of trait units or categories (as appropriate) when you are exploring the data. For example, it would be interesting to know whether Seed (seedbank) longevity was a continuous variable (given in days perhaps) or a categorical variable such as transient or persistent. Also, an explanation of the traits would help to define whether this was longevity in an ex situ seed bank facility or it referred to the soil seed bank.
|Sarah Dalrymple on 2018-06-21 11:45:41||Dear TRY team,
Thank you for this amazing resource. I am a relatively new user and would like to request data for a given set of species which I have already defined in the data explorer. The data explorer returned a spreadsheet with the requested species and all available traits. Then, when I went to request these data, it asks for the traits by ID which the data explorer output does not provide. It would help the data request process enormously if the output of the data explorer gave the trait ID as well as the trait by name. I can find these through the MATCH function in excel but it would be much simpler if they were generated in the data explorer. If there is a simpler way to do this, please let me know.
Thanks again for your excellent work,
|Jens Kattge on 2018-05-09 09:56:15||Dear Mark, please accept my apologies for the slow response. According to our our documentation, you did not request trait data from TRY, but browsed the TRY Data Explorer for information about the traits. In this case the numbers indicate the numbers of records in TRY for a given trait and a given species. To request trait records from the TRY database, please go to: https://www.try-db.org/TryWeb/Prop0.php. We are sorry for the misunderstanding and added information to the webpages of the TRY Data Explorer, indicating they provide only information about the trait records in TRY, not the trait records themselves. We hope this will help to avoid this kind of misunderstandings in the future. With best wishes, Jens|
|Mark Thomas on 2018-04-24 13:44:58||Dear TRY, sorry, another question I thought of. If when I download a list of trait data for my species and it says 0 rather than another number, do I take it that it means zero or does it mean that nothing has been recorded for that species in particular? An example would be Leaf nitrogen (N) content per leaf dry mass, I have a few zeros but I wanted to know if that meant the weight was zero (as in none) or whether there isnt any data for that species. Many thanks, Mark|
|Mark Thomas on 2018-04-24 13:36:56||Dear TRY, thank you for the amazing work you do. I have downloaded trait data for my species list but have no way of understanding what the values mean. For instance, I have Photosynthesis pathway and it says definition under construction so I am not sure how to interpret the numbers. This is the same for the other traits I have. Is there some way to find out please? Mark|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2018-04-23 09:34:30||Dear Diego - first of all Rio is in the southern hemisphere and in the west, so the latitude and longitude must be negative. Second, you must always enter a range (maximum ranges are described on the page).
All the traits in TRY are described in the Data Explorer.|
|Diego Guarin on 2018-04-20 19:11:48||Good day members of TRYNET
I´m try to look at Data Explorer then Information By Region, and put the coordinates of the region in his case Rio de Janeiro which is Lat 22 and Long 40 but it says that the ranges of lat and long are too big if anybody can help me with that I really appreciate it.
and also I´m looking for plants traits that may indicate drought conditions in neotropical regions as the Mata Atlantica in Brazil.if somebody has information free feel to contact me
Diego Guarin firstname.lastname@example.org
M.Sc Student Nat. Rec. Management ITT Koeln.|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2018-03-27 11:34:15||Dear Yoni, you are required to talk to the custodians about publication involvement, if they wish. Citation of each original paper is required too. This can be done in an appendix, if restrictions of the journal leave no other option. If your request includes the restricted data, you can choose which datasets you want included in the output. Just be aware, there is only one data output per request. You are however welcome to submit as many requests as you want. You can use the Data Explorer to find out what traits and species from which datasets suit your project, before submitting requests. I hope this answers your questions. Gerhard|
|Yoni Gavish on 2018-03-27 11:19:34||Dear Jens Kattge/Gerhard Boenisch,
Thanks for compiling and managing the TRY database!
I have requested 109 traits for 236 tree species from 148 datasets. I am wondering if you could clarify some points regarding the usage of the TRY database when working with a large number of datasets.
1. From the 148 datasets, 34 requested to be involved in the publication. Does that mean all of them should be co-authors in any paper?
thats a lot of co-authors especially when the traits are a supporting analysis in the general workflow.
2. The guidelines state I should cite each of the 148 dataset separately in the method section, and some custodians actually ask for multiple citations. It would be impossible to cite all the datasets, especially with papers becoming shorter and journals limiting the total citations to about 60. what should I do?
3. Is it possible to first download a subset of the datasets that does not request publication involvement, and then review the other datasets if needed?
4. Eventually, I need traits that covers as many of the species in my species list. Ive submitted a big list of traits and species in my request, hoping to select the subset of traits that cover many species. Is there a way to generate a trait by species matrix at this stage with 1 and 0 (not the actual trait values)?
when clicking on the measurement/trait/species table I get the full datasets and not the subset of traits/species I asked for. Also, each of the measurement/trait/species table is not downloadable and need to be copy-pasted into excel for each dataset separately. This would take considerable time to process. How would you suggest reviewing the datasets if the aim is to have as large as possible fill of a species by trait matrix?
Sorry for the long question...
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2018-03-13 08:32:04||Dear Yolanda - Republication means it is allowed to make the data of the request used in a publication publicly available, if the journal requires it|
|Yolanda Chirango on 2018-03-12 15:07:47||Hi, Im in the process of selecting datasets for data release and one of the categories is Data Republication. What does that mean? |
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2017-11-02 11:27:19||Dear Marina
You are right. To receive all traits available for a list of species, you have to create the comma separated list of all trait IDs.
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2017-11-02 11:22:05||Dear Nicola
There is no way to ask for data from the TRY database by region. The reason is only a fraction of the data is geo-referenced and you would miss possible useful data.
The way to get the data is to ask for all traits and species you possibly need for your analysis. You will then receive the geo-references as part of the auxiliary data with the traits.
|Nicola Kuhn on 2017-10-25 18:12:56||Dear Jens Kattge/Gerhard Boenisch,
I am undertaking PhD work at the University of Oxford. I am looking for all available geo-located trait data for a particular region, as opposed to a particular list of traits or species. The current methods of extracting the data only allow me to extract in the latter way. Is there anyway I can extract by region?
Many thanks in advance for your time,
|Marina Cock on 2017-09-05 22:16:31||Dear TRY memmbers, Is there any way to require data of all traits available for a list of species? It seems that the systems require a list of traits. Another way to do it would be to require all the traits but I think that would end in a very long list. Thanks.|
|Jens Kattge on 2017-08-08 16:57:30||Dear Farnoush, please take a look at sPlot - the global vegetation database, which matches exactly to your requirements: https://www.idiv.de/?id=176&L=0
To get access to this database please contact:
Dr. Borja Jiménez-Alfaro
With best wishes,
|Farnoush Farahpour on 2017-08-08 16:36:11||Dear TRY members, I am a bioinformatic scientist and for a project I am looking for some datasets with basically few properties: 1- consist of many (more than 50) different samples (different space- and time points), 2- have complete list of species abundances and 3- have information about the trait of species or functional diversity of the samples. Unfortunately I can find none of these information in description of TRY datasets. If I request to get the data to figure out if it fulfills my criteria or not, it takes time to have access to them. Do you have any suggestion which can help me to find out which dataset I should I?|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2016-09-01 07:16:40||Dear Waleed - All plant species the database contains are listed in the Data Explorer (https://www.try-db.org/de/de.php - Information by Species).|
|Waleed Sawan on 2016-09-01 06:39:44||I am sorry. This may seem a basic question... but I cant seem to find where to search for a Plant on this database. Is the only way possible to search through IDs? |
|Jens Kattge on 2016-08-02 10:33:26||Dear Katherine, I am sorry for the problem. This does not seem to be related to the definition of the trait per se, but rather points to the need for sufficient additional information in the context of the given dataset. In this case this information seems to be missing. Please send me an email (jkattge at bgc-jena.mpg.de) with information on trait and dataset and we will send you the missing information and try to improve the dataset in TRY accordingly. |
|Katherine Ross on 2016-06-30 20:12:57||Sehr geehrter Herr Gerhard Boenisch,
I am working on a science education curriculum project that utilizes plant traits as statistics. I was wondering if there is a summary anywhere of what each trait is defined as, beyond the prototype one at: https://www.try-db.org/de/TabDetails.php.
For example there are traits like "tolerance to fire" which are given as numbers but the definition is "under construction." I can pull values for these observed traits but I dont know if 1 represents more tolerant or less tolerant, especially if there is a maximum value Im not aware of. Es tut mir leid if I am wasting your time.
Your help is much appreciated,
Danke schön, Katherine |
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2016-06-21 07:35:48||Dear Jessica - sorry this is supposed to be above the table. I do not know which site you are talking about and therefore cannot check. AccSpeciesID: Identifier for the accepted species name; ObsNum: Number of observations; ObsGRNum: Number of geo-referenced observations; MeasNum: Number of measurements; MeasGRNum: Number of geo-referenced measurements; TraitNum: Number of traits. I hope this helps.|
|Jessica Gurevitch on 2016-06-20 16:47:35||How do I find what the abbreviations stand for in a data base? I am looking at leaf longevity. The columns are:
"AccSpeciesID" "AccSpeciesName" "ObsNum" "ObsGRNum" "MeasNum" "MeasGRNum" "TraitNum"
Is there a place to find abbreviations, and other meta-data? Thanks! |
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2016-06-09 10:55:27||Dear Fabio - It is not possible to delete requests. However, you can abandon requests you no longer need as stated in the email. Either let us know by email, or do so online in the Request PI Center (https://www.try-db.org/TryWeb/Prop01.php)|
|Fabio Berzaghi on 2016-06-09 10:47:32||How to delete a try request that has not been submitted? I keep getting an email about a request for which I never asked the release of the data but since the query comes out empty I cant do anything.|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2016-03-24 18:39:21||Dear Thibault - I am sorry, I do not know what you mean by "traits: 327 (Treatment exposition)". We do not have such a trait in TRY as much as I know.|
|Thibault Costaz on 2016-03-24 17:51:14||Hello,
I am a master student working on the influence of tree foliar nutrient status on forest carbon sequestration in response to nutrient addition. I want to assess the C to N and C to P response of woody biomass pools in boreal, temperate and tropical forests against foliar nutrient (N and P) concentrations and N/P ratios. I use the TRY database to extrapolate critical nutrient threshold representing nutrient deficiency status for species in a given climate in order to characterise site fertility (Critical foliar nutrient concentration data are scarce). I would like to know where I can find more explanation on the traits: 327 (Treatment exposition) so I can refine the TRY dataset to non-fertilized observations.
Thank you for your help,
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2016-03-22 07:48:55||Dear Alexey - In https://www.try-db.org/TryWeb/Admin01.php is the link to the pdf TRY data release format. This describes the columns of the output file. It is also send with each data release.|
|Alexey Shiklomanov on 2016-03-21 22:07:54||Is there any possibility that you could make the data release information, and particularly the column header table, available in HTML format? This would make it possible to scrape via command line tools, as well as to facilitate things like printing it out for reference. Thanks!|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2015-11-18 07:37:11||Dear Xiao-Yu Chang - You have not advanced the requests far enough to ask for data. Go to https://www.try-db.org/TryWeb/Prop01.php, select the request from the first popup and follow the wizard until no more buttons appear on the website, i.e. you have answered all the questions needed to process the request. It is always indicated that you are not finished.|
|Xiao-Yu Chang on 2015-11-18 03:09:49||Hi dear, I have requested several times (Data Request 1363,1384) but there was not any feedback, and the Number of Trait Measurements showed nothing. Is there any problem with the system, or with my request? Thanks.|
|Jens Kattge on 2014-12-09 19:26:48||Dear Felipe, Thank you very much for letting us know! The best solution is to submit the new dataset to TRY and we will replace the older version in the next version of TRY. With the best wishes, Jens|
|Felipe Lenti on 2014-12-09 19:20:57||CORRECTION:
Hi, my name is Felipe and I am a contributor (DataSetID 274). My question is quite simple, I hope. I have now more accurate spatial information (coordinates) about my measurements, which I did not have at the time of submission. All the data was obtained at the same study site (Brasilia National Park); yet, individuals are scattered along two parallel, 5 km long sampling tracks, 1 km away from each other. Previous coordinates were relative to the center of the grid, but now we managed to georreferenciate each individual tree (lucky us, trees do not move!)
Do you think that would be relevant to the TRY DATABASE scale of work? If so, is there a way I can upgrade spatial data on my dataset?
I would also like to congratulate you guys on the new portal, it is neat and user friendly. Keep it up! Best feelings from Brazil. Felipe. |
|Felipe Lenti on 2014-12-09 19:17:39||Hi, my name is Felipe and I am a contributor (DataSetID 274). My question is quite simple, I hope. I have now more accurate spatial information (coordinates) about my measurements, which I did not have at the time of submission. All the data was obtained at the same study site (Brasilia National Park; yet, individuals are scattered along a 10 km x 1km sampling grid. Previous coordinates were relative to the center of the grid, but now we managed to georreferenciate each individual tree (lucky us, trees do not move!)
Do you think that would be relevant to the TRY DATABASE scale of work? If so, is there a way I can upgrade spatial data on my dataset?
I would also like to congratulate you guys on the new portal, it is neat and user friendly. Keep it up!
Best feelings from Brazil.
|Lilibeth Villablanca on 2014-08-25 17:15:26||Hi my name is Lilibeth
my cuestions is ¿What functional group corresponds each functional trait, is there any table with these data?.|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2014-03-31 10:01:30||Dear Etienne - I am sorry you will have to submit a proposal to get the data. The reason is the data in the database do not belong to the database managers but stay in the possession of the data contributors. The data managers do not have the right to release data without explicit permission from the data contributors. Submitting a proposal is the way to get permissions from them. - Cheers - Gerhard|
|MICHEL Etienne on 2014-03-17 15:16:47||Hi,
My name is Etienne and I have few questions about TRY Data Base. As a french student in a master degree on agriculture, I am involved in a project which focuses on estimation of plant forage value in the North of France (Plaine maritime Picarde). We have to create a guide which will help farmers to estimate the agro-ecological potential of their meadows. We have to use a non destructive methods based on another database called e-florasys. However some data are still missing and we would like to estimate their feeding value through the shoot C/N ratio (Tables ID 409). How can we get easily the information because I do not really understand how to answer TRY Proposal. Is there another way to get an access to download this table ?
Thank you very much for your dedication,
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2014-01-23 13:39:53||Dear Imogen and Linda-Maria - I assume you are referring to the output of the Data Explorer. Unfortunately, the TRY Intellectual Property Guidelines do not allow us to release trait data in the Data Explorer, the numbers provided are just numbers of measurements. If you want real data, you have to submit a Data Request in the Data Portal in the menu above.|
|Linda-Maria Mårtensson on 2014-01-13 08:44:27||Hello
I am using the TRY database for an trait-based analysis but can´t find translation from the value given in database into an apprehensible value - with units or categories. Could you recommend a site or publication for this? Will be most grateful for help!
|Jens Kattge on 2013-08-27 10:51:57|
A response to the post: Making a Case for a Fully Open Trait Database by Daniel Falster (Macquarie University) from August 23, 2913 at
Thank you very much for the thought-provoking and timely post at your website. There have been similar comments and questions with respect to open data access via TRY from others as well. Therefore here a response from Gerhard and me (TRY database management and coordination):
We agree with many of your arguments. But we would also like to mention that the TRY data policy, as defined in the Intellectual Property Guidelines of the TRY initiative and as mentioned in Kattge et al. 2011, explicitly encourages open access, but respecting the decision of the individual contributors under which conditions their data shall be made available. Not all data in TRY may therefore ever be open access. TRY may rather serve as a conveyor belt helping to move data from restricted to open access.
At the upcoming workshop of the TRY initiative we will present a suggestion how to exactly implement open access for plant trait data via the TRY website. Conventional data repositories, like DRYAD, provide access to non-processed whole datasets as they have been contributed. In contrast, TRY provides access to processed data for individual selections of traits and species across all contributed datasets. This is a non-trivial request to the database, as relations need to be preserved and respective auxiliary data released without duplication. However, if accepted at the workshop, the refined mode of data access can be set in place within a few months. We expect that a major part of the TRY database may then become open access.
In parallel a dataset of consolidated categorical plant traits for several 10,000 of species is already available open access via the TRY website: http://www.try-db.org/TryWeb/Data.php.
Apart from this you mention that open access does not mean without obligations: we very much agree, especially with your recommendation to cite the original references. This leads to the problem of excess-references. While we support the initiative linked at your post, indexing additional references in supplementary material may already be possible:
Information from ISI (December 2012):
“The formal policy is that we capture cited refs from supp mat if we know they are there. For example, if the ref list in the article says “additional references are in the supplementary files at: [weblink]”
(personal communication with D. J. Currie (editor GEB) and J. Penuelas)
However, the good news needs to be spread and the initiative supported:
You recommend no co-authorship for data contribution. We have no strong opinion about this. Within TRY we would prefer to leave this decision to the individual data owners. What about the opportunity of co-authorship for data processing? In the context of TRY we add corrected names of species and traits, we add standardized units and values, we add plausibility indices, we complement the data and we index duplicates. The opportunity to become involved in publications based on these processed data is a prerequisite for a scientist to coordinate the TRY initiative. If the curated data repository is well established and institutionalized, co-authorship may no longer be appropriate. Until then co-authorship for data processing might be a means to establish curated long term data repositories in a scientific context: data can be open access (based on consent of contributors), but with the obligations to cite the original references and invite database PIs for intellectual contribution and co-authorship in manuscripts decidedly based on these data.
Jens Kattge and Gerhard Boenisch
TRY Intellectual Property Guidelines:
Kattge et al. (2011) TRY – a global database of plant traits. Global Change Biology.
TRY Categorical Traits Look-up Table:
Open Letter to ISI Web of Knowledge, Google Scholar, and SciVerse Scopus:
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2013-03-22 12:49:18||Dear Godfrey, all species we have trait data for are listed on these websites. If yours are not mentioned, we unfortunately have no trait data of them.|
|Godfrey Oyema on 2012-12-16 20:20:29||I am Godfrey Oyema, MSc. Biology: human ecology at Vrije Universiteit Brussels. My thesis is on impacts of anthropogenic activities on indigenous species of Pugu Forest Reserve, Tanzania. I have a list of 109 species sampled during data collection, however all the species I have none is found in this database. I am in need of the traits of the species I have so that to link them with how they support species with disturbance regime. Kindly provide me with information|
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2012-03-26 08:32:55||Please leave your comments and suggestions here. |
|Gerhard Boenisch on 2012-03-22 12:50:50||Welcome to to TRY!|