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Contribute Data to TRY

You are welcome to contribute plant trait (and other) data to the TRY initiative at any time. Benefits of submitting data are potential co-authorships and citations in case the data are used in publications.

The best way to submit data is to upload them.

You can also send data by email. However we recommend the upload, because this will give us the required information.

The status of data contributed to TRY is defined by the Intellectual Property Guidelines of the TRY initiative (pdf). Contribution to TRY does not surrender ownership of the data: The contributor remains owner of the data. Each contributor of data on plant traits will retain the right to be informed of any TRY activity that may involve his/her data, and will have the opportunity to negotiate whether his/her data can be used, and whether general guidelines of authorship need to be modified in that particular case. Trait contributors retain the rights to withdraw his/her data at any time. The data will not be handed to third parties without explicit permission of the data owner. The owner may however provide a general permission to make the data publicly available, if not wished to be bothered by continuous requests.

In case of data contribution, we need some additional information about the dataset and traits. Auxiliary information like geo-reference or soil information is greatly appreciated and will improve the value of your data for re-use.The information about the dataset and traits is consistent with the requirements defined by the Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity.


  • Dataset owner: Name and affiliation of the dataset owner (and if possible a deputy). The dataset owner will be contacted or informed each time the data are requested from the TRY database or if the dataset is downloaded, in case the dataset has been declared public.
  • Dataset name: This name will be used for the dataset in the context of TRY.
  • Dataset reference: If the dataset has been have been published, or used in publication. This reference will be cited if the data are being reused via TRY.

Trait Data:

  • Names of the traits
  • Short description
  • Units (if appropriate)

Auxilliary Data:

  • Date and time of sampling or measurement (if appropriate)
  • Information about exposition of plants during growth
    • If data are from natural environment: Geo-reference, site and soil information (if available)
    • If data are from experimental growth conditions: short description of exposition facility, temperate, light, soil substrate, nutrition etc.
  • Information about the developmental state of plants and organs (mature / juvenile)
  • Information about the health status of the plants (healthy / non-healthy)
  • Information about measurements (e.g. methods, conditions during measurement; if appropriate)

There are no special requirements for the format of data contribution. Trait data are accepted in any way as long as they are explicitly related to plant species. The preferred format is MS Excel with species information, traits and auxiliary data in columns and observations in rows.

Example for most appreciated format of data contribution.

If you would like to learn more about the data sharing policy within TRY or contribute a dataset of plant traits to the TRY database, please contact us!

Disclaimer Page calls: 16447 Gerhard Boenisch, Jens Kattge, created 2011-11-01, modified 2018-05-09