The data contained in are based on the shared vision and hard work of hundreds of people across the globe. We all want to see this collaborative effort continue and grow, and so we have a code of conduct that we ask those interested in joining us to first read and sign.


Our code of conduct aims to ensure co-operation, collaboration and trust among participants, support the long-term future of, and allow the exciting scientific potential of this collaborative endeavour to be released.


A major aim of is to promote long-term collaborations amongst tropical forest researchers across the world. We therefore ask that:

  • All users of the data discuss with other current participants, such as the principal researcher, project grant holder and field lead, the research question that 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 is not publicly available: the transfer of any data between project participants does not imply the transfer of rights to publication of the data.
  • 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


Contribute depends on contributions of high quality forest plot data and support for the management and development of the resource. To protect the rights of partners who have laboured for years for their hard-won data, to also ensure that these data become part of the scientific process, and to support the long-term future of the observational effort:

  • We request that all leaders of multi-site analyses reinvest in developing the network, by uploading their own data into, and/or funding recensuses and expansion of the plot networks into under-sampled regions, and/or contributing to the costs of database management and functionality.
  • 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 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. 
  • Potential commercial users or large consortia contribute financially 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 commitment to train the next generation of tropical forest scientists and ensure that informs land-use policy in the tropics. We therefore ask that:

  • Users encourage analyses led by scientists from tropical forest countries.
  • Users encourage and mentor junior participants to develop Masters and PhD theses.
  • Users promote recognition of project findings in the international policy process in such policy-related fora as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
  • Users contribute data and results to protected areas management plans.



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