Information Management

"The LTER Network envisions a scientific community in which information management contributes to long-term data stewardship through development and implementation of data and design practices that support scientific research across LTER sites and among LTER and other environmental observing programs." [1]

At the Coweeta LTER, we pursue this vision through adherence to LTER Information Management Guidelines and NSF data management policies, as well as through the creative adoption of both open-source and proprietary tools for checking, curating, and distributing data. Our Executive Summary for Information Management Processes provides a good entry point for understanding the work we do to make data available. CWT IM  focuses heavily on collaboration, devoting significant time and energy to cooperative projects involving Coweeta investigators, other LTER Information Managers, and IT professionals on the University of Georgia campus. Finally, the Coweeta Information Management Office operates as a mentoring environment by providing jobs and training to senior-level undergraduates and graduate students in informatics, geographic information systems, and web development.

In every project and at every stage of work, our paramount concern is the quality of the information we provide. Policies and procedures within CWT IM are designed to ensure that:

  • integrity and accuracy of the data are maintained in transference from the researcher to the archives
  • electronic datasets are maintained through off-site backups
  • data is released to the public as soon as appropriate, but after the original collector has had reasonable opportunity for first publication of the information he or she collects
  • data that is not yet ready for release remains secure and is not distributed without the permission of the researcher responsible for the collection of the dataset
  • sensitive data that is inappropriate for public release (such as locations of endangered species or archaeological sites) remains private and secure
  • resources are provided such that researchers submitting data will be ensured that their data are curated in accordance with LTER EML guidelines

Coweeta's Information Management web pages provide a map of the services and systems available to Coweeta Investigators, LTER partners, and the public. Among these pages, the most important are the  Executive Summary for Information Management Processes and, for more details, the pages comprising the Information Management (IM) Guide. The IM Guide pages give Investigators a roadmap for their participation in Coweeta's Information Management efforts. The menu items above provide links to our additional services. For further information about IM at Coweeta, please contact the Information Manager.