Frequently Asked Questions

Questions on open notebook science and licensing

  • Why put your research results up on a publicly viewable and editable website?
  • The reasons for this are many. First, scientific research is a collaborative enterprise, and this site exists to facilitate open communication and collaboration between researchers, students, and others inside and outside of academia. Second, most scientific research is publicly funded via NSF, NIH, or other sources that ultimately derive their money from taxpayers. Because of this, it is natural that the fruits of this funding, including knowledge of the scientific process, research results, and discussions about the significance of these results be available to the public. Open access publishingand Open notebook scienceare increasingly becoming accepted norms for scientific research, and this site is in keeping with these philosophies. Finally, this site provides direct access to global change research and should be of interest to a broad segment of the public. We hope that this site will encourage those outside the "bubble" of academia to learn about matters of global change and to participate in the scientific process.

  • Are all your data and research results available, or only some subset you've already analyzed/published/modified?

  • I strive to post new methods, data, and results as quickly as possible, making this very much a "research in progress" site. Data presented on this wiki, including research results in tables and figures, are the product of putting raw data through some processing routine. This can include data selection/filtering, numerical analysis, and plotting figures, and it is usually accomplished usin Python, R, or Matlab scripts. The products of this data processing are what you see on the wiki. All of these products, even failed or problematic ones, will be posted as soon as I get around to it. I stress that they are unedited and haven't been peer reviewed. Thus, I do not guarantee the quality or accuracy of any research results you will find here.

  • Can I see the raw data and processing steps that led to your results?

  • One aim of this notebook is to make the methods and results of this research transparent and repeatable. Field and lab methods and data collection techniques will be well documented here. Data processing and analysis techniques, including the source code of all data processing/analysis scripts, will be available along with the results they generate. Raw data, including field measurements, datalogger storage files, weather station data streams, laboratory instrument output, et cetera, reside in text files or spreadsheets on a hard drive somewhere. Because these are typically large files and are sometimes formatted in a non-user-friendly way I'm not going to post them right on the wiki. Upon request I'm happy to provide any raw data, especially if I know a little about who you are and what you would like to use the data for. Just email me at This data will probably come with a data sharing policy, and again, I make no guarantees about the quality, accuracy, or safety of any of this material. For more on copyright and licensing information see the copyrightpage.

  • Are there any exceptions to this "Open Notebook" policy?

  • Yes. In some cases the data used in this research is provided by collaborators, ie. it is not collected by me. In these cases I can't post research results or otherwise provide the data without their permission, which they may not give.