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This tutorials below will help you start using the Ecological Data Wiki to find data, keep track of datasets that you are interested in, and even contribute new information to the wiki in just a few minutes. Click a link to jump to the tutorial you want or just read the page from top to bottom for a full overview.

Finding Data

Finding data sets that fit your needs should be easy. Just click on the Find Data tab in the main menu.


From this page you can browse available data sets, quickly focusing in on the data you need by selecting the desired categories from the box on the left side of the screen. For instance, the quick search below returns data on birds that involves either observational data or time series data (or both):


Selecting multiple check boxes within a category returns data sets that have data from either category. So selecting both Birds and Mammals will return all of the data sets that include birds, all of the data sets that include mammals, and any data sets that include both. Selecting check boxes in different categories returns data sets that match all of the categories. So selecting Birds and Tropical Forest will return data sets that include data on birds in tropical forests.

You can also search for data using the search boxes located at the top left corner of the Find Data page or at the very top right corner of the site. Just type in the words that describe the data you want and you'll get a list of sites that match your interests. Using the search box will search the full text of all data set pages, but currently does not search the categories associated with a data set.

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Bookmarking Datasets

To bookmark a dataset just scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Bookmark this link. You can see a list of your bookmarked datasets on the My Data Wiki page. 

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Getting a username and password

We'll be allowing user signups shortly, so check back soon. Once active, getting a username will allow you to add datasets and edit currently existing pages. If you are interested in doing this in the future please CLICK HERE to submit your email to receive updates. 

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Adding a Dataset

Having users (that's you!) add new datasets and improve the information for those already on the site is crucial to this effort. Any information you have about a dataset can be useful, even if it is just creating a page with a title so that other folks know the dataset exists and can help to expand the article. You must have a username and password to edit pages on this website [Tips on Getting a Username and Password]. Then follow these simple steps:

  1. Conduct a search for the dataset you wish to add to avoid adding duplicate datasets (we recommend searching by author if the dataset has an official citation)
  2. Choose Add Dataset from the toolbar
  3. Assign the page a descriptive title (e.g., North American Breeding Bird Survey)
  4. Select terms that describe the dataset from the list of Vocabularies on the right of the page
  5. Add whatever additional information you have about the dataset in the Body dialogue box (you can use this template as a guide to get you started).
  6. Choose Submit to publish your page.

Remember, we all benefit from any information on datasets no matter how partial. If you only have a few minutes or a small amount of information go ahead and start a page. You can always come back and improve it later.

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Editing a Dataset

Helping complete or edit unfinished dataset pages is essential for the effectiveness of this website. You can spend as little as a few seconds fixing a typographic error or as much time as you need communicating the best uses and issues associated with using a dataset. You must have a username and password to edit pages on this website [Tips on Getting a Username and Password]. Then follow these simple steps:

Log on to the website. (ADD SCREENSHOTS FOR EACH STEP?)

Choose the dataset you wish to edit.

Click Edit on the sub menu.



Make changes to the page using the dialog box and icons provided.

Describe what you did in the Log Message box.

Click Submit.

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Contributing to the Talk/Forum Pages

Adding a comment about a dataset page is extremely simple.

Find the Talk link on the sub-toolbar on a dataset page.



Insert a comment in the dialog box and choose Submit.

Contributing to the forum is extremely similar to talk with a few added steps to start.

Choose the Forum tab from the toolbar or CLICK HERE.

Choose the Forum Topic that is most appropriate for your use.
 Currently ony one forum (Data Wiki Planning) has been created.

Choose the New Topic tab if you have a new dialogue you'd like to start or pick an ongoing conversation and continue similarly to the Talk procedure.

Insert a comment in the dialog box and choose Submit. Ensure there is an appropriate and descriptive title if you have started a New Topic.

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Reporting an Issue

From the toolbar choose Report an Issue or CLICK HERE.

Insert a descriptive title about the issue (e.g. "Underlines used in formating text do not show up in published page").

Add additional details to the body of the dialogue box.

Choose appropriate client (

Choose Submit.

You will be automatically subscribed to the support ticket and will receive emails to update you on the status of the problem. To reply to the ticket, simply reply to the email you have recieved from Issues are not limited to bugs related to the operating software. If something isn't where you think it should be or is confusing to wok with please let us know. The Forum [CLICK HERE] is an additional venue for dialogue regarding the fucntionality and most appropriate content of the website.

Thanks for your concerns, comments, gripes, inputs, querries, memmorandum, and all the rest ahead of time!

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