Data and information management for the LTER-Europe network


A key feature of LTER is the need for long-term management of data and information. Because LTER activities are planned with a long-term view, careful consideration is given to data management, storage of specimens, locations of measurement plots and so on. Data management in particular is an important issue within the LTER community, and there is much activity to improve methods of long-term data management, data sharing and provision of access to data.

Data as well as metadata are managed by the different sites and platforms and because there are many different data owners, storage systems and data formats, using these data in an combined way often presents technical and legal challenges. The LTER community is, therefore, working hard to overcome these difficulties. Work has been progressing via several projects (ALTER-Net, EnvEurope, ExpeER) and in partnership with other ILTER members. This work continues in the eLTER H2020 project (2015-2019).

Want to reference a site in a publication? Use the DEIMS.ID! Resolvable - Persistent - Stable

DEIMS-SDR - Dynamic Ecological Information Management System Site and Dataset Registry

DEIMS-SDR, which is operated by ILTER, US LTER and LTER-Europe, provides extensive metadata on LTER sites, LTSER platforms, datasets and personnel. It provides a central repository for much LTER-related information. Its functions and content are being further developed in the eLTER H2020 project.

Data Reporting Format

Based on first evaluations within the EnvEurope project eLTER H2020 worked on the development of a basic vocabulary to describe the data reporting format. The eLTER Data Reporting Format is based on the experience of ICP Integrated Monitoring as well as related networks. Data provided in the defined structure as CSV or XLS document can be uploaded to any file share. Documentation of the datasets can be provided via DEIMS-SDR.

The Data Reporting Format consists of the basic description of the data elements and an example reporting file consisting all the information. 

The related concepts are also described in the eLTER (H2020) project D3.3 Data formats.


The Environmental Thesaurus (Envthes) is providing a unified semantic backbone for the provision of data in the eLTER context. Envthes is used to provide keywords in metadata as well as to annotate variable names.


LTER-Europe is a Member Node of the Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE), a community driven project providing access to data across multiple member repositories, supporting enhanced search and discovery of Earth and environmental data. Some European LTER datasets are searchable via the DataONE data portal.

Further information

For further information on information management in LTER-Europe, please contact Johannes Peterseil, johannes.peterseil @

Filed under: RD-03