Data Submission

Contributing data from your provenance study to the Center for Forest Provenance Data consists of three steps:


the Excel templates
from this web site

Download Templates

Downloading the Five Template Files

Information from provenance tests is submitted to the Center for Forest Provenance Data in five parts. To contribute data from your provenance study, you must download and complete an Excel file for each of the five components of the database. Each Excel file will be used to fill in the corresponding tables in the database. The spreadsheet program used is Microsoft Excel.

The five components of the database are:

1. Study Information. General information about the study including a name for the study, the type of study (field, nursery, greenhouse, or controlled-environment), the species involved, the overall number of accessions, provenances and test sites, general information about the geographic range of provenances, general description of the experimental design and traits measured, name of the current primary contact, citations for published results, and other information about the study.

2. Provenances/Accessions. Information about the geographic origin and collection of the plant material including identifiers for each accession, geographic locations of each accession (e.g., latitude, longitude, place names), characteristics of the source locations (e.g., elevation, aspect, slope, soils, etc.), and information about the collection of the plant material (date, names of collectors).

3. Test Sites. Information about the location and characteristics of the sites at which the provenances are tested including identifiers for each test site, geographic locations of each test site (e.g., latitude, longitude, place names), characteristics of the test sites (e.g., elevation, aspect, slope, soils, etc.), information about any treatments applied to all or parts of the test sites, accessability, and name of the local contact for the site.

4. Response Data. The data collected during the course of the study for a specific accession grown at a specific test site as well as information associated with each data record including the test site identifier, the accession identifier, information that indicates which specific plant or plot was measured (e.g., row/column location, tree number, or plot number), other classification variables that indicate location or treatments within the test site (e.g., replication, plot, treatment, etc.), numeric values or codes for each response variable, and metadata about each classification or response variable (full name of variable, description and units used, and any explanations for coded variables).

5. Contact Information. Information about the people involved in the study including their names, roles, and contact information.


the data from your
study into the Excel

Entering Your Data

Data for your specific provenance study is entered into each of the five template files. The Study Information template is an Excel file that is in the format of a form for which you enter general information about the study. The other four templates involve copying your Excel worksheet into the first worksheet of the template, then indicating which variables that are in each column in the second worksheet of the template (the "Metadata"). Types of variables to be entered are suggested in more detail below.

The first row of the first worksheet should be the variable names. Variable names must be consistent between database components – in particular, variable names for accessions and test sites. It is important to provide an adequate description of each variable in the metadata worksheet including the measurement units.


your Excel files back
to this web site

Upload Files

Uploading Your Files

To submit files (or retrieve files from the database), you must create a profile using an email address and password. The email address and password are used to log-in on subsequent visits when submitting or updating files. Creating a profile provides us contact information in case we need to contact you with questions or updates. The contact information will not be used for purposes unrelated to managing the database.

Once you have logged-in, submitting your data is simply a matter of choosing the files from your computer and clicking Submit.

The submission process allows users to enter all or part of the data at one time, and return to enter additional data in the future. You may enter:

  • • Only the study information
  • • All or a subset of accessions
  • • All or a subset of the test sites
  • • All or a subset of the response data
  • • Individual tree data or summary data such as means across plots, families, or provenances.

If submitting different parts of the data at different times, you must make sure that the data is directed towards the correct study by referencing the files to the correct assigned study number. Study numbers may be found by searching for studies in the Retrieve Data section. Additions may be done by either appending to the existing data or replacing files with new, updated files . Be careful when appending to existing data to make sure variables are consistent and in the correct columns.

If a researcher is concerned about releasing data before they have had the opportunity to analyze it, one possibility for encouraging collaboration is for a researcher to submit only the study information at this time. Potential collaborators could then learn about what is available and directly contact the scientist responsible for the study to discuss collaboration.

In addition to your completed Excel spreadsheets, it is also possible to submit accompanying information in pdf format such as sketch maps, information sheets, correspondence, longer explanations of measurements or codes, publications, original data sheets, or other historical records.

Although the submission process may involve some work on the part of the persons submitting data, we feel that the effort involved is worth the potential benefits of data sharing and collaboration among researchers, as well as preventing the loss of valuable data. If the work is too involved, please contact the project coordinator to explore other options for archiving your data. You may, for example, be able to send copies of datasheets and accompanying information for us to prepare for input into the database (as funding permits).