Recommendations for establishing global collaborative networks in soil ecology

  • Fernando T. Maestre Departamento de Ecología, Universidad de Alicante, Carretera de San Vicente del Raspeig s/n, 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante, Spain; Instituto Multidisciplinar para el Estudio del Medio “Ramón Margalef”, Universidad de Alicante, Carretera de San Vicente del Raspeig s/n, 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante, Spain
  • Nico Eisenhauer German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103 Leipzig, Germany; Leipzig University, Institute of Biology, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Keywords: international collaboration, environmental issues, distributed experiments, distributed observations

Abstract

The complexity and transnational nature of environmental issues our societies are facing, and the need to build scientific capacity building in many regions of the world, require the establishment of global collaborative research networks that include a diverse representation of scientists from multiple geographical, cultural and socio-economical backgrounds. This topic is currently gaining relevance in the field of soil ecology, as awareness is increasing that recognizing, addressing, and predicting the changes that soils are facing requires global collaboration. However, the setup, management and operation of research networks imply multiple tasks and challenges that need to be carefully considered. While major issues related to the setup of such networks in ecology have already been described in the literature, here we focus on aspects that are important to make them truly global and inclusive. For doing so, we introduce a series of recommendations to successfully develop research networks that: i) explore ecological questions requiring data with a global coverage and ii) foster the participation of scientists who have been traditionally underrepresented in international research collaborations. These recommendations, which are based on our own experience, also provide practical advice to anyone aiming to initiate (or join) a global collaborative research network to the mutual benefit of all contributors.

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Published
2019-12-01
How to Cite
Maestre, F. T., & Eisenhauer, N. (2019). Recommendations for establishing global collaborative networks in soil ecology. SOIL ORGANISMS, 91(3), 73–85. https://doi.org/10.25674/so91iss3pp73
Section
ARTICLES