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TERN AEKOS empowers research, government and land management professionals to reliably forecast and report on biodiversity patterns and ecosystem processes nationally by delivering trusted services for publishing, accessing and understanding ecology data for its many uses

AEKOS infrastructure offers pre-publication dataset submission for ‘peer review’ and publishing to an open repository with unique DOIs and permanent URLs. It provides access to plot data at the site level with full knowledge about how to use it accurately, and data usage tracking in the Data Citation Index. Datasets stored in AEKOS will be tracked by the DCI to provide data authors with a citation count and the means to track research outputs that flow from their data being used by other researchers.

We are part of Australia’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN), which delivers an integrated, multi-disciplinary, national observing system for Australian ecosystems. Our primary goal is to assist in the production of ecosystem science data products designed specifically for Australian conditions. We work collaboratively across Australian science and natural resource management organisations to provide infrastructure that enables data collection, calibration, validation, synthesis, and development of new knowledge. AEKOS is hosted by The University of Adelaide.

TERN AEKOS focuses on ecological plot data that are generated by land-based ecosystem projects that use survey, monitoring and experimental studies to collect raw data on plants, animals (including traits) and their immediate environments at the same location. Plot data are observations sampled by using scientific techniques such as quadrats, grids, transects, animal trap arrays and other structured sampling techniques. Our data partners include facilities within TERN, biodiversity-centric NCRIS capabilities, state and territory governments, universities and CSIRO.

The sustainability of AEKOS is secure up to 2019 and assured until 2026. TERN has repository closure arrangements in place with The University of Queensland and The University of Adelaide to keep AEKOS operational, should funding cease in the future. TERN is increasingly seeking funding partnerships with the global environment sector to complement NCRIS funding so that its data infrastructure is sustainable.