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LET TERS Australias long-term ecological

research projects are at risk.

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Edited by Jennifer Sills in global initiatives such as the International
LTER will be impaired. The LTER network
Academics can help
Save Australias is part of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research
Network (TERN), funded by Australias
shape Wikipedia
ecological research government (5). TERNs inclusion of existing
LTER capability provided a template that
Public understanding of science is increas-
ingly important. Wikipedia is widely used
Australia will lose its integrated long-term others in Europe, China, and South Africa by students, educators, researchers, doctors,
ecological research (LTER) network at the have followed. Discontinuing the LTER net- journalists, and policy-makers. The online,
end of 2017 (1). The network comprises work within TERN will therefore undermine crowd-sourced encyclopedia site is per-
more than 1100 long-term field plots within global cohesion in environmental research ceived as increasingly trustworthy, making
temperate forests, rainforests, alpine grass- and monitoring. it a key public engagement platform with
lands, heathlands, deserts, and savannas, At a time when the United States immediate impacts on scientific literacy (1).
with an unparalleled temporal depth in is increasing funding for its LTERs by Now is an important time in the evolution
biodiversity data. Its many achievements US$5.6M annually (6), and other nations of the encyclopedia. Its parent organization,
include Australias first published trend are rapidly building substantial LTER the Wikimedia Foundation, is working to
data for key ecosystems (2) and a suite of capacity, terminating Australias LTER shape its strategic focus through to 2030.
IUCN ecosystem risk assessments (3). network is totally out of step with interna- This represents an unprecedented opportu-
Long-term ecological data are criti- tional trends and national imperatives. To nity for the global scientific community to
cal for quantifying environmental and prevent the collapse of the LTER network advise on its future. Wikipedia has discus-
biodiversity change and identifying its and prevent the resulting irreversible sion pages for users to provide feedback on
causes. LTER is especially important in impacts of breaking current time-series, some of the upcoming challenges (2).
Australia because many of the countrys urgent and direct investment by the The scientific community can improve
ecosystems are subject to frequent climatic Australian government is crucial. Wikipedia on a more granular level by
extremes. Continuity of long-term research David Lindenmayer and learning to edit the encyclopedia in areas
and monitoring, and broader use of exist- 68 additional authors that need improvement. Poorly written
ing time series data by science and policy College of Medicine, Biology, and Environment, articles can mislead readers and give a
communities, are crucial for measuring Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, false impression of a research field. The
Australia. Email: david.lindenmayer@anu.edu.au
impacts of current unprecedented global recent introduction of a new editing inter-
environmental change and reliably predict- The full list of authors is available online. face has made the encyclopedia as easy
ing future impacts. REFERENCES
to edit as a Word document, and a short
Long-term research and monitoring is 1. TERN, Quarterly Newsletter, Issue 16 (2017); 2014 article outlines some editing advice
also essential to understanding relation- www.ozflux.org.au/publications/newsletter/ for scientists (3).
ships between the economy, ecosystems, and SuperSitesOzFluxCZONewsletter_Issue16_July2017.pdf. Wikipedia is increasingly engaging
2. D. B. Lindenmayer, E. Burns, N. Thurgate, A. Lowe, Eds.,
risks to human well-being (4). The loss of Biodiversity and Environmental Change: Monitoring,
expert communities to improve accu-
Australias LTER network will substantially Challenges and Direction (CSIRO Publishing, racy and coverage. Interested parties can
diminish resource managers ability to judge Melbourne, Australia, 2014). contribute to several existing collabora-
3. D. A. Keith, Austral. Ecol. 40, 337 (2015).
the effectiveness of management interven- tive initiatives or propose new ones. For
PHOTO: THPSTOCK/ISTOCKPHOTO

4. D. B. Lindenmayer et al., Austral. Ecol. 40, 213 (2015).


tions on which billions of dollars are spent 5. Long Term Ecological Research Network (www.ltern.org.au). example, some academic journals (such as
annually (such as vegetation restoration 6. Nature 543, 469 (2017). PLOS Computational Biology, Gene, and
and invasive species control). Ending the WikiJournal of Medicine) have agreed to
SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIA LS
network will also jeopardize sustainability www.sciencemag.org/content/357/6351/557/suppl/DC1
dual-publish articles as both a citable publi-
assessments of resource-based industries Full author list cation and Wikipedia page (4). The Cochrane
such as agriculture and forestry. Moreover, library, a collection of health care data-
Australias capacity to participate effectively 10.1126/science.aao4228 bases, has a similar quality-improvement

SCIENCE sciencemag.org 11 AUGUST 2017 VOL 357 ISSUE 6351 557


Published by AAAS
INSIGHTS | L E T T E R S

partnership to help integrate optimal scien- of the central Tibetan Plateau started in
tific references into the encyclopedia (5). the early Holocene without the support
Finally, the new Wikidata system of an agropastoral economy. By care-
stores machine-readable, structured data, ful examination, we find that neither the
complementary to the prose format of the archaeological evidence nor the travel
encyclopedia. Integrating Wikidata with cost modeling provided by Meyer et al.
scientific databases provides new opportu- could support the permanent human
nities to discover, curate, and use scientific occupation assertion.
knowledge within and across domains (6). Full text: dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aam8273
Thomas Shafee,1* Daniel Mietchen,2
Andrew I. Su3 Response to Comment on Permanent
1
La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC 3086, Australia. human occupation of the central Tibetan
2
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903, Plateau in the early Holocene
USA. 3The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA
Socially responsible fishing practices could lead to W. R. Haas, M. S. Aldenderfer,
92037, USA.
overfishing to recoup labor costs. M. C. Meyer
*Corresponding author.
Email: t.shafee@latrobe.edu.au Zhang et al. contest that Chusang was part
sustainable development target on the of an annual mobility round that more
REFERENCES others, researchers concluded that ending likely included seasonal use of high-
1. D. Jemielniak, E. Aibar, J. Assoc. Inform. Sci. Technol. 67, overfishing is the most common prerequi-
1773 (2016). elevation environments than permanent
2. Wikimedia movement, Strategy 2030 (https://meta.
site for the success of other targets on the use. We show that their probabilistic state-

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wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/ United Nations sustainable development ment hinges on indefensible claims about
Wikimedia_movement/2017/Participate). plan (1). Overfishing cannot be used to pay
3. D. W. Logan, M. Sandal, P. P. Gardner, M. Manske, A. hunter-gatherer mobility. In the context
Bateman, PLOS Comput. Biol. 6, 10.1371/journal.
for fundamental human rights. of quantitative data from hunter-gatherer
pcbi.1000941 (2010). At the UN Oceans Conference, several ethnography, our travel model shows that
4. T. Shafee, J. Heilman, G. Masukume, M. Hggstrm, companies, along with environmental seasonal-use models are highly unlikely to
Wikipedias medical content: A new era of collaboration,
organizations and some national govern- explain Chusang.
WikiMedia Foundation Blog (2016).
5. S. de Haan, Wikipedia: An important dissemina- ments, endorsed the Tuna 2020 Traceability Full text: dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aam9444
tion tool for Cochrane, Cochrane Community Declaration (2). The Declaration commits
(2017); http://community.cochrane.org/news/ not only to catching or sourcing socially
wikipedia-important-dissemination-tool-cochrane. Comment on Permanent human occupa-
6. S. Burgstaller-Muehlbacher et al., Database 2016, responsible tuna but also to combatting tion of the central Tibetan Plateau in the
10.1093/database/baw015 (2016). illegal fishing, implementing sustainable early Holocene
fishing practices, recovering overfished
10.1126/science.aao0462 David D. Zhang and Sheng-Hua Li
stocks, and moving fisheries manage-
Meyer et al. (Reports, 6 January 2017, p.
ment toward the development and use of
64) suggest a new chronology for perma-
Fishing responsibly previously agreed-upon harvest control
rules when making management decisions.
nent human occupation of Tibet based on
their dating of the travertine and colluvium
and sustainably Through the language of the Declaration,
the endorsers demonstrated their joint
deposits that contain or are deposited
near fossil human handprints and foot-
In their Policy Forum Committing to commitment to social and environmental
prints. However, misinterpretations in both
socially responsible seafood (2 June, p. responsibility. This can be a model for other
stratigraphic reconstruction and dating
912), J. N. Kittinger et al. do an admirable seafood products around the world.
job of highlighting the need for marine sci- Grantly R. Galland data may have caused the newly proposed
entists to catch up with other stakeholders age of these human imprints to have been
Galland Consulting, Washington, DC 20009, USA.
in the growing discipline of socially respon- Email: ggalland@gmail.com seriously underestimated.
sible food. However, efforts to provide and Full text: dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aam9231
REFERENCES
research socially responsible seafood should 1. G. G. Singh et al., Mar. Policy 10.1016/ Response to Comment on Permanent
not replace the work to ensure that seafood j.marpol.2017.05.030 (2017).
human occupation of the central Tibetan
is sustainably managed. 2. D. Waughray, Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration:
Stopping illegal tuna from coming to market Plateau in the early Holocene
Unfortunately, fishing operations can use
(World Economic Forum, 2017); www.weforum.org/
their efforts to combat the socioeconomic M. C. Meyer, D. L. Hoffmann, M. S.
agenda/2017/06/tuna-2020-traceability-declaration-
problems associated with industrial- stopping-illegal-tuna-from-coming-to-market/. Aldenderfer, W. R. Haas, J. A. Dahl,
ized fishing as an excuse to let slip their Z. Wang, D. Degering, F. Schltz
commitments to sustainable fishing. As 10.1126/science.aao0531
We show that Zhang and Lis sedimento-
Kittinger et al. rightly point out, bad actors logical model for the Chusang travertine
engaging in social malpractice depress the neglects the three-dimensional information
cost of seafood and simultaneously allow from multiple outcrops and that their
TECHNICAL COMMENT ABSTRACTS optically stimulated luminescence (OSL)
for overexploitation over the long term.
PHOTO: DUYBOX/ISTOCKPHOTO

However, efforts to solve social issuessuch Comment on Permanent human occupation age of about 20,000 years for the human
as increased wages, improved living condi- of the central Tibetan Plateau in the early imprints is untenable. We highlight the
tions, and access to better food and health Holocene robustness of our chronology and explore
careshould not be used as incentives to Dongju Zhang, Naimeng Zhang, Jian Wang, reasons why Zhang and Lis OSL age is a
catch and sell more fish in the short term Bibu Ha, Guanghui Dong, Fahu Chen gross overestimation of the real deposi-
in order to offset the true cost of labor. In a Meyer et al. (Reports, 6 January 2017, p. 64) tional age of the imprinted travertine.
recent study of the impacts of each marine claim that permanent human occupation Full text: dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aan8575

558 11 AUGUST 2017 VOL 357 ISSUE 6351 sciencemag.org SCIENCE

Published by AAAS
Academics can help shape Wikipedia
Thomas Shafee, Daniel Mietchen and Andrew I. Su

Science 357 (6351), 557-558.


DOI: 10.1126/science.aao0462

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