Strategic plan and data policy ESBMN

The ESBMN was established in 2016 as an international network of researchers/specialists involved in stag beetle monitoring and was built on the basis of previous scattered and non-organized scientific collaboration among some of the participants. Members represent (alone or in group) different national or regional monitoring networks (schemes). The ESBMN mission is to realise a population density monitoring of the European stag beetle with the aim to regularly asses local as well as international population changes. Our vision is to monitor and review the species status at the full scale of its range with a uniform methodology. The strategy is the inclusion of specialists from all countries within the stag beetles’ range that are willing to set up and maintain a regional or national schemes of monitoring transects.


New members first join as observers and become full member as soon as their monitoring scheme has started up. Each scheme has one main contact/responsible but other responsible persons can join the network as well (as a rule of thumb, limited to three contacts per scheme). We don’t accept overlapping schemes that compete for the monitoring  and volunteers in the same region. Acceptance of new members happens by majority of members and unanimous approval of other people representing the same country or region. Each monitoring scheme remains in charge of their own outreach, training and communication to volunteers.

Members that want to leave can do and gain a copy of the data of their region or country. If multiple people represent that region or country, they must agree on data ownership and usage rights before a copy can be granted.


The ESBMN provides:

  • a standardised monitoring protocol
  • a website with general info on the species, its treats, conservation, …
  • a website that allows data entering, storage and management
  • a yearly newsletter
  • social media channels
  • exchange of best practices between countries in setting up a network of transects
  • cooperation in scientific research, analyses and publications on the monitoring data
  • cooperation in research project proposals

To manage the ESBMN, we will organise two online meetings per year (before and after the stag beetle season) to discuss new initiatives and exchange experiences.

Data policy

The data policy states that the individual volunteers maintain ownership of the data they upload to the ESMN website but the people responsible for that scheme (scheme representatives) gain usage rights to use the data at national or regional scale or for international collaboration within ESBMN. The individual volunteers can thus share their data with any third party, publish or process it or withhold their participation and data to the ESBMN. A country representative can only publish the rough data as open access with approval of the volunteer and other scheme representatives of that region or country. However, scheme representative(s) can process and analyse the data from regional or national scale integrating data from multiple transects and volunteers and publish on integrated results. Each scheme representative has access to the data of their country by an administrator password. Some members collect and store transect data on their own facilities due to differences in legislation or policies and consequently other data policies can apply there. These members will yearly provide a copy of the newly collected data in a predefined format. Regions or countries that use the ESBMN website should yearly check and approve the quality of the data entered by volunteers.

Research cooperation and publications

Within the ESBMN, Any member or group of members can propose international cooperation for scientific analysis and request data from other areas. These requests are send to all members of the ESBMN. At this stage (phase 1), members agree freely to study that specific topic. As much as possible, these cooperation’s will be undertaken in a joined effort with all members together. All members who agreed upon the theme and therefore provided their own dataset or expertise, will receive the first draft of results from analyses. At this stage, each member will decide whether to continue to be involved in the publication process or withdraw their data and participation (phase 2). Members who agreed upon the specific topic and therefore provided their own dataset or expertise and/or actively participated in the publication process will be co-authors of the scientific publications derived from the related analyses. The order of co-authors in scientific publications will be agreed upon by all participating members case by case. The final stage concerns the formalisation of the manuscript on the specific topic and its submission for publication (phase 3). Members withdrawal of dataset for use in the publication process of the specific theme is not permitted after phase 2, while the right to withdraw co-authorship stands.

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