FTA data principles

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Quality assurance

FTA’s data are assessed according to CGIAR’s ‘quality of research for development’ (QoR4D) framework. This framework, developed with strong methodological contributions from FTA, comprises criteria for relevance, credibility, legitimacy and effectiveness.

FTA deploys a peer-review process to assess its high-level featured datasets. Before publication, these datasets need to be positively reviewed against our data quality standards by a minimum of two scientists who have not been involved in any part of the data process under review.

Complementing this assessment process, all FTA data meet the ‘FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship’. Thus, FTA data are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR).


FTA datasets offer a key contribution to a well-defined research question of importance to forests, trees and agroforestry, and contribute to FTA’s Theory of Change. The datasets are important, significant to, and useful for, the research objectives, processes and findings, and are relevant to the problem context and society.


Data are generated through a rigorous research design; they are complete, curated and cleaned. Data, the underlying methods and related findings are robust, and sources of knowledge are dependable and sound.


Data have been collected following both Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) and the research ethics guidelines of FTA, ensuring the underlying research process is fair and ethical and perceived as such, including proper representation of all involved and consideration of interests and perspectives of intended users. Gender considerations, and thus a gender lens, are reflected in the data collected.


Datasets and related products and services are accessible and well positioned for uptake and use (by researchers and stakeholders), including capacity development and proper support to the enabling environment. Data on the FTA website are also available and accessible on Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) interoperable repository sites such as Dataverse. Data are also described by sufficient metadata (CG-Core).

If you use FTA data in any way, we would be happy to hear from you and support the visibility of your work by publishing a data story on your research. To submit a data story, click here.

Terms of use

Data on the FTA website apply the Community Norms of Dataverse, where the data are originally deposited. These Community Norms, as well as good scientific practices, expect that proper credit is given via citation. All data are subject to the relevant licensing agreements.

Licensing and citation

Where specifically stated, these data and documents are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. In these instances, you may copy, distribute and transmit the data as long as you acknowledge the source through proper data citation.

Some FTA data and documents are licenced under CC0 – Public Domain Dedication. In these instances, all copyright has been waived. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. Good scientific practice still requires proper data citation.

In some cases, data files are restricted for use. Please see individual datasets and files for details.

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