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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database


We are proud to announce our first series of SESMAD publications, appearing in a special issue of the International Journal of the Commons (http://www.thecommonsjournal.org). These are each listed under the “publications” page of the home tab.


Welcome to the website for the social-ecological meta-analysis database (SESMAD) project! The goal of this project is to enable highly comparable case analyses of a diversity of social-ecological systems. The SESMAD project is unique in several respects. First and foremost, it is a collaboration that began with fourteen young scientists from diverse backgrounds, each trained to consistently code data into a common database. The SESMAD project began during a conference held by the Resilience Alliance in the spring of 2010. During this conference, a group known as the Resilience Alliance Young Scholars (RAYS) met and formed teams oriented around particular projects. SESMAD was one of those projects. Project members became part of the project either through their affiliation with RAYS or with the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University, a well-recognized leading center in the synthetic institutional study of small-scale common-pool resource management.

An additionally unique aspect of SESMAD is that it entails the development of tools and an approach as much as it involves the production of scientific results. In addition to serving as the hub for the work done by the core SESMAD team, this website, and the database it supports, is designed serve as a tool for a variety of collaborative research projects.

The core group is focusing on the use of meta-analytic methods to analyze large-scale environmental problems and systems such as the Great Barrier Marine Park and Ozone Depletion. The website and database, however, are capable of assisting in data collection and organization of any type of SES. Several pilot projects are under way which involve novel fieldwork and are guided by the use of the SESMAD approach.

Site Content:

This site serves as an interface with the SESMAD database. This is done with the series of tabs that are present on each page. The first two of these (Introduction and Manual) provide an introduction to the project.

The manual tab provides both a (1) in-depth guide to the structure of the SESMAD database, and (2) a much briefer data entry guide. These cover similar content. The manual tab can also be used by any user to browse the variables that are available to be measured via the database, the studies that users have either published themselves or used to code a case, and to browse through any surveys that were used to collect data for a case.

The next three tabs (Cases, Components and Theories) are used to add, edit, and browse data that describe social-ecological systems.

While only registered members of the SESMAD team can add or edit data, casual users can explore each of the above-mentioned tabs and can browse through the variables, cases, and theories involved. Every object in the database can be viewed on its own page in a wiki-like fashion.


If you would like to use this database or any of its content for your own research you are free to do so. If you do, please include the following citation in your work:

SESMAD, 2014. Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Background and Research Methods. Available from: http://sesmad.dartmouth.edu/.