Establishing New Sites

Dear contributor to the GLORIA network,

for establishing a new GLORIA long-term observation site (i.e. a 'target region' with usually four summit sites), please, follow this short guide.

Quick link to downloads

For a detailed description of the GLORIA Multi-Summit approach download

1. Site selection

A brief description of the sampling design is given under: GLORIA Multi-summit approach.
It is important to carefully consider the criteria for site selection, described in detail in the GLORIA Field Manual. The manual is available in English, Spanish and Chinese.
Your selection of summit sites should be verified in the field before making a final decision. It is highly recommended that you select all four summit sites within your target region before you start establishing permanent plots.
In case of any doubts about your (pre-)selected sites, please do not hesitate to discuss it with the GLORIA coordination team.

2. Registration of your target region

The registration of your site (target region) should be made prior to the start of the plot setup and vegetation survey, once the selection of summit sites is finalised.

Required information

Send the following information to the GLORIA coordination office :

  • the mountain range where your sites are located,
  • the names of the summit sites,
  • a three-character code for each summit site, (please use alphabetic characters)
  • geographical coordinates of each summit site (preferably use decimal degrees with at least five decimal places instead of degrees, minutes, seconds)
  • the elevation above sea level (in metres) of each site, and
  • the time (year, months) when you foresee the establishment of the sites
  • name(s) of the responsible person(s)
  • Email address of the responsible person(s)
  • name(s) of the responsible institutions(s)


A GLORIA-wide unique three-character code (preceded by a two-character country code) will be assigned to your target region by the GLORIA coordination.

Your coded target region and the responsible person(s) and institution(s) are included in the central GLORIA data base. The target region name, code and the year of the baseline survey will be publicly displayed on the GLORIA website.

3. Registration of your team

This is a task of the person(s) responsible for the particular target region. The registration of team members (users) is required for the online data entry and the regulation of data access rights. The person in charge of the site knows the team and the roles of its members and therefore is also responsible for the registration of additional members.

  • Initially, only one responsible person (or sometimes two persons) is assigned to the target region in the GLORIA database. Usually this person has the role of the head of target region (or head and vice head or two co-heads).
  • First, it is required to obtain a password to login to the internal page of your target region. Your email address (already registered in the GLORIA data base) is your login address. See the information for obtaining a (new) password.
  • Login directs you to your user profile, where you may add or correct contact details.
  • Add users (further team members) by clicking the respective icon in the side bar and continue with “+ add new users”. Fill in the required fields for each additional team member. In the field “role” you can select “head of target region”, “vice head of target region”, “core team member” (who also will have read/write permissions like the former ones) and advisory team member (who only will be able to read). This registration of additional target region members will allow them to obtain a password and to enter the target region page.

4. Preparation for plot setup and recording

See the checklist of materials in the GLORIA Field Manual, including instructions for constructing sampling grids and information on temperature data loggers.

5. Setup and recording of permanent quadrats and summit area sections

Follow the GLORIA Field Manual which also includes the sampling forms. Please check the GLORIA web site for recent updates.

6. Preparation for the data input

This step is not described in the Field Manual; therefore the procedure is described here in detail

Identification of taxa

  • Check your field sheets of all 1m x1m plots and the summit area sections and make a complete list of all taxa found
  • Attempt to identify all doubtful cases by using regional floras, herbarium or photo material
  • If a plant remained unidentified, refer to a herbarium voucher or photo.

Prepare a complete species list species which contains all species found on the four summits. Use the Taxa input sheet (xls) . Fill in all fields (columns A to N) for each taxon wherever applicable. Please stay exactly to the scheme in the taxa input sheet; compare with the example version Taxa input sheet EXAMPLE (xls)  , especially for the cases which could not be identified down to the species level. For species identified but where identification is doubtful, do the same as for the exactly identified species. In such cases, however, do not forget to tick cf. (confer) later on when you do the actual data input by using the GLORIA input tools. Both unidentified species and species where identification is doubtful require at least one herbarium specimen.

Now you have two options to proceed:

(a) You send the complete species list to the GLORIA coordination and we will check your species names for synonymy and doubtful cases in consultation with you. Finally, species will be incorporated into the data base before you start with the data input. This is the option which may be more suitable for new sites.

(b) Alternatively you can do the species entry yourself through GLORIA online data input tool. In this case, we recommend to entering all species from your complete list prior to start with the entry of plot data. Once the entire data input is finished, we will check the species names for consistency.

7. Data input - the "GLORIA Online Data Input Tool"

Since 2020, the standard procedure of data entry is handled through a web application (which replaced the MS ACCESS application of the GLORIA data input tool GDIT). The online data input tool is designed to enter all data of the vegetation survey including measurement data of permanent plots, data of the 1x1m plots and of the summit area sections.

  • Contact the GLORIA coordination once you are ready for data input, so that we activate your target region for the timeframe indicated by you.
  • Start data entry by clicking 'open vegetation input'. See the detailed help file and additional information the data entry fields.
  • After having successfully completed a data consistency check, click the button “close vegetation input”. This will – for data security reasons - deactivate your target region from data entry.

8. Final data check and compilation into the central GLORIA database

Your data entered through the web application will be subject of further validation, before it is included into the central GLORIA database. The final data validation especially concerns the species list and cases of missing and inconsistent data. It will take more time in the case that you have chosen to enter all your species yourself.

A copy of the validated dataset will be returned. You as data provider retain exclusive ownership of the data. The use of your full dataset or parts of it by interested parties (including the GLORIA Coordination Office) requires the data provider's permission including issues about authorship of resulting publications.

9. Photo documentation - submission of photographic data

The photographic documentation of your plots and settings is crucial for any reinvestigation. Thus, these data must be included in the central database. The GLORIA Photo documentation Management Tools (GPDM) can be downloaded from the GLORIA web site. It contains a detailed help file and allows cataloguing of digital photo data in a standardised manner. Alternatively, you may name you photo files by using any photo viewer, but do is according to the GLORIA standard as in Annex III of the GLORIA Field Manual: coding of the photo documentation.

Access rights to your photo data are the same as specified under point (8).

10. Temperature data

The data submission (under point 8) includes the indication of the number of temperature loggers, serial numbers etc. and the start time of the measurements. For submitting your temperature data collected during the first measurement cycle - (earliest after 1 year or after 3 years) please contact the GLORIA Coordination Office.