Dear Herbarium Staff Member:

Thank you for taking the time to click on the link to this survey! As someone who works at an herbarium, you are invited to participate in a research study concerning specimen storage and organization practices at herbaria in North America and Europe. Below, we outline the purpose of and procedures used in our research study, as well as your rights and responsibilities as a potential study participant.

Study Title: An Analysis of the Impacts of Herbarium Storage and
Classification Practices on the Field of Bryology

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine how bryological specimens are stored and organized at scientific institutions with herbaria. We are specifically interested in how (if at all) herbarium storage and organization systems affect specimen usage rates and, more broadly, knowledge in the field of bryology.

Procedures: If you agree to participate in this study, you will be asked to voluntarily complete an online survey over a period of 20-40 minutes. We are interested in hearing from a wide range of herbaria staff members, regardless of their training, institutional affiliations, and experience levels. Furthermore, there are no right or wrong answers to the survey questions.

Risks and Benefits of Participating in the Study: Participation in this study is fully voluntary. There are no anticipated risks for you participating in this study. You will not be asked to divulge any sensitive or proprietary information about yourself or others.

You will not receive any direct benefits from your participation in this study; however, indirect benefits to participation are that you can help contribute information about herbarium storage and organization systems that may help herbarium staff and bryologists to work and collaborate more efficiently.

Compensation: Individuals who participate in this study have the option of entering their name into a drawing for a free pair of natural history books. Should you agree to participate in this study and wish to have your name entered in the drawing, you may provide your name and email address on the last page of the survey. One "winner" will be randomly selected at the close of the study, and this individual will be notified of their "win" via email and asked to provide their mailing address so than we mail them their free gift.

Voluntary Nature of Participation: Your decision whether or not to participate in our study is voluntary. You may skip any question on the survey, and you are under no obligation to complete the full survey. Furthermore, it is your right to withdraw your participation in this study at any time, for any reason, and without penalty.

Confidentiality: We will make every effort to maintain your privacy throughout this study. Your name and any other personally identifiable information will be separated from the survey data prior to analysis. Additionally, your name and institutional affiliation(s) will not be used in any publications or presentations stemming from this research.

Contacts and Questions: This study is being conducted by Dr. Robin A. Lewis, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS) and Dr. Jessica M. Budke, Herbarium Director and Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK). Please ask any questions you may have about this study or your participation in it.

If you have questions later, you may contact Robin by phone at +1 315-781-4624 or via email at and Jessica by phone at +1 865-974-6204 or via email If you have any other questions concerning your rights as a study participant, you may also contact the HWS Institutional Review Board Chairperson at the Provost's Office at Hobart and William Smith Colleges at: IRB Chairperson, Provost's Office, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY 14456.

Affirmation of Informed Consent: By clicking next to begin the survey, you affirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to the terms outlined above.