SERG International (SERG-I) has an excellent reputation for supporting applied research and technology for use in forest pest management and other related fields. As a service to the technical community, SERG-I maintains on-line access to reports produced through the SERG-I process and distributes these as PDF files upon request. Typically, SERG-I facilitates some 20 research and development projects annually.
2. SERG International Reporting Requirements
As part of the agreement with a Principal Investigator (PI) who participates in the SERGI process, a final report (and yearly interim reports in the case of multi-year funding) is required by SERG-I. Final acceptance of report submissions is the responsibility of SERG-I funders
- SERG-I Report
A detailed project report is acceptable as a final report. Final reports are expected to follow the Report Guidelines established by the Canadian Forest Service (Appendix 1). This report should follow a classic scientific format with introduction, objectives etc. through to results and conclusions. It should be written in plain, understandable language and terminology. The report must include a bilingual executive summary; translation is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator. It will be the PI's responsibility to identify any disclaimers on the front page of the report (e.g. do not cite, do not copy, refer all questions to author, etc.). The report must be signed-off by the PI's manager. The funders of the project will arrange for a review of the final report.
Only FINAL SERG-I reports will be bound in SERG-I Covers and be submitted to the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI).
- Peer review article
Principal Investigators receiving funding are encouraged to produce peer reviewed articles. SERG International should be acknowledged. Peer reviewed journal articles will be accepted as final reports if the funding members agree the subject matter is relevant. A suggested format to fulfill SERG-I reporting requirements is a bilingual executive summary of the project and a brief (one page) introduction explaining how the peer review article resulted from the original project. These cover pages should be bound with a reprint of the article between SERG-I covers and submitted to the SERG-I Executive. (For electronic distribution, a link or web page address can be used to link the interested party to the publishing society to obtain the article.)
Peer review requirements are often external to SERG-I (e.g., academic employers or federal research managers, etc.). Anonymous peer review is the best way to insure that results are correct and of high quality. However, it is recognized that the time frame surrounding peer review publications can legitimately take two years from submission to publication. This time frame will be considered in the proposal evaluation process. At the time a submission is made for journal publication, the draft manuscript should be forwarded to the Executive Director. If this is unacceptable, this needs to be explored up front between funding members and the Principal Investigator involved. One option in some circumstances is for funding members to hold and use data internally while treating it as proprietary to the Principal Investigator.
Failed or abandoned peer review. Peer review publications may be turned down for many reasons. Failed or abandoned peer review projects should be reformatted
into Project reports and evaluated for suitability as Final reports.
Copies of final reports will be distributed by the PI in the following manner:
- All Executive Committee members and funding agencies will receive one hard copy each (names and addresses of members can be obtained from the Executive Director) bound between SERG-I covers.
- the SERG-I Executive Director will receive 2 bound copies and a PDF version. A copy of the report will be filed with CISTI and distributed (PDF version) upon request.
All formats discussed above are appropriate for interim reporting. It is suggested further that reporting requirements be discussed in the proposal and upon funding. As a minimum reporting requirement, an interim report will be required every year. Interim reports include
- Data report
Unless otherwise stated, data generated in a specific project are the property of the funding members. The final report may be a data report if the funding members agree. This report must include a restatement of objectives, an executive summary and a methods section. Raw data should be included as an Appendix.
- Conference/Workshop Proceedings
Extended abstracts in proceedings can fulfill interim reporting requirements. Proceeding papers that undergo anonymous peer review and meet the requirements for such may be simply formatted into a Final Report as described above if this is acceptable to the funding members.
- Other agency reports
Other agency reports may be accepted as interim reports. Reformatting may be required to meet SERG-I reporting requirements to be considered as final reports. Since most reports follow some semblance of a classic scientific outline, this should not be an egregious requirement.
Proprietary industrial projects (as opposed to proprietary academic rights in order to protect publication potential) will be handled as a separate entity. In this case, an explicit contract will be entered into between funding members and Principal Investigator and the deliverables will be stated. This is the only case where a final report may not be required based on the specific contract.
3. Acceptance of SERG-I Reports
For most Projects, SERG-I will holdback 30% of allocated funds. These will be released upon acceptance of reporting requirements. Ultimately, acceptance of all SERG-I reports rests with the funding members. If a majority of the funding members accept a Final Report then the project is considered complete. If there is a dispute or in the unusual case of a deadlock, the SERG-I Executive Director will cast the deciding vote. The balance of project funds will be withheld and released only on report completion unless negotiated beforehand (i.e. in the case of the prospect of a long peer review process, the letter of submission to a journal would release the final balance of funds).
It will be the responsibility of the Funding members working with the Executive Director to obtain project reports. Reporting delinquency is a problem and can, in some cases, result in the inability of a funding member to generate additional funds for contribution to SERG International. Principal Investigators who don't fulfill yearly interim or final reporting requirements will not receive further funding from SERG-I until reporting requirements have been completed.
In the event a delinquent report is not 'in the works' (i.e., actively being worked on by data analyses and writing, and has a scheduled reporting date), or is not likely to be prepared as acknowledged by the original PI, then that PI will be obliged to provide the raw data and associated results that were collected, the objectives of the project, and as much detail as possible about the material and methods that were used. This information may be made available to one or more of the original funders of the project and subsequently made available by them to another researcher duly recognized by them and/or the SERG-I Executive who has interest in further analyses and reporting, though not necessarily to the exclusion of the original PI.