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Demise of the checksheet: Using off-the-shelf miniature hand-held computers for remote fieldwork applications

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Author(s)

Andrew Whiten, Robert A. Barton

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Laboratory-based researchers have increasingly reaped the benefits of entering data directly into a computer; those concerned with behaviour often using specially designed keyboards. However, many ecologists and ethologists doing fieldwork in remote places have been reluctant to abandon paper checksheets because of worries about unreliability, lack of electrical supply and sheer weight of computer equipment, adding to more general drawbacks such as the need for considerable expertise in purpose-built hardware and software. Having used commercially available hand-held computers extensively for our own fieldwork on baboons in Africa, we are confident that these worries are unfounded. As some researchers have already discovered, field computerization is not something to be distrusted, but in fact offers several important benefits.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-148
Number of pages3
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Volume3
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1988

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