- Personal: ‘Part of my thesis – Please do not touch – Please call me if you have any questions and would like to know more...’ and a photograph of a juvenile squirrel.
- Neutral: ‘Part of an experiment – Please do not touch – For information...’ and a warning sign.
- Threatening: ‘Part of an experiment – Every theft will be reported to the police! – For information...’ and the note ‘GPS monitored!’.
|Dummy equipment with threatening message. (Credit: © Eleftherios Bitzilekis)|
The boxes were sealed with carefully placed pebbles inside them so that the researchers could tell whether they had been disturbed in any way. Each day, the scientists checked on the dummy equipment to see whether anything had been stolen, damaged, opened or moved.
Looking at these results, I think if I were doing field work, I’d attach a note saying, ‘I’ve been a graduate student for six years. Please don’t tamper with my data so I can finally get out of here!’