+ Q. Why was the Pulotu database built?
A. Pulotu is a free resource available to the general public and was built to test evolutionary hypotheses of supernatural beliefs and practices using computational phylogenetic methods. More information on how the project was funded, and who was involved, is available on the About page.
+ Q. Would you be interested in collaborating on a project?
A. Yes, please contact us to discuss.
+ Q. What does a specific term mean?
A. Please check the definitions provided in the Glossary. If more information is required about how a specific variable was coded, please use the Contact Us page for get additional clarification.
+ Q. How do I open the dataset I have downloaded?
A. For maximum compatibility the dataset is provided as a tab-delimited txt file. This can be directly opened in a wide range of software, including Microsoft Excel, R and SPSS.
+ Q. How can a new variable be added to the Pulotu database?
A. We are happy to see Pulotu expand and grow, and want to ensure that Pulotu retains high quality data throughout this process. If you would like to add a specific variable to Pulotu that you have already coded, please contact us directly. All variables need to be cross checked for accuracy before they can be included on Pulotu, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

In order for variables you have coded to be considered, they must meet the following criteria; (a) data must be available for a substantial proportion of the cultures in the Pulotu sample, (b) for each coding decision there needs to be a reference to one or more high quality source (including page numbers), and (c) all coding decision must include coder’s notes justifying the decision, and where possible supporting quotes for the sources cited.

Time permitting, in some cases we may be able to code and add new variables. This will be easier when we already have closely related variables coded.

Please contact us before coding a new variable and we will be happy to provide additional instructions and guides. All contributions will be publicly acknowledged on the Pulotu website.

+ Q. How can a new culture be added to the Pulotu database?
A. As with the addition of new variables, we are happy to see Pulotu expand and want to ensure that it remains a high-quality resource throughout this process. Please contact us with the information about the culture you would like to add, proposals will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Preference will be given to those cultures that are more distantly related to cultures already sampled, that are richly documented in ethnographic sources, and that speak a language from the tree created by Grey, Drummond & Greenhill’s (2009).

In order to be considered for inclusion in Pulotu a culture must (a) have been coded for a substantial number of existing variables, (b) for each coding decision there needs to be a reference to one or more high quality sources (including page numbers), and (c) all coding decision must include coder’s notes justifying the decision, and, where possible, supportingquotes for the sources cited.

Please contact us before coding a culture and we will provide additional instructions and guides. All contributions will be publicly acknowledged on the Pulotu website.

+ Q. I would like to suggest a correction, how do I do this?
A. We strive to make Pulotu as accurate as possible and appreciate corrections. Please contact us and (a) state the question(s) the correction applies to, (b) state the culture(s) the correction applies to, and (c) provide a credible source that supports the correction. Please make sure that the source applies specifically to the time period relevant to that variable.