Scientists are accustomed to thinking about time trajectories in monitoring studies, but directional change in the control plots within experiments is often masked in analysis & presentation. There may be a potential pitfall of equating a control with steady-state, whereas succession, natural disturbances, and global change all conspire to shift the frame of reference over time. Are these controls out-of-control? How can we more effectively incorporate these dynamics into interpretation of long-term experiments? In this information exchange working group, examples will be presented from different types of experiments & LTER sites.