Few sources exist to draw generalizations about the incredibly diverse international river restoration community. Generalizations in the restoration literature tend to be grounded on individual experiences or logical conjecture. To fill this perceived gap, an international web-based survey was launched. Over 500 respondents from 37 different countries participated. The results, posted on the web, act as a database of perceptions and individual experiences, from which the restoration community can make their own interpretations. With three examples, we contrast scientific conjecture with the perceptions of the restoration community who participated in this survey.