Data policy

1. Introduction

The GLOBEC data policy is intended to augment the long-term success of the project, ensuring that valuable data collected by researchers are properly and effectively utilised. Herein, the term "data" refers to field, laboratory or model generated data. The key focus points of the policy are data and metadata sharing, responsible archiving of data and inventory and cataloguing activities. In this policy "metadata" is defined as descriptive information that characterises a set of measurements, distinguishing that dataset from other similar measurement sets. Metadata should contain sufficient information to allow a user to define whether that dataset will be of use to them.

2. Principles

2.1. GLOBEC will use a decentralised data management and distribution system. The "centralised" component will be a comprehensive inventory of GLOBEC and "GLOBEC-like" metadata with "pointers" to the data location and key contact persons.

2.2. Data sharing and exchange are an essential component of GLOBEC interdisciplinary studies. GLOBEC encourages the sharing of models as well as of data. Investigators should be prepared to share their data, models and data products and should recognise the "proprietorship" of such data ("rights to first publication/ authorship") acquired from other investigators. GLOBEC protocols for international data exchange should be followed. GLOBEC recognises that sensitive fishery stock assessment data may need special consideration as to its availability.

2.3. GLOBEC investigators retain the primary responsibility for data quality control and assurance. Once metadata is submitted to the IPO, GLOBEC investigators should inform the IPO of updates, corrections and dataset "versions" to ensure that the GLOBEC Metadata Inventory is accurate.

2.4. Within-project (during the funded lifetime of GLOBEC programmes) data exchange, archiving and cataloguing are an important component of each GLOBEC programme and should be addressed (in detail) within the implementation plan of each GLOBEC programme. Metadata should be sent to the IPO for inclusion in the GLOBEC Data Inventory within 6 months of data being collected or created. Each national and regional programme and contributors to these programmes will retain the data collected under its auspices and will be responsible for ensuring that the data are properly archived. The IPO will ensure that the wider GLOBEC community is aware of the data collected within the programme. Regional and National programmes should assist in programme co-ordination and in the provision of central services e.g. data management.

2.5. Each GLOBEC programme should address the long term archival of observational, laboratory and model data and data products in order to ensure a lasting contribution to marine science.

2.6. This data policy is in addition to the requirements of the individual Data Policies of the National and Regional Programmes.

3. Implementation

3.1. The IPO will adopt a "use" driven approach to prioritise its data management activities. The IPO will construct and maintain an inventory of GLOBEC metadata. The IPO will rely on the following resources:

  • existing World Data Centres (WDCs) and related organisations
  • National GLOBEC programme offices and /or national data management
  • Regional programme data management efforts (e.g. PICES, TCODE, ICES, GLOBEC Data co-ordinators)

It is recommended that metadata be submitted to the IPO in the form of a DIF (Directory Interchange Format). Alternatively, sufficient data should be provided to allow the IPO to construct DIFs. Metadata supplied to the IPO should include the following variables: Dataset name, dataset description, data coverage (spatial and temporal), data attributes (parameters), contributors including contact information, source of data, project/campaign name, data location and distribution information, relationship of data to other versions of the dataset and references.

3.2. The IPO should provide an inventory and data access procedures for non-GLOBEC data sources that are of importance or interest to GLOBEC participants, as part of the GLOBEC Data Inventory. Access to these data sources will be the responsibility of the GLOBEC Investigators wishing to use them.

3.3. The IPO will identify and recommend mechanisms to create required "linkages" and data exchange with other appropriate programmes (IGBP and others). This should include (but not be limited to) links to JGOFS, LOICZ, PAGES and GOOS.

3.4. The IPO will monitor progress of data migration to permanent archives and advise the SSC on any anomalies or problem areas.

3.5. The IPO will approach the WDCs to discuss how they can work with GLOBEC to assure long-term stewardship of GLOBEC data.

3.6. The IPO will ensure the regular and timely flow of information between the national programmes and from them to individual GLOBEC researchers, mainly through the media of the GLOBEC newsletter and the GLOBEC International web pages.

3.7. The GLOBEC International Web site will be a key focus point in disseminating information to the GLOBEC community. GLOBEC metadata collated by the IPO will be distributed to GLOBEC researchers on CD or similar media. On completion of the project, it is intended that the GLOBEC metadata be included in the Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) database to ensure long-term stewardship.