Data Policies LTER Network Data Access Policy, Data Access Requirements, and General Data Use Agreement approved by the LTER Coordinating Committee April 6, 2005 Long Term Ecological Research Network Data Access Policy The LTER data policy includes three specific sections designed to express shared network policies regarding the release of LTER data products, user registration for accessing data, and the licensing agreements specifying the conditions for data use. LTER Network Data Release Policy Data and information derived from publicly funded research in the U.S. LTER Network, totally or partially from LTER funds from NSF, Institutional Cost-Share, or Partner Agency or Institution where a formal memorandum of understanding with LTER has been established, are made available online with as few restrictions as possible, on a nondiscriminatory basis. LTER Network scientists should make every effort to release data in a timely fashion and with attention to accurate and complete metadata. Data There are two data types: Type I – data are to be released to the general public according to the terms of the general data use agreement (see Section 3 below) within 2 years from collection and no later than the publication of the main findings from the dataset and, Type II - data are to be released to restricted audiences according to terms specified by the owners of the data. Type II data are considered to be exceptional and should be rare in occurrence. The justification for exceptions must be well documented and approved by the lead PI and Site Data Manager. Some examples of Type II data restrictions may include: locations of rare or endangered species, data that are covered under prior licensing or copyright (e.g., SPOT satellite data), or covered by the Human Subjects Act. Researchers that make use of Type II Data may be subject to additional restrictions to protect any applicable commercial or confidentiality interests. While the spirit of this document is to promote maximum availability for ecological data in either Type I or II status, there are criteria by which priority for data release may be determined. Primary observations collected for core research activities directly supported by LTER research must receive the highest priority for data release. Data collected by other sources to which LTER supported research has added value is also a high priority Other types of data including non-LTER data that was acquired for LTER research, student thesis data, schoolyard LTER data, or legacy data that already suffer from inadequate documentation or format obsolescence may be ranked a lower priority by a site with justifications provided in their data management policy. Finally, some data may be determined of lowest priority for archiving on the grounds that they are interim data that led to final products that carry the scientific value. These might include data files created during stages within an analytic workflow, raw or replicate data values that were subsequently aggregated or processed for release, or individual outputs from stochastic models. Metadata Metadata documenting archived/online data sets of all types listed above will be made available when, or before, the dataset itself is released according to the terms above. All metadata will be publicly available regardless of any restrictions on access to the data. All metadata will follow LTER recommended standards and will minimally contain adequate information on proper citation, access, contact information, and discovery. Complete information including methods, structure, semantics, and quality control/assurance is expected for most datasets and is strongly encouraged. LTER Network Data Access Requirements The access to all LTER data is subject to requirements set forth by this policy document to enable data providers to track usage, evaluate its impact in the community, and confirm users' acceptance of the terms of acceptable use. These requirements are standardized across the LTER Network to provide contractual exchange of data between Site Data Providers, Network Data Providers, and Data Users that can be encoded into electronic form and exchanged between computers. This will allow direct access to data via a common portal once these requirements have been fulfilled. The following information may be required directly or by proxy prior to the transference of any data object: Registration 1. Name 2. Affiliation 3. Email Address 4. Full Contact Information Acceptance of the General Public Use Agreement or Restricted Data Use Agreement, as applicable. A Statement of Intended Use that is compliant with the above agreements. Such statements may be made submitted explicitly or made implicitly via the data access portal interface. General Data Use Agreement LUQ data and metadata is released under public domain: CC BY – Attribution. Conditions of Use The consumer of these data (“Data User” herein) has an ethical obligation to cite it appropriately in any publication that results from its use. The Data User should realize that these data may be actively used by others for ongoing research and that coordination may be necessary to prevent duplicate publication. The Data User is urged to contact the authors of these data if any questions about methodology or results occur. Where appropriate, the Data User is encouraged to consider collaboration or coauthorship with the authors. The Data User should realize that misinterpretation of data may occur if used out of context of the original study. While substantial efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of data and associated documentation, complete accuracy of data sets cannot be guaranteed. All data are made available “as is.” The Data User should be aware, however, that data are updated periodically and it is the responsibility of the Data User to check for new versions of the data. The data authors and the repository where these data were obtained shall not be liable for damages resulting from any use or misinterpretation of the data. Thank you. Disclaimer While substantial efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of data and documentation contained in this Data Set, complete accuracy of data and metadata cannot be guaranteed. All data and metadata are made available "as is". The Data User holds all parties involved in the production or distribution of the Data Set harmless for damages resulting from its use or interpretation.