Data Policy

Data Sharing

The data policy that all BSIERP-BEST PIs agreed to stipulates that you submit your data and accompanying metadata to the data managers within one year of collection. You can view the full text of the policy below.

But we want to re-emphasize the intent of centralizing data and making it accessible to other BSIERP-BEST participants. The intent is to allow colleagues to learn more about other participants’ data, to evaluate the data and begin thinking about how the data could be collaboratively used.

However, if you move beyond that stage and want to actually use other investigators' data for any publication, you must have explicit written permission from the investigator who collected the data prior to circulation of draft manuscripts or results that include the data. And that permission should be requested at an early stage in your analysis, to give your colleagues every opportunity for collaboration and participation in the analysis and publication process.

We want all BSIERP-BEST participants to feel comfortable sharing their data per the data policy. We see this as a critical factor in our mutual goal of achieving integration across project components. The BSIERP and BEST data managers are ready to support you and make this process as painless as possible.

If for any reason you are not comfortable with the data policy, or if you have suggestions to improve the data management support, please raise the issue with members of the Science Advisory Board, the Data Manager, or the Program Manager. We will only get out of this project what we are all willing to put into it.

Data Policy (excerpted from the BSIERP-BEST Program Management Plan)

NPRB and NSF require data sharing in their respective agreements with principal investigators. Principal investigators will submit all data to their respective data managers (NPRB or NSF) as soon as practical but within one year of collection unless the respective program managers grant special permission regarding time or content (e.g., human subject protocols indicate otherwise) or extensive post-collection processing (e.g., zooplankton identification, laboratory analyses).

Consideration also will be made to adjust time requirements in submitting data as part of a graduate student program with respective program manager approval.

These data may be shared among principal investigators in the BEST-BSIERP program, so long as individual and community intellectual property rights are protected. Principal investigators will strive to assign important preliminary data, which may be of great interest to other researchers, a high priority for availability. Intellectual ownership and authorship will be protected under any data sharing protocol. For the first two-year period following data collection and post-collection processing, data usage and authorship are fully protected. Following this two-year period, permission and the right of authorship should be fully recognized until the end of the program.

Data managers will communicate with field researchers about their needs in terms of common standards, units and formats, and will endeavor to keep metadata requirements simple and provide templates where possible. Data managers will facilitate development of a unified data table with common units and formats. Data Managers will publish metadata on public web pages to facilitate collaboration with scientists outside BEST-BSIERP.

Further Information

Please see the NPRB BSIERP-BEST Project Management Plan for further details regarding the data policy.

Please direct any questions regarding clarification on the data policy to NCAR/EOL/DMS at