The following guidelines were developed for the NSF Arctic System Science (ARCSS) program and are presented as a potential model for US ITASE.
US ITASE supports a multidisciplinary research effort of the Antarctic environment. With the many different US ITASE data collection efforts, it is vital to facilitate data archival and to provide an easy mechanism for data exchange among researchers interested in the Antarctic system. This data protocol is a guideline for US ITASE investigators to ensure proper data formats, meta-data, and efficient data archival.
Upon receiving an NSF US ITASE award, the Principal Investigator(s) will be contacted by the US ITASE Data Coordination Center (e.g., WDC-A/NSIDC) to establish a data management plan. This plan will include procedures to migrate all data collected to the US ITASE archives. In addition, the Data Coordination Center will collaborate with the PI(s) on data information and formats. Individual project data migration plans will be updated yearly during the grant and for the years following project completion until all data resulting from the grant enters the archive.
All data collected in the course of US ITASE-funded research is considered US ITASE "community property." Principal investigators retain exclusive use of the data collected during the first year. After one year, data will be released to other US ITASE investigators. Two years after data collection, the data will be made available to all other science users through the US ITASE data Coordination Center. Exceptions to these time frames will be referred to the specific US ITASE project Science Steering Committee or Science Management Office and appropriate time period arrangements will be determined.
Citation will be given to the investigators responsible for data collection in any and all papers using US ITASE data sets. Reference to these data will include: (1) reference to papers describing the data; (2) reference to the PI(s) if no papers are yet published; (3) reference to appropriate NSF Grant numbers in the acknowledgments; (4) reference to US ITASE contribution numbers (if this program is developed); and (5) reference to the US ITASE Data Coordination Center Archive at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. This information will be included with the meta-data associated with each data set.
In coordination with the US ITASE Data Coordination Center, the PI(s) will include the following information with each data set archived: (1) collection dates; (2) data collection methods; (3) data format (e.g., ASCII, Excel spreadsheet, ARC/INFO cover age, etc.); (4) data collection problems, data processing problems, bad data flags, data dropouts, and other quality control factors identified by the PI(s); (5) instrument descriptions and calibrations; (6) collection site descriptions and conditions; and (7) conditions for use and citation. Data information sheets designed by the Data Coordination Center will help the PI(s) encapsulate this information and include it with the data when migrated to the long-term US ITASE archive.