Data Policy

GEOTRACES aims to protect the time and intellectual effort of those who collect, calibrate and process data. On the other hand, it is crucial to be able to compare data sets and data types to check their consistency, better understand the ocean processes involved and test the accuracy of numerical models.

We stress that data will not be released without the permission of the Originator. But it is expected Originators follow the GEOTRACES data policy described below.

Data/metadata submission timeline

*DAC:  In most cases, data will be submitted initially to a national data centre (DAC).  Where no national DAC is available, information should be submitted directly to the GDAC at BODC. 

Data access timeline 

Prior to public release, all data will be considered preliminary.  Data should be shared with other cruise/process study participants as soon as they become available during or after a cruise or process study, to enable data synthesis to proceed rapidly, with the understanding that the data are the proprietary material of the originating scientist and may not be used without their permission. However, for non-participating scientists the data can be obtained only with the permission of the responsible participating scientist. 

Proprietary period

Most nations have rules about data release that are imposed by funding agencies. GEOTRACES will adhere to these rules. In addition, we expect that all data will be released within two years of data generation, or at the time of publication (whichever is sooner). Exceptions are possible in the case of data forming part of a student’s thesis.

All scientists participating in national and international GEOTRACES activities are expected to adhere to this data policy. Exceptions to the policy may be allowed, e.g. by national constraints on data access.