Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT)

Data policy

Data and sample management policy for the AMT consortium

Approved by the AMT Steering Committee.

To download this document as PDF click here AMT data policy PDF (242 KB)

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Role of BODC
  3. Minimum standards of stewardship for NERC corporate data
  4. Data and sample acquisition
  5. Data formats and data media
  6. Data back-up policy
  7. Protection of Data Originators' Intellectual Property Rights
  8. Longterm sample curation
  9. Data and sample availability
  10. Identifying data and samples for management purposes

1. Introduction

1.1 NERC requires all thematic & consortia programmes to plan adequately for the management of the data they will collect. The planning must cover not only the practical arrangements while the programme is running, but also the subsequent maintenance of data sets of longterm importance. Properly managed, the data will provide a key NERC resource, which will continue to be used long after the formal end of the programme. The scale of effort dedicated to data stewardship should reflect the anticipated longterm value of the data.

1.2 In the context of NERC Data Policy, "data may be held in either analogue or digital form and be stored either on paper or a variety of computer-compatible media... physical specimens in curated collections are outside the usual sense of the word". Nevertheless, it is appropriate for sample management issues to be also discussed in this position paper, making clear which aspects apply in different sections.

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2. Role of BODC

2.1 The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) is the NERC Designated Data Centre for digital information arising from the AMT programme.

BODC has provided data management services for many other multi-laboratory and multidisciplinary marine programmes, NERC and non-NERC (eg BOFS, LOIS, PRIME and OMEX), and has delivered high quality, accessible data sets, primarily via CDs, for further scientific use. Costs have been allocated in the AMT budget for BODC services, and Rob Thomas and Gwen Moncoiffé have been appointed to collate and make accessible all AMT data (1995-2005).

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3. Minimum standards of stewardship for NERC corporate data

3.1 The following minimum standards are expected to apply when (digital) data sets form part of NERC's enduring data resource:

i) The ownership and Intellectual Property Rights to the data set must be established, and NERC's policy towards exploiting and making it available to third parties agreed.

ii) The data set must be catalogued to the level of detail required by a NERC Designated Data Centre, so that it can be mentioned in web-based NERC data catalogues.

iii) Formal responsibility for the custody of the data set must be agreed

iv) The data must be fully "worked up" (ie calibrated, quality-controlled etc) with sufficient associated documentation to be of use to third parties without reference to the original collector.
v) The technical details of how the data are to be stored, managed and accessed must be agreed and suitably documented.
vi) The technological implications must be established (digital data stewardship implies the need for an underlying infrastructure of IT equipment and support).
vii) The resources needed to carry out these intentions over the planned life of the data, in terms of staff (Data Centre) and IT equipment/infrastructure must be estimated and sources identified.

viii) A review mechanism must exist to reconsider periodically the costs and benefits of continuing to maintain the data. The intention to destroy or put at risk data should be publicised in advance, allowing time for response by interested parties.

3.2 The above NERC-wide requirements will be managed by BODC. Nevertheless, PIs need to be aware of this framework.

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4. Data and sample acquisition

4.1 A well-structured and user-friendly identification system is essential for cruise-based data collection and sample labelling. Such arrangements are traditionally the responsibility of the cruise Principal Scientist. For AMT, an overall consistency in approach is necessary - with cruise identifiers linked to unique combinations of station and/or observation numbers. AMT protocols are being developed with direct BODC involvement.

4.2 BODC staff need to be directly involved in planning AMT fieldwork, eg with the opportunity to attend cruise planning meetings and Steering Committee meetings. BODC cruise participation is also welcomed (subject to berth availability), particularly when novel and/or relatively complex sampling arrangements are involved.

4.3 Station identifiers, navigational information and "basic" oceanographic data (for which BODC will have quality-control responsibilities) must be provided to BODC by the Principal Scientist immediately after an AMT cruise. A copy of the Cruise Summary Report (ROSCOP form) should be provided to BODC by the Principal Scientist within one week of the end of the cruise. A copy of the full cruise report should also be sent to BODC, preferably electronically, as soon as it is completed. BODC will then assist AMT in making this more widely available (eg via a link from the AMT web site).

4.4 Processed and project-specific cruise data must be provided to BODC by the Principal Scientist and project teams within the timescales agreed and detailed below, not in the concluding few months or weeks of projects. However, great importance is given both by the programme and by BODC to protecting the interests of data originators, and restrictions on the wider availability of BODC-held data sets will therefore apply (see below).

4.5 BODC staff will ensure the effective linkage with the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC) to allow the atmospheric community access to the data.

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5. Data formats and data media

5.1 Digital data should be collected and stored using standard, widely-available software products and their related data formats. Whilst BODC has experience in handling a very wide range of software, formats and media, PIs should discuss with BODC the proposed use of any data-handling or storage protocols that might be regarded as "non-standard".

5.2 CDROMs are currently the preferred means for making integrated data products from marine thematics available to the wider research community. The AMT Steering Committee will advise on the number of CDs, and set target times for their release.

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6. Data back-up policy

6.1 Daily back-up programmes apply at BODC to safeguard major digital databases. Project PIs are responsible for providing appropriate back-up strategies for unique digital data stored locally and/or via other organisations.

6.2 As far as possible, analogue data (such as photographs) should be "disaster proofed" by transferring them into digital form, eg by scanning. Such duplication is not a waste of effort, even though the original, analogue version may have a longer lifetime than the format/media used for the digital transcription. Such data may then be included on a programme CD. Note that BODC has considerable experience in managing and publishing image data.

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7. Protection of Data Originators' Intellectual Property Rights

7.1 The following arrangements have been developed to ensure an appropriate balance between the protection of data originators' intellectual property rights and the potential benefits that may arise via data use by the programme, the wider research community and other interested parties.

  • All data collected in the AMT programme must be provided to BODC within the timescales agreed and detailed below, and will be freely available to all programme participants (PIs and CoIs) for AMT purposes on the condition that the originator is kept informed about how the data are being used and is duly acknowledged in any exploitation of that data
  • Due acknowledgement is considered to be co-authorship, specific reference/acknowledgement to the data source or a share of any financial reward. The form of this should be negotiated between the data originator and the data exploiter. If a dispute should arise, then the problem will be referred to the Steering Committee for resolution.
  • Data collected as part of an AMT studentship will be protected until submission of the thesis or until 4 years after the commencement of the PhD (whichever is sooner)
  • Until AMT data enter the public domain, BODC will not transfer them to parties outside the programme without the explicit agreement of the originator. Steering Committee advice will also need to be sought if major data transfers are involved, to avoid compromising the interests of other programme participants.
  • The timescale for entry into the public domain is dependant upon parameter and is detailed in the table below. The mechanism for release of all AMT data to the public domain is expected to be the production of the AMT CD-ROM at the conclusion of the programme.
  • A condition of CDROM usage is that it is regarded as a data publication and all usage of the data contained therein should acknowledge the data originator through citation
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8. Longterm sample curation

8.1 Material collected on AMT cruises is owned collectively by the programme. However, during the programme lifetime, sample-originators have responsibility for the stewardship of material, recording any removals and (if shared with other research groups) keeping track of its movements and usage.

8.2 It is recognised that indefinite storage of all biological material is impractical, and that some identification and analytic procedures require sample destruction. Nevertheless, it is expected that nearly all net-collected zooplankton and representative sub-samples of micro-plankton will be stored for the duration of the programme by sample-originators. Subsequently, longterm archiving (of at least 5-10 yr) will be arranged by the programme for as many samples as possible, to maximise the exploitation of the taxonomic information that they contain.

8.3 Before project PIs dispose of biological material in their possession, an assessment should therefore be made as to whether it might be of value to other research groups, not necessarily part of the AMT programme.

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9. Data and sample availability

9.1 It is NERC policy to ensure that "individual scientists, principal investigator teams and participants in programmes will be permitted a reasonable period to work exclusively on, and publish the results of, the data collected by such individuals and teams". Nevertheless, as the AMT programme develops, there is necessarily a sequential widening of access to data and samples. This process has already been outlined with respect to data under 7 above.

It can be generalised with reference to three access levels

9.2 It is to the benefit of the programme as a whole that the transition between Levels 1 and 2 is made as rapidly as possible.

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10. Identifying data and samples for management purposes

10.1 It is important that the AMT programme maintains an awareness of all data and samples collected through its support, including outputs from partnership arrangements. Thus a requirement of participating in AMT cruises or having samples collected by AMT participants will be a report detailing such data/samples, and their stewardship arrangements, if not via BODC.

Table of AMT determinands and timescales of release to the AMT community and into the public domain e.g. real time (RT), 3 months after collection, 1 year after collection and 6 months before the end of the programme (April 2006).

BAS = British Antarctic Survey, BODC = British Oceanographic Data Centre

Determinand Level 1
PI responsible
Level 2
AMT
Level 3
Public

Underway

Temperature, Salinity (T,S) BAS,
BODC
3 months 3 months
Chlorophyll (fluorometry) Patrick Holligan 3 months 3 months
Methane, Nitrous Oxide (CH4, N2O) Cliff Law 6 months 2006
Partitial Pressure Carbon Dioxide (pCO2) Andy Watson,
Nathalie Lefevre
3 months 2006
Fast Repetition Rate Fluorometer (FRRF) James Aiken,
Samantha Lavender
6 months 6 months
Microplankton community structure
(lugols & formalin)
Patrick Holligan 1 year 2006
High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) Patrick Holligan 6 months 6 months
Bacterial numbers Mike Zubkov 6 months 2006
Particulate Organic Carbon (POC)
Particulate Organic Nitrogen (PON)
Richard Sanders    
Moving Vessel Profiler (MVP) Malcolm Woodward,
UKORS
3 months 3 months
Optics from MVP James Aiken,
Samantha Lavender
6 months 6 months
Alkalinity
(2 samples per day)
Andy Watson,
Nathalie Lefevre
3 months 2006
Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC)
(2 samples per day)
Andy Watson,
Nathalie Lefevre
3 months 2006

Discrete

CTD Temperature, Salinity, Transmission,
Photosynthetically Active Radiation (T, S, Transmission, PAR)
BAS,
BODC
1 months 3 months
CTD Oxygen sensor Carol Robinson,
BODC
3 months 3 months
CTD Chlorophyll Patrick Holligan,
BODC
   
Oxygen (Winkler titration) Carol Robinson 3 months 3 months
Alkalinity Andy Watson,
Nathalie Lefevre
3 months 2006
High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) pigments Patrick Holligan    
Microplankton community structure
(lugols & formalin)
Patrick Holligan 1 year 2006
Bacterial numbers Mike Zubkov 6 months 2006
Particulate Organic Carbon (POC)
Particulate Organic Nitrogen (PON)
Richard Sanders 6 months 6 months
15 N - Particulate Organic Nitrogen (PON),
Dissolved Organic Nitrogen (DON)
Ric Williams 6 months 2006
Particulate Inorganic Carbon (PIC) Patrick Holligan 6 months 6 months
Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC)
Dissolved Organic Nitrogen (DON)
Richard Sanders 1 year 1 year
Micromolar Nitrate, Nitrite, Phosphate and Silicate autoanalyser Malcolm Woodward 1 month 3 months
Nanomolar Nitrate, Nitrite, Phosphate and Ammonium Malcolm Woodward 3 months 3 months
Nitrate and ? sensor Malcolm Woodward 3 months 3 months
Size fractionated Primary Production Patrick Holligan 3 months 3 months
Size fractionated Chlorophyll (fluorometry) Patrick Holligan 3 months 3 months
Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) production Patrick Holligan 3 months 3 months
Calcification Patrick Holligan 3 months 3 months
Gross production, net community production and respiration (O2) Carol Robinson 3 months 2006
Photodegradation of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM)
Oxygen and Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC)
Carol Robinson
(1 month)
3 months 2006
CDOM absorbance Rob Upstill-Goddard
(1 month)
3 months 2006
Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) Andy Watson,
Nathalie Lefevre
(1 month)
3 months 2006
Optics (Lu, Ed & Es) James Aiken,
Samantha Lavender
6 months 6 months
Fast Repetition Rate Fluorometer (FRRF) James Aiken,
Samantha Lavender
6 months 6 months
Nitrogen fixation Cliff Law,
Andy Rees
6 months 2006
15 N - Nitrate, Ammonium and Urea uptake Mike Lucas,
Andy Rees
6 months 2006
Bacterial biodiversity Mike Zubkov 1 year 2006
Bacterial activity Mike Zubkov 1 year 2006
Zooplankton biomass Xabier Irigoien 1 year 2006
Microzooplankton biomass Elaine Fileman,
Paul Hampton,
David Montagnes
1 year 2006
Microzooplankton activity Paul Hampton,
David Montagnes,
Elaine Fileman
1 year 2006
Dimethyl Sulfide (DMS) Gill Malin 3 months 2006
Ammonia Gill Malin 3 months 2006
Aerosol metal, isotope and major ion Tim Jickells 1 year 2006
Rainwater metal, isotope and major ion Tim Jickells 1 year 2006
Atmospheric and dissolved Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Rob Upstill-Goddard 1 year 2006
Stable isotope ratios of Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Rob Upstill-Goddard 1 year 2006
Remote sensing products James Aiken,
Samantha Lavender
3 months 3 months*  

*Note: you must be a NASA authorised user for SeaWiFs

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Related AMT pages at BODC

Contents      BODC processing
BODC's role      Cruise programme
Project overview     Data inventories
Data submission     Data delivery
Other links