Data policy

NERC Data Policy

Since January 2011, all data sets associated with Natural Environment Reasearch Council (NERC) funded research are subject to the new NERC Data Policy. The data policies previously applied to NERC data sets, including those from UK SOLAS research, are superseded by the NERC Data Policy.

The UK SOLAS Data Policy was established at the beginning of the programme, to provide a framework for short term and long term management of the data arising from the UK SOLAS programme. This data management policy is central to the UK SOLAS data management plan. The complete data management plan is available to download as a PDF document Download PDF version of the UK SOLAS data management plan. (231 KB). The UK SOLAS Data Policy was constructed on the same principles as the NERC Data Policy and, to an extent, has provided a model for this new policy. There is, therefore, very little conflict between the UK SOLAS Data Policy and the NERC Data Policy, so the terms of the original UK SOLAS policy have remained applicable.

UK SOLAS data management policy

Data management arrangements for the UK SOLAS directed programme are expected to

  • Encourage UK SOLAS dissemination of scientific results
  • Protect the rights of the individual scientists
  • Treat all the involved researchers equitably
  • Ensure the quality of the data in the UK SOLAS data archive

However, these aims can conflict at times. It is intended that the programme’s data management policy and associated protocols resolve these conflicts fairly. It is recognised that this cannot always be achieved to everyone's complete satisfaction. There are inevitably cases where individual interests clash with those of the UK SOLAS programme. Therefore to try to meet these aims, all Principal Investigators (PIs) involved in UK SOLAS, in accordance with and on behalf of their Co-Investigators, have agreed to abide by the following conditions as part of the acceptance of the grant award.

Data management

Data collected within the UK SOLAS programme will comply with NERC’s policy on data management. The main objective of this policy is to ensure that the data will contribute to a key NERC resource. Data will continue to be exploited both scientifically and commercially long after the formal end of the programme. The management of the data collected within the UK SOLAS programme will be the responsibility of the relevant NERC Designated Data Centres (e.g. BADC, BODC). Funds have been made available from the SOLAS budget to support this activity.

UK SOLAS data policy

The following data policy framework applies to UK SOLAS, in line with other NERC thematic/directed programmes. It is subject to Steering Committee overview and any special considerations that may apply to Observatory-based data sets (main issues outlined below). The data policy will apply to all research grants, studentships and contracts funded through UK SOLAS

  1. Data should be lodged with the appropriate Data Centre on acquisition, together with such metadata as are defined under the UK SOLAS data management plan.
  2. Data will be embargoed for 1 year from acquisition. This allows the PI and co-workers to exploit them in the first instance. The metadata will not be embargoed, to allow the wider community to be aware of work being carried out under UK SOLAS and facilitate community building.
  3. Data will be made available by the SOLAS Data Centre to the UK SOLAS community after 1 year, and to everyone after 2 years. Exceptions are made for studentship related data (see below).
  4. In the case of PhD students supported by UK SOLAS, data central to the student's study will not generally be released by the SOLAS Data Centre for the duration of the studentship. Prior agreement between the Data Centre, the UK SOLAS Science Coordinator and the student's supervisor must be achieved. On cessation of the studentship funding all three parties will consult before allowing wider access to the data relating to the studentship. This is intended to protect a student's intellectual property. These rules do not imply that the student has exclusive rights to UK SOLAS data.
  5. Anyone making further scientific use of UK SOLAS data within 3 years of them being lodged at the Data Centre will be required to include the PI and/or co-workers (as appropriate) as co-author/s on any resulting papers, if the PI and/or co-workers so desire.
  6. Any corrections, improvements or amendments to data must be lodged with the appropriate data centre as soon as possible.
  7. PIs making use of UK SOLAS data are responsible for ensuring that the data used in publications are the best available at the time.
  8. Data submitted to the Data Centre must be in the data format agreed between the Data Centre and PI. In addition, all agreed metadata must be supplied to the Data Centre.
  9. During the time when data are restricted from the public domain, no data will be transferred to parties outside the programme without the explicit agreement of the originator. In addition, guidance will need to be sought from the Science Coordinator and the Steering Committee if major data transfers are involved. This avoids compromising the interests of other programme participants.
  10. In the event of dispute, the final decision rests with the UK SOLAS Science Coordinator and the Steering Committee.
  11. PIs and/or co-workers failing to comply with the UK SOLAS data policy would be subject to appropriate sanctions.

For data sets arising from the UK SOLAS Observatory on Cape Verde, special considerations will apply. Current arrangements are as follows:

  • For observations and short-term experiments requiring limited post processing, DIAC data will be delivered to BADC within 30 days of collection. Unvalidated data will potentially be available to the UK SOLAS research community in real-time or on a daily basis. Availability will be dependent on data bandwidth connections on site.
  • Final data from instrumentation requiring extensive post processing, such as GC instruments, will be available 3 months after raw data collection.
  • Final validated data will be lodged for archiving at BADC in NASA AMES format.
UK Surface Ocean - Lower Atmosphere Study