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NCPP Data Policy

Adoption of this policy: The National Climate Predictions and Projections platform adopts this data policy as of 02/29/2012. NCPP reserves the right to change this Data Policy at any time and will ensure delivery of such updates to registered users and through updating of posted documents.  
Why Does NCPP Need a Data Policy?
NCPP’s mission is to support state-of-the-art approaches to develop and deliver comprehensive regional climate information and to facilitate its use in decision-making and adaptation planning.  In order to accomplish this, NCPP provides access to freely-available existing data, metadata, and analysis tools through standardized, open-source interfaces. NCPP’s goal is to create a collaborative participatory community centered around these data products.
Data includes all climate data (observations, model output, post-processed, and/or downscaled).  Metadata includes information about the data and is interpreted broadly by NCPP to include quantitative and qualitative evaluation, guidance on use, information that aids in the translation of the data into application (“translational information’”), and information on the provenance of the data.  Tools includes software and interfaces developed to access the data processing services and to analyze data (such as generating indices or on-the-fly downscaling).  
NCPP is not a data center or primary data provider.  NCPP provides tools to discover, access and analyze data across the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) and connected data networks.  NCPP strives to provide open access to data, but, because NCPP tools may link to data provided by third parties, certain restrictions may be imposed on some datasets. Anybody may become an active part of our data-sharing community.  NCPP may serve selected climate datasets in order to accomplish its mission. 
However, there are certain standards that must be met and protocols that must be followed before NCPP will make data or associated metadata publicly available. This document outlines those standards and protocols.
Data Publication Standards for data provided on NCPP servers:
The climate data that NCPP provides needs to exist in its entirety.  It needs to either be available in a publicly accessible environment or the author of the dataset must agree to having the data served publicly by us.  The data and methods must be well documented (this may include, but is not restricted to, peer-reviewed literature, technical publications, and a documented history of use and success). The dataset must be “conceived for community use;” that is, the dataset originators have considered the terms of access and use. 
NCPP makes its best effort to ensure that original data providers are explicitly acknowledged and urges all users to include appropriate references and acknowledgements into any products and publications. NCPP will honor the data use and restrictions of the originating data providers. 
Datasets may be published for development and testing purposes which do not necessarily meet the above criteria.  This will be clearly indicated.
Data Publication Protocols for data provided on NCPP servers:
How does NCPP Decide to Publish Data?

  1. The NCPP Core Team has the authority to make decisions regarding publication of datasets, metadata, and other documents or products on the NCPP Platform.
  2. Members of  Core Team shall disclose any apparent or actual conflicts of interest regarding the approval of datasets, including authorship. 
  3. Data availability through NCPP is to be provided in as timely a fashion as resources allow.
  4. The express, documented permission of the primary data provider must be requested before data can be published and re-served on the NCPP servers.  If NCPP have not heard from the original data owner within 30 days after requesting permission, the original terms of use will be examined in order to determine if publication would be possible without such permission.  Some exceptions may be made for data in the public domain.  
  5. The data’s provenance, which includes where and how NCPP obtained the data, as well as information tracing the data’s current state to the original author of the data, must be provided along with version information, and citation details.
  6. NCPP will notify the data owner of how NCPP intends to serve the data. The following issues should be considered and communicated to the data owner:
    1. Identify the services through which the data will be served (e.g. OpenDAP, ESGF, Web-based analysis tools). 
    2. Will filenames be changed?
    3. Will the data format be changed?
    4. Will the data values be changed, and if so how will that change be communicated (ie: by changing the filenames and provenance record)?
    5. Will further processing be done by NCPP (subsetting, computation of indices) and those products served by NCPP? 
    6. Will the data owner be informed if NCPP decides to no longer serve the data?
    7. How will documentation about the data be served by NCPP?
  7. Documentation regarding the accuracy of the data must be completed before data can be published. This should include reference to relevant peer-reviewed literature and may also include additional analysis done by the author of the data or by NCPP. 
  8. If the dataset or associated metadata includes personal details of individuals, their permission must be sought before those details can be published.
  9. Any restrictions on commercial use of data shall follow the policy of the primary data provider.  
  10. Once published by NCPP, a statement citing our role should be associated with the dataset  in addition to identifying the primary source.
    1. For example:  “Data, data services and/or supporting information was obtained through the National Climate Predictions and Projections platform (NCPP) at ”
  11. NCPP encourages its users of data to keep any provenance information, such as copyright notice, provided by NCPP, intact and unaltered and associated with that data.

Even if these protocols are not met, data is not necessarily excluded from publication.

Last Update: Feb. 28, 2013, 12:46 p.m. by Hydra Administrator

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