ARCSS Data Policy


The National Science Foundation (NSF) Arctic System Science (ARCSS) Program supports a multidisciplinary research effort of the arctic environment. With the many different ARCSS data collection efforts, it is vital to facilitate data archival and an easy mechanism for data exchange among researchers interested in the arctic system. This data protocol is a guide for ARCSS investigators to ensure proper data formats, metadata, and efficient data archival.

Data Management

Upon receiving a NSF ARCSS award, the Principal Investigator(s) (PI) will be contacted by the ARCSS Data Archive at the National Center for Atmospheric Research/ Earth Observing Laboratory (NCAR/EOL) to establish a data management plan. This plan will include procedures to migrate all data collected to the ARCSS Data Archive at NCAR/EOL. In addition, the Data Archive 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.

Data Exchange

All data collected in the course of ARCSS-funded research is considered ARCSS community property. Principal investigators retain exclusive use of the data collected during the first year. After one year, data will be released to other ARCSS investigators. Two years after data collection, the data will be made available to all other science users through the ARCSS Data Archive at NCAR/EOL. Exceptions to these time frames will be referred to the specific ARCSS project Science Steering Committee or Science Management Office (SMO) and appropriate time period arrangements will be determined.

Data Set Referencing

Citation will be given to the investigators responsible for data collection in any and all papers using ARCSS data sets.

References 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 ARCSS contribution numbers (if this program is developed); and
  5. reference to the ARCSS Archive at the National Center for Atmospheric Research/ Earth Observing Laboratory

This information will be included with the meta-data associated with each data set.

Data and Information Formats

In coordination with the ARCSS Data Archive at NCAR/EOL, the PI(s) will include, at a minimum, 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 coverage, 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 sets may have specific additional guidelines; the ARCSS Data Archive at NCAR/EOL will work with ARCSS SMOs and the PI(s) to accommodate whatever special considerations are necessary. A metadata submission form designed by the ARCSS Data Archive at NCAR/EOL will be available to help the PI(s) encapsulate this information.