Our community is faced with a fundamental trade-off - on the one hand, the protection of the intellectual effort and time of originating investigators (those who plan an experiment, collect, calibrate, and process a data set to answer some questions about the ocean), and on the other hand the need to compare various data sets and data types to check their consistency, to better understand the ocean processes involved, and to see how well the numerical models describe the real ocean.
The WOCE program during the 1990s asked that any data collected as part of WOCE should be made publicly available no later than two years from collection, unless differing proprietary rights were specifically granted by the WOCE Scientific Steering Group (SSG) and funding agencies. The funding agencies supporting the US Global Ocean Carbon and Repeat Hydrography Program, which began its sea work in 2003, require essentially immediate (5-week from end of cruise) public availability of shipboard data and two-year availability of most other cruise data. Other nations and other funding agencies impose various different requirements on their investigators. These are to be respected.
Global ocean change, ocean carbon, ocean modeling, climate and other studies are most expeditiously advanced when data are freely and widely, but appropriately, shared. Originating investigators are thus strongly encouraged to share their data even before being required to do so. This means, however, that some preliminary data will be in use in the community. Data users who make use of recently obtained data should contact the data originators not only for the benefits of collegial nicety, but also to ensure that the data in use have not been updated in some manner related to the analyses. This courtesy also helps to insure that data originators are aware of the uses of their data in the community - an important item they may wish to provide to their support agencies - and it provides increased opportunities for collaboration. Data originators are also aware of modifications to their data and documentation, and of sources of additional data or documentation.
The primary distinction regarding data sharing within the CCHDO is whether the data are "public" or, instead, whether they are "non-public". __"Public" data may be placed on-line. They may be exchanged between investigators as desired. They may or may not be preliminary, and especially for preliminary public data users are strongly advised to contact the originating investigators regarding the status of updates or further data processing. __"Non-public" data cannot and will not be placed on-line at the CCHDO in open form. If available from the CCHDO they must be encrypted or in password-controlled areas, with passwords held by the data providers (and the CCHDO). Investigators who wish to use non-public data then must contact the data originator(s) for permission to use the data and, if permission is granted, for the password(s).
ALL CCHDO-relevant data, preliminary or final, public or non-public, should be at the CCHDO. Preliminary data should be sent to the CCHDO as soon as they are available. They will be closely guarded from public dissemination if the data originators indicate they are to remain "non-public". This action permits the CCHDO to work with investigators quietly, "behind the scenes", to correct minor format and content problems common in most data files. The CCHDO, on its own initiative, will not make "public" any "non-public" data files without approval from the data originator(s).
"Public" data may be placed on-line at the WHPO or other web sites, or on WHPO CD-ROMs. They may be exchanged between investigators as desired. They may or may not be preliminary, and especially for preliminary public data users are strongly advised to contact the WHP Office (for example at our online website) and/or the originating investigator regarding the status of updates or further data processing.
"Non-public" data cannot be placed on-line in open form at the WHPO or other web sites, or on WHPO CD-ROMs. If available from such locations they must be encrypted or locked, with passwords held by the data provider (and the WHP Office). Investigators who wish to use non-public data must contact the data originator(s) for permission to use the data and, if permission is granted, for the password(s).