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Draft data policy


Guiding principles

The first guiding principle of the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal is the principle of free and open access to data in a partnership approach. This is in accordance with the data policy of other major organisations like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

From the Memorandum of Understanding for GBIF: “… coordinated international scientific effort is needed to enable users throughout the world to openly share and put to use vast quantities of global biodiversity data, thereby advancing scientific research in many disciplines, promoting technological and sustainable development, facilitating the conservation of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of its benefits, and enhancing the quality of life of members of society. The importance of making biodiversity data openly available to all countries and individuals is underscored by various international agreements."

We highly encourage scientists to adopt the data publication principles (e.g. Costello 2009 - doi:10.1525/bio.2009.59.5.9) and regard data publication as an alternative way of publication where scientists get visibility and are credited through citation of their data.

A second guiding principle is that the scientist or team generating the data should have the opportunity to analyse the data and publish a paper before releasing the data itself. We nevertheless encourage scientists to prepare their data for submission to the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal and notify us of an embargo period before the release of the data (cfr. how one would prepare sequences for GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ).

The Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal or BioFresh do not assert any intellectual property rights in the data that is made available through the portal. The data policy of the data originator will take precedence over this data policy. The Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal or BioFresh does not claim ownership of the data, only the participating institutes/organisations and/or the funder of the data will have this responsibility.


General recommendations

In order to minimise probability of data loss, data providers are urged to submit datasets (electronic and paper) for archiving in the recognised data centre of their choice for long-term preservation of the dataset as soon as data becomes available. Data submitted for archiving will not be edited or quality controlled by the data centre, except for routine checks on the syntactic consistency of data (e.g. database and/or file integrity). All archived datasets have to be documented properly, and documentation archived together with the dataset. Also contextual data (environmental characteristics, meteorology and climate data…) should be archived together with the primary (biodiversity) data.

Metadata are always freely accessible, without restrictions. The submission/publication of data usually coincides with the creation of a metadata record, which will be made available, inter alia, online through the Freshwater Metadatabase. Metadata include taxonomic, geographic and temporal scope, data ownership/stewardship and conditions of access, and a description of 'fitness for use' of the data.

All the sources of data in the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal available on-line will be acknowledged, at the level of the individual record. The Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal has developed a ‘data usage agreement’ for data available through its website; visitors will be requested to confirm that they have read and agreed with the terms of use in the data usage agreement before they are given access to the data. Briefly, the data usage agreement requires the databases to be cited in publications that make use of data harvested using the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal, and to cite individual datasets.

This data policy may be revised as required, in agreement with the BioFresh consortium, partners and data contributors.


Submitting data used in a scientific paper or publishing data through a (meta)data paper

An interesting possibility to ensure that a dataset or database can be cited, is to explicitly refer to the scientific paper in which the data was used (if the paper came first) or make data available through a paper describing the dataset. Such a data paper could be either focus on an extended description of the data (metadata) or be further extended by e.g. sketching the history, value and usefulness of the dataset for fellow scientists and by including basic analysis of the data for publication in a regular scientific journal. We have developed an easy to publish option once the data are stored in the Freshwater Metadatabase: metadata can be released as Freshwater Metadata Journal article with open access and an allocated DOI. Have a look at the other publishing options described here for more information.


Data usage agreement

  1. The quality, accuracy and completeness of data provided by the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal cannot be guaranteed. It lies within the responsibility of data providers to perform quality control and further corrections. In any case, users employ this data at their own responsibility.
  2. Users must respect restrictions of access to sensitive data.
  3. In order to make proper usage attribution to data creators/owners, the data ownership identifier must be retained with every data record (e.g., a paper-published reference, a database with the date of the version).
  4. In conjunction with the use of the data, users must publicly acknowledge the data publishers, providers and creators/owners whose data they use. Data users should refer to the suggested citation information provided on the data portal, the results page(s) and in the data download as applicable. Data providers may require additional attribution of specific datasets within their institution as identified in the metadata.
  5. Users must comply with additional terms and conditions for data usage specified by the data provider in the metadata when existing.
  6. Unless specified otherwise, data are made available under one of the following licenses/licence waivers; the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) Public Domain Dedication, the Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and License (PDDL), the Open Data Commons Attribution License or the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL).
  7. For any commercial use, potential users should refer to the conditions stated in the metadata and get in touch with the original data creator/owner. If no data creator/owner is specified, request should be directed to the project coordinator Klement Tockner.

Citing data

Use the following format to cite data retrieved from the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal:

Data publisher (if applicable), Data provider (if applicable), Data owner/creator (Year/Timespan) Dataset name. Published on http://data.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu, accessed on DD/MM/YYYY, doi: .

Examples:

BioFresh as data publisher:
BioFresh (publisher), CBGIG Lake phytoplankton group (provider), Geoff Phillips (creator). (2012) Central Baltic GIG Lakes Phytoplankton data [UK]. Accessed on http://data.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu, 26/04/2012, doi .

BioFresh/Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal hosting the data:
DAET consortium (publisher), Max Mustermann (owner). (2012- ) DAET data Germany. Published on http://data.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu, accessed on 26/04/2012, doi: .

If accessed through GBIF:
BioFresh (publisher), DAET consortium (provider), Max Mustermann (owner). (2012- ) DAET data Germany. Published through http://data.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu/, accessed on http://data.gbif.org, 26/04/2012, doi: .


Data publishing agreement

Data providers to the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal are required to sign this agreement on data publishing as formulated below. Providers are strongly encouraged to foster scientific research by supporting the public use of these data. In addition, providers agree that data published through the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal will be made available through partner or stakeholder networks such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility ( GBIF). Data publication and sharing will take place within a framework of appropriate attribution. The Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal wants to assure that all contributors to the datasets, and the conditions of availability and use, are clearly visible and properly acknowledged.

  1. Metadata will be made openly and freely available to all users to make datasets discoverable through the metadatabase index on the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal.
  2. Data will be made available to all users according to the terms and conditions specified by the data provider and/or creator/owner in their metadata details. The BioFresh consortium encourages open and free publication of freshwater biodiversity related data. Data holders can choose to make their data available under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) Public Domain Dedication, the Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and License (PDDL), the Open Data Commons Attribution License or the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL). Potential users of the data will be presented with the data usage agreement shown below.
  3. The data publisher , the individual or organisation who publishes and/or makes data available through the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal. It can be the data creator/owner, the data provider, BioFresh or the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal itself. does not assert any intellectual property rights over the data that is made available by the data creator/owner the person or organisation that gathered or computed data first. or data provider the person or organisation that presents data for publication to the data publisher. through the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal , unless the data publisher and the data creator/owner are the same. The Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal is committed to correctly acknowledge the data creator/owner, the data provider and data publisher as specified in the dataset and/or metadata. The Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal will make reasonable efforts to ensure that the data are properly acknowledged by partner or stakeholder networks.
  4. The data provider the person or organisation that presents data for publication to the data publisher. warrants that he/she has made the necessary agreements with the original data creators/owners so that he/she can make the data available.
  5. The data provider makes reasonable efforts to ensure that the (meta)data he/she provides are accurate.
  6. Responsibility regarding the restriction of access to sensitive data resides successively with the data creator/owner and the data provider as identified in the metadata.
  7. The data provider makes reasonable efforts to provide stable and unique identifiers in the data to facilitate the governance of the data (e.g. verification and updating of original records) and the identification of the original data creators/owners.
  8. The data publisher may cache and accumulate data and serve full or partial datasets further to users and stakeholders, including the terms and conditions for use as specified by the data provider.
  9. The Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal, BioFresh, its employees and contractors cannot be held liable or responsible for the data contents, or their use, or their proper citation; or for any loss, damage, claim, cost or expense however it may arise, or from an inability to operate the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal.