Environmental Data Initiative Data Policy

Version 0.0, Adopted 25 November 2019

Definitions
Data Package accessibility
Sensitive data
Offline data
Intellectual Rights of the data contributor

The Environmental Data Initiative (herein EDI) provides services defined as publication and archive of science data to communities world-wide. In accordance with the EDI scope and mission, the following Data Policy statement declares an agreed upon understanding between EDI and the individual or individuals responsible for any and all data submitted to the EDI data repository for the purposes of publication and archive.

Definitions

The following definitions are used throughout this Data Contributor Policy

EDI data contributor. An individual or individuals who are responsible for submitting a data package to the EDI data repository for the purpose of data publication and archive.

EDI customer. An individual or individuals who utilizes EDI’s data publication and archive service.

EDI data repository. An Internet-based scientific data repository service for scientific data publication and archive.

EDI data publication and archive. The process by which scientific data and metadata are made discoverable and available through EDI computational infrastructure, including the long-term curation and management of such data.

EDI website. The official EDI Internet website (https://environmentaldatainitiative.org) where general information about EDI, including policies, news, events, and featured scientific data may be accessed.

Science Data. Data collected by external parties that is published and archived by EDI.

Science Data Package. The aggregate product produced by combining science data with science metadata.

Science Metadata. Textual metadata describing scientific data that is published and archived by EDI

 

Data Package accessibility

The Environmental Data Initiative (EDI) strives to make environmental research data open and accessible to the general public without undue restrictions or barriers. Although EDI strongly recommends making all data publicly available, we recognize that some data may require limited access while it is under review during manuscript preparation. In these cases, the EDI Data Repository supports access control to data when justified by the data provider, thereby limiting exposure of the data resource to only users with appropriate permission*. Such access control must be clearly specified in the data package metadata. EDI will also accept data that requires a permanent embargo due to issues of sensitivity (e.g., the location of endangered species or antiquities). Although EDI will enforce access control of data as specified in the data package metadata, EDI does not guarantee the privacy of such information. If data are to be submitted to the EDI Data Repository with restricted access, we request that an explanation of the data embargo, including if and when the data will be made available to the general public, be provided in the data entity description field of the data package metadata. Only for extreme circumstances will EDI allow both the metadata and data to be restricted**. EDI reserves the right to periodically review restricted data to determine if embargos continue to be justified.

*Access to science metadata and data must be granted explicitly within the data package metadata (access is denied by default). Data packages containing restricted data (i.e., not publicly accessible) will not be shared with DataONE.

** The restriction of an entire data package (both metadata and data) should be arranged with EDI prior to submitting the data package to the data repository. Data packages that do not allow public access to both science metadata and data will not receive a Digital Object Identifier.

Sensitive data

Under no circumstance will EDI knowingly accept data that is protected by Federal, State, or local laws (e.g., FERPA, HIPAA, or IRB restrictions on human subject data). In addition, science metadata often contains personal data of individuals involved in scientific research. These personal data may be available to other EDI customers and the general public through an EDI website. As such, EDI requires that the individual or individuals responsible for submitting science data packages to EDI for the purpose of data publication and archive acknowledges that such science data and metadata is not restricted by any governing laws or that personal data contained within science metadata does so only with the explicit knowledge and permission of the individual or individuals it affects.

Offline data

There is also the option to declare data “offline” within the distribution field of the data package metadata, which eliminates the need to have data “network” accessible to the EDI Data Repository during the data package upload process. The use of offline data is only recommended for data that are too voluminous for network or storage capacity, such as the output from numerical models. Offline data must be provided to the EDI Data Repository through alternative means (e.g., SSD drive via a common carrier) prior to uploading the data package metadata. EDI requests that an explanation of the offline status be provided in the data entity description field of the data package metadata, including the preferred method of data distribution if required to satisfy a data request.

Intellectual Rights of the data contributor

EDI makes every effort to ensure that all data are curated with intellectual rights defined by the data provider as found in the data package metadata. Although EDI advocates for open and unfettered access to data packages without use restrictions, we do not forbid data providers from declaring more restrictive licensing agreements for use of their data packages. Data providers should include a statement of Intellectual Rights in the metadata of their submissions. If they do not, EDI reserves the right to add a default declaration of intellectual rights to the data package metadata. The default declaration of intellectual rights used by EDI is based on the Creative Commons CC0 “No Rights Reserved” waiver. See below for the full default statement:

This data package is released to the “public domain” under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 “No Rights Reserved” (see: https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/). It is considered professional etiquette to provide attribution of the original work if this data package is shared in whole or by individual components. A generic citation is provided for this data package on the website https://portal.edirepository.org (herein “website”) in the summary metadata page. Communication (and collaboration) with the creators of this data package is recommended to prevent duplicate research or publication. This data package (and its components) is made available “as is” and with no warranty of accuracy or fitness for use. The creators of this data package and the website shall not be liable for any damages resulting from misinterpretation or misuse of the data package or its components. Periodic updates of this data package may be available from the website. Thank you.

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