EDI Data Policy

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**. 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). EDI reserves the right to periodically review restricted data to determine if embargos continue to be justified.

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 numeric 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.

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.

*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.