Data Policy

We require researchers to deposit a copy of all data they generate from working at the SAFE Project into a centralised database. We also require that the data is accompanied with completed metadata to aid the interpretation of data. A guide to creating metadata in the appropriate format can be found here.

We have three reasons for holding data in a centralised database:

  1. Over the lifetime of the SAFE Project, it ensures we retain all information relevant to the experiment. Through time and as new researchers work at SAFE and deposit their data, historical data records will become progressively more valuable as a means of estimating ecological changes through time. Without a central database, these records would become progressively more fragmented and distributed among research groups around the world, making it virtually impossible to track down data in the future.
  2. We expect that you will benefit directly from the database. It provides an opportunity for you to obtain data to support your analyses without having to collect it yourself.
  3. Similarly, by ensuring we have a centralised database, we provide a method for researchers to link their projects and data with other projects and data that have already been collected. This will provide a means to support collaborations and interdisciplinary projects between researchers.

Depositing data

Researchers are required to deposit their data and metadata within twelve months of data collection, or immediately post-publication for datasets that get published. For multi-year projects, we expect researchers to provide annual updates for the central database.

Data protection

The central data repository includes appropriate permissions to ensure your data is protected and is not made freely available unless you specifically request that it is. We will protect data in this manner for a period of three years post-data collection, providing time to publish the data yourself. For studies that extend across multiple years, we will protect all your data until three years after the termination of field work. We will make your metadata freely available for other researchers to search at all times, facilitating interactions among researchers, but they will need your permission to obtain the data itself.

Accessing data

Any data requests should initially be directed to the individual researchers who collected the particular data you wish to use.