Data Use and Embargo Policy

Overview: Neotoma and its Constituent Databases
The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is an international coalition of multiple constituent databases. The Data Use Policy described here applies to all constituent databases, unless superseded by data use policies developed for individual constituent databases (see Appendix 1).

Use, Citation, and Attribution
All data available through the Neotoma Paleoecological Database are free to use with attribution under a CC BY 4.0 license [link]. Complete attribution includes a reference to the Neotoma Paleoecology Database, constituent databases where relevant, and references to all original investigators and publications. Large-scale studies that employ many datasets and sites should seek solutions that ultimately result in citation for the datasets used.

Normal ethics apply to co-authorship of scientific publications. Paleoecological datasets are labor-intensive and complex: they take years to generate and may have additional attributes and metadata not captured in the Neotoma database. Users of data stored in Neotoma should consider inviting the original data contributor, or constituent database collator, to be a co-author(s) of any resultant publications if that contributor’s data are a major portion of the dataset analyzed, or if a data contributor makes a significant contribution to the analysis of the data or to the interpretation of results. For large-scale studies using many Neotoma records, contacting all contributors or making them co-authors will not be practical, possible, or reasonable. Under no circumstance should authorship be attributed to data contributors, individually or collectively, without their explicit consent.

In all cases, any use of Neotoma data should include the following or similar text in their acknowledgments:  
“Data were obtained from the Neotoma Paleoecology Database (http://www.neotomadb.org), and the work of the data contributors and the Neotoma community is gratefully acknowledged.”

Upon publication, please also send to Neotoma, or to the leaders and data stewards for the relevant data community (e.g. the Global Pollen Database, the Vertebrates Working Group, Ostracode working group, etc.), a copy of the published work or a link to the electronic resource. Your assistance helps document the usage of the database.

Neotoma Embargo Policy
General Principles
  1. The intent of embargoes is to enable the early submission of data to Neotoma prior to publication, while protecting the right of data generators and data synthesizers to first use of the uploaded data.  This enables scientists to better follow best practices, in which data and metadata are jointly managed in start-to-finish scientific workflows.
  2. Neotoma is a public-access data repository and research resource, so embargoes are inherently temporary.  
  3. Embargoes can be requested and obtained under certain specific conditions.  
  4. The policy described here is the general and default embargo policy that applies to all of Neotoma’s Constituent Databases unless otherwise noted.  Constituent Databases may create variations on the below embargo policy, as long as their implementation is technically feasible and does not violate Neotoma’s Creative Commons license.
Embargo Policy
Embargoes are enforced at the level of dataset.  For embargoed datasets, basic metadata are publicly viewable, but the datasets themselves are not.  Basic metadata include geospatial coordinates, site name, dataset type, current end date of embargo, and researchers’ names.  Standard tools for searching the Neotoma Database (e.g. Neotoma Explorer, APIs) can return basic metadata for embargoed sites.  If a geochronological dataset for a site is embargoed, then temporal coordinates or other temporal information will not be returned for that site.  Similarly, taxonomic information will not be returned for embargoed fossil datasets.
Every embargoed dataset will have one or more access managers, usually the original data generator or data uploader.  Access managers and their designates can access their embargoed data in Neotoma, using standard tools such as Neotoma Explorer, Tilia, and APIs.  Access will be enabled via a key code or similar solution.
Two standard situations exist where embargoing may be appropriate:
1. Contribution of new and unpublished datasets to Neotoma prior to first publication.  In this case the access manager(s) will be the original data generator(s), e.g. the principal investigator, student, and/or analyst responsible for the data.  
Example:  An archaeologist begins a new dig, collects a series of radiocarbon and OSL dates, conducts palynological analyses, and identifies a series of vertebrate fossils at the site.  Embargo is requested and provided for the geochronological, pollen, and vertebrate datasets.
2. Preparing and uploading of previously published datasets to Neotoma by data synthesizers.  Here the access manager(s) will be the data synthesizer(s) who find, obtain, and prepare data for upload to Neotoma.  Embargoing in this instance recognizes the work of the data synthesizer in preparing and cleaning data for upload to Neotoma.  In this case, access should be always shared with the original data generator.
Example:  A research team is producing a synthesis of megafaunal extinction timing on Pacific Islands.  They assemble a series of published geochronological dates on vertebrate specimens and upload these datasets to Neotoma.  Embargo is requested and provided for the geochronological and vertebrate datasets at each site.  
Embargoing is not automatic; embargoes must be requested by the relevant data contributor(s).  
Embargoes are temporary and last for a defined time period.  Normally, an embargo lasts two years after a dataset is uploaded to Neotoma, or until publication, whichever happens first.  
  1. Embargoes will be automatically lifted after two years, unless data generators request an extension.  Up to two two-year extensions can be requested.
  2. Neotoma follows the Joint Data Archiving Policy (JDAP), in which data are normally made publicly available at time of publication.  
Jack Williams, Eric Grimm, Allan Ashworth, Julio Betancourt, Jessica Blois, Robert Booth, Richard Bradshaw, Phil Buckland, Don Charles, Brandon Curry, Edward Davis, Thomas Giesecke, Simon Goring, Russell W. Graham, Claudio Latorre, Jonathan Nichols, Suzanne Pilaar-Birch, and Alison Smith

This data use policy was reviewed and discussed at the Neotoma All Hands meeting in December 2015, then reviewed and confirmed July 1, 2016 by the Neotoma Principal Investigators and representatives of Neotoma’s Constituent Databases.

Appendix 1. Data Use Policies for Individual Constituent Databases
BugsCEP (Coleopteran Data, Europe) Please reference the use of BugsCEP with the following two citations, and include the date of download and program versions where data or methods are used:
Buckland, P.I. & Buckland, P.C. (2006). BugsCEP Coleopteran Ecology Package. IGBP PAGES/World Data Center for Paleoclimatology Data Contribution Series # 2006-116. NOAA/NCDC Paleoclimatology Program, Boulder CO, USA.
URL: www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/insect.html
Buckland, P.I. (2007). "The Development and Implementation of Software for Palaeoenvironmental and Palaeoclimatological Research: The Bugs Coleopteran Ecology Package (BugsCEP)". PhD thesis, Environmental Archaeology Lab., Department of Archaeology & Sámi Studies. University of Umeå, Sweden. Archaeology and Environment 23, 236 pp + CD.
Available online: www.diva-portal.org/umu/abstract.xsql?dbid=1105