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Data Use and Embargo Policy

Neotoma data use, citation, and attribution policies

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 modified by data use policies developed for individual Constituent Databases (see Appendix 2).

Use, Citation, and Attribution

All data available through the Neotoma Paleoecology Database are free to use with attribution under a CC BY 4.0 license.

Complete attribution operates at three levels:

  1. a reference to the Neotoma Paleoecology Database
  2. reference to the relevant Constituent Database(s) (Appendix 2)
  3. references to all original investigators and primary publications for the data used.

Large-scale studies that employ many datasets should seek solutions that ultimately result in citation for the datasets used. Neotoma now supports DOIs as citation endpoints for all datasets.

See Appendix 1 for the preferred citation for Neotoma and for standard text for the Acknowledgments. See Appendix 2 for the preferred citation for individual Constituent Databases.

Upon publication, please also send to Neotoma, or to the leaders and data stewards for the relevant Constituent Database, a copy of the published work or a link to the electronic resource. Your assistance helps document the usage of the database.


Paleoecological datasets are labor-intensive and complex: they take years to generate and always have additional attributes and metadata not captured in Neotoma. Neotoma data quality also relies on expert curation by data stewards, each associated with one or more Constituent Databases.

Users of data stored in Neotoma’s Constituent Databases should consider inviting the original data contributor, or Constituent Database steward(s), 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 or steward 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 stewards or making them co-authors will not be practical, possible, or reasonable.

Under no circumstance should authorship be attributed to data contributors or stewards, individually or collectively, without their explicit consent.

Data Embargos for Unpublished Data

Neotoma plans to enable the temporary embargoing of some uploaded datasets. Embargo is designed to encourage good scientific data-management practice of preparing scientific data and metadata prior to publication. Access to and use of embargoed data requires permission from the original investigator or data synthesizer. Please review the Neotoma Embargo Policy.

Cite and Acknowledge the Neotoma Paleoecology Database*

*please also consult the next section for any constituent database citations

Citation: The preferred citation for the Neotoma Paleoecology Database is Williams, Grimm et al. (2018):

Williams, J.W., Grimm, E.G., Blois, J., Charles, D.F., Davis, E., Goring, S.J., Graham, R., Smith, A.J., Anderson, M., Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Ashworth, A.C., Betancourt, J.L., Bills, B.W., Booth, R.K., Buckland, P., Curry, B., Giesecke, T., Hausmann, S., Jackson, S.T., Latorre, C., Nichols, J., Purdum, T., Roth, R.E., Stryker, M., Takahara, H., 2018. The Neotoma Paleoecology Database: A multi-proxy, international community-curated data resource. Quaternary Research 89, 156-177.

Acknowledgments: Any use of Neotoma data should include the following or similar text in the acknowledgments:

“Data were obtained from the Neotoma Paleoecology Database ( and its constituent database(s) [list here]. The work of data contributors, data stewards, and the Neotoma community is gratefully acknowledged.”

Preferred Citation, Acknowledgments, and Data Use Policies for Constituent Databases

Constituent Databases are listed alphabetically. If a Constituent Database is not listed below, please use the standard Neotoma citation and policy above.

African Pollen Database

Please cite: Lézine, A. M., Ivory, S. J., Gosling, W. D., & Scott, L. (2021). The African Pollen Database (APD) and tracing environmental change: State of the Art. Quaternary Vegetation Dynamics–The African Pollen Database, 5-12.

Alpine Pollen Database (ALPADABA)

Please see European Pollen Database


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:

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:

European Pollen Database (EPD) and Alpine Pollen Database (ALPADABA)

Please use the following or similar acknowledgment: Data were obtained from the Neotoma Paleoecology Database (, and the work of the data contributors, data stewards, and the Neotoma and in particular the EPD/ALPADABA community is gratefully acknowledged.

The currently preferred citation for EPD (including ALPADABA) is Fyfe et al. (2009). Please also cite Giesecke et al. (2014) if extensive use is made of the chronologies described there.

Fyfe, R. M., J. L. de Beaulieu, H. Binney, R. H. W. Bradshaw, S. Brewer, A. Le Flao, W. Finsinger, M. J. Gaillard, T. Giesecke, G. Gil-Romera, E. C. Grimm, B. Huntley, P. Kunes, N. Kuhl, M. Leydet, A. F. Lotter, P. E. Tarasov, and S. Tonkov. 2009. The European Pollen Database: past efforts and current activities. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 18:417-424.

Giesecke, T., B. Davis, S. Brewer, W. Finsinger, S. Wolters, M. Blaauw, J.-L. Beaulieu, H. Binney, R. Fyfe, M.-J. Gaillard, G. Gil-Romera, W. O. Knaap, P. Kuneš, N. Kühl, J. N. Leeuwen, M. Leydet, A. Lotter, E. Ortu, M. Semmler, and R. W. Bradshaw. 2014. Towards mapping the late Quaternary vegetation change of Europe. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 23:75-86.