U.S. JGOFS Data Policy


      From  the inception of the program, the U.S. JGOFS Steering
Committee (SC) has recognized the necessity for a data management
strategy that addresses both program and individual PI needs.  To
this  end,  U.S. JGOFS is committed to the timely submission  and
sharing of all data collected in U.S. JGOFS field programs.

     A Data Management System (DMS) has been developed with
financial  support  from NSF, by Glenn Flierl,  Jim  Bishop,  and
David  Glover.   This system is being implemented in  U.S.  JGOFS
during  1994, and is now available to all participants in  the
program, regardless of funding source.  The approach taken by the
systems team was to design a data management scheme in which  the
PI's  current  best  versions of their data sets  reside  at  the
originators'  sites  rather than being gathered  into  a  central
archive.   The  data  file format is likewise  the  PI's  choice.
Users  can access any of the individual data sets without  regard
to storage method (format) or location, using the data system.

      The  data  system is now being implemented, maintained  and
operated  by the U.S. JGOFS Data Management Office (DMO),  headed
by Cyndy Chandler  (formerly by Christine Hammond),  at the Woods
Hole Oceanographic Institution.  It is the mission of the DMO  to
assure  that  all  U.S. JGOFS data sets are readily accessible by

      Ultimately,  all  data will be archived with  the  National
Oceanographic Data Center in response to national policy.

      To  achieve  the  goals set forth by national  and  program
policy,  a  strong commitment to data management is  required  of
each  participating PI.  In accepting NSF support within the U.S.
JGOFS  program, each PI is obligated to meet the following  suite
of  data  management requirements as an integral aspect of  their
participation in the program.


      The  national policy on the release of marine environmental
data  to  the public domain is very explicit regarding submission
to  the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC).  To paraphrase
the  national  policy, recipients of federal  funding  supporting
collection  of marine environmental data must release these  data
to  the  NODC within two years of the date of collection.   Thus,
U.S.  JGOFS  investigators have these  conditions  to  meet.   In
addition, the national policy requires that post cruise inventory
information, in the form of a ROSCOP form, be completed within 60
days of the end of the cruise, usually by the Chief Scientist.

     The DMO will compile and submit to NODC the cruise inventory
information  and ensure that U.S. JGOFS data sets are transferred
to NODC as specified.

     Guidelines:   U.S.  JGOFS  Chief  Scientists  will   be
     required  to  maintain a detailed event log  for  every
     sampling  operation for a given cruise/leg of  a  field
     collection   effort.   This  log   will   include   the
     following:   operation  number,  station  number,  cast
     number,  date, time, position, sampling device, desired
     comments (see attached sample).
     U.S.  JGOFS  PI's  are required to submit  to  the  DMO
     detailed  sampling inventory information  for  a  given


      The  U.S. JGOFS data management policy is based on openness
and  data  sharing for the mutual benefit of program  PI's.   The
policy  sets guidelines for release of data from program  defined
Core  and non-Core Measurements, with the understanding that some
measurements  require longer analytical procedures which  prevent
speedy release after cruises.

      Basic  Core  Measurements are defined as  those  needed  to
depict  general environmental conditions that existed during  the
survey  period.   To  obtain these fundamental measurements,  NSF
funds   specific  PI's  to  make  Core  Measurements   with   the
stipulation  that these data be readily available  to  the  other
PI's on an unrestricted basis.

       Although  not  comprehensive,  the  list  of  Basic   Core
Measurements   for   any   cruise  may  include:   meteorological
observations;  profiling  of  temperature,  salinity,   dissolved
oxygen,   nutrients,   carbonate  system,   chlorophyll/pigments,
particulate  organic  carbon  and  nitrogen,  dissolved   organic
carbon,  fluorescence, beam attenuation, light  transmission  and
bio-optical   profiling;   primary  and   bacterial   production,
phytoplankton,  zooplankton  and  bacteria  biomass,  meso-   and
microzooplankton grazing; biogenic, lithogenic,  and  grain  size
components  of  sediments, sediment trap  samples;  and  remotely
sensed   observations  in  the  form  of  processed  sea  surface
temperature  and ocean color images to the level  of  chlorophyll
and attenuation coefficient.

      The  primary  mechanism  for data release  in  response  to
program policy and for making data available to program PI's  and
the  DMO  is  via  the  U.S. JGOFS Data Management  System.   The
Steering  Committee strongly urges all PI's with workstations  to
install  the DMS and use it as the method for data  submission.
PI's  who do not have access to workstations must submit data  to
the  DMO,  where  data  sets will be loaded  on  workstations  at

      Access  to  data  sets  on  the DMS  is  not  limited  to
workstation  technology.  PI's with networked MAC or PC  hardware
can readily access data on the DMS (see System documentation for
more detail).

      The  DMO  will  support the installation  of  the  DMS  on
workstation and PC/MAC equipment and provide systems training  to
Program PI's.

     Guidelines:    Depending   on   shipboard    processing
     capabilities,   it  is  envisioned   that   some   Core
     Measurements   (i.e.,   CTD  and   some   bottle   cast
     measurements) will be available in preliminary form  at
     the  end  of  each cruise.  Distribution is limited  to
     cruise participants with the data labeled preliminary.
     Final  versions  of  most Core Measurements  should  be
     placed  on the DMS within 6-12 months of the  sampling
     date.    It   is   also  understood  that   some   Core
     Measurements  will  not be available  within  the  time
     frame  set by this guideline, due to the nature of  the
     analytical  process.  However, all  PI's  making  these
     measurements must strive to meet a timely release date.
     Within  one  year of each cruise all Core and  non-Core
     Measurements  must be placed on the DMS.   To  further
     U.S. JGOFS science objectives, PI's responsible for non-
     Core  Measurements are encouraged to  share  data  with
     their colleagues prior to the release deadlines.


     Because many of the analytical procedures being used in U.S.
JGOFS  are  "state  of  the  art," and thus  subject  to  change,
documentation  on sampling and analytical methods  is  essential.
The DMS allows for submission of documentation text files.  They
are identified in the DMS Dictionary as supporting documentation

     Guidelines:   All  data placed  on  the  DMS  must  be
     accompanied by a text file of documentation on sampling
     and  analytical  protocols.  This documentation  should
     include descriptions of: shipboard sampling procedures,
     sample  preparations, analytical procedures,  equipment
     calibrations,  data  reduction techniques,  computation
     algorithms,   citations  and   anything   else   deemed


     To maintain a true data base management system each data set
must  contain some critical control parameters.  Each observation
must  contain the unique operation/event number.  If sampling  is
from  a  bottle cast, the cast number and bottle number  must  be

      The  DMS  was designed to be format independent and  those
PI's  placing their data on local workstations have few,  if  any
concrete  format  requirements.  These PI's have several  options
available to them:  (1) The systems team has written a number  of
data  translation  programs (methods) for a number  of  the  more
basic  data formats.  With only minor reformatting, a PI  may  be
able  to  adapt  his  or  her data to  one  of  these  structures
eliminating the need to write a method.  (2)  The PI can  prepare
an  interpreting  program  that fits his  or  her  internal  data
format.   In  either  case, contact the  DMO  for  more  detailed

      Those  individuals  placing their data  with  the  DMO  for
installation   on   the   DMS  have  minimal   data   formatting
requirements.  The formatted data must contain the  above  listed
critical control parameters.  The data formats described  in  the
attachment  are acceptable structures that the DMS  can  utilize
with  a  minimal amount of system preparation on the part of  the
DMO.   The  data must be in ASCII code and can be transmitted  to
the  DMO  via FTP or mailed on magnetic media.  Those individuals
having  data sets that cannot be formatted to one of these  forms
should contact the DMO for guidelines.

     Guideline:   All data sets must contain  the  following
     mandatory elements;  Each observation must contain  the
     event/operation  number.  If  sampling  from  a  bottle
     cast,  each samples data record must contain the event,
     cast and bottle number.
     Guideline:  Those PI's submitting their data to the DMO
     for  installation on the Data System, at minimum,  must
     comply  with  one  of  the  formats  described  in  the


      The  DMO  provides routine quality assessment of  all  data
placed on the Data System.  This effort is accomplished either by
the  DMO  directly  or  through assistance  provided  by  experts
working  with the DMO.  All data will be reviewed and categorized
according  to an established set of standards, where  applicable.
Investigators will be notified of data quality issues, and  asked
for comment and/or corrections.

     Guideline:   PI's  are responsible for maintaining  the
     quality and correctness of the data placed on the DMS.
     Questions raised by the DMO should be addressed by  the
     PI as quickly as possible.


      While recognizing the legitimate rights of data originators
to  the  first  use  of the data they collect,  U.S.  JGOFS  also
encourages  the oceanographic community to use data collected  by
the  program,  and in particular, believes that data availability
should  be  restricted only in exceptional cases.  Data  normally
becomes publicly available for use without restriction two  years
after  origination.  It is expected that all users will  properly
acknowledge the source of the data.

     Guideline:   Basic Core Measurements will be  available
     to   U.S.   JGOFS  investigators  without   restriction
     following  submission  to  the  DMO.   However,  it  is
     expected  that published works will cite the originator
     and will be sent to him or her for prior review.
     Guideline:  All non-Core Measurements will be available
     to U.S. JGOFS investigators with restrictions requested
     by  the  PI, such as: can be viewed by all JGOFS  PI's,
     view  and use only with consent of originator, use only
     in collaboration with originator, etc.
     Guideline:  Data will be released to the public  domain
     two  years  after the date of collection. Before  then,
     all  requests  from  investigators  outside  the  JGOFS
     program  will be referred to the PI unless the DMO  has
     been  given explicit permission to distribute the  data