GCTE Data and Model Sharing Policy

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Many of GCTE's Tasks involve experimental and modelling networks which call for the sharing of data and models among network members. The "spirit" of GCTE is to share models and data, as far as institutional or other constraints will allow. The following guidelines clarify GCTE's policy regarding ownership and sharing of data and models.

1. Property Rights. All data and models (computer code) remain the property of the research worker(s) who obtained it. No network member or coordination centre shall pass data or models on to a third party outside the network without the owner's expressed permission. The data and models shall not be used in GCTE publications, other than with the permission of the research worker(s) concerned.

2. Use within Network. There is often a long lag time between the collection of data or the evolution of a model or model component to a "stable" state and its publication in the scientific literature. The GCTE networks aim to reduce this lag by facilitating the exchange of data and models prior to publication. GCTE will ensure that such exchanges preserve the originator's right to legitimate first use of the data and model, their right to know to whom within the network the information has been distributed, and the recognition of priority. Members of GCTE networks are obliged to observe these rights, and to release models and data to other current members of the network and to the coordinating centre under these conditions.

3. Publications. Each researcher is encouraged to publish his/her work in the normal way, and is requested to state in the acknowledgements that the work is a contribution to the GCTE Core Research Programme. Reprints of publications will be gratefully received by the GCTE Core Project Office and the relevant Focus Office.

4. Synthesis and Reviews. One of the aims of GCTE is to conduct syntheses of the data gathered from sites within a network. Once synthesised, data from specific sites will lose their individuality and become part of the GCTE regional, and ultimately global, picture. Those conducting a synthesis exercise on behalf of GCTE may feel that their work merits publication in its own right, and they should be encouraged to publish in an appropriate journal. Any such paper must include suitable acknowledgement of contributing research workers, and state that it is part of the GCTE Core Research Programme. Should published data be used in the synthesis, references must be made in the normal style of a review.

Any contributor whose data are used in a significant way and whose data collection is wholly or largely intended for the network is entitled to become a co-author. It must, however, be recognised that there is a level of participation (or data use) below which addition of a further co-author would be inequitable to major authors. In the unlikely event that concern regarding inclusion or not of a given co-author becomes an issue, the Chairman of GCTE will confer with those concerned and act as arbitrator.

These guidelines are not legally enforceable, but it is expected that members of GCTE networks will abide by them.

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