DCO Open Access and Data Policies

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Committing to Open Access Publication

Open access publishing is seen by many as the future of scientific publication, with governments and funding agencies around the world (including the US, the UK, Japan, NSF, NIH, Wellcome Trust, etc.) mandating open access considerations. While these considerations vary, most result in scientific findings becoming openly available, if not immediately, then after an embargo period on the order of 6-24 months. Open access publication ensures scientific progress is communicated to the broadest audience possible, including the tax-paying general public and scientists in countries without the luxury of extensive library resources. Unlike publication in a subscription-based journal, the cost of publication in open access journals is shifted from the reader/library and becomes the responsibility of the researcher. Open access charges vary by journal, and range from $1,000-$5,000. Importantly, authors do not surrender copyright to the publisher, and their paper becomes part of the public domain under Creative Commons licenses.

Fields such as physics and biomedicine are already pushing the boundaries of open access publication in many ways. DCO encourages Earth scientists to consider open access publication to ensure the broadest possible dissemination of their research findings.

DCO Open Access Policy

The Deep Carbon Observatory encourages open access publication and is striving to become a leader in Earth sciences in this regard. DCO funding can be used to defray the costs of open access publication. This includes publishing in journals that are open access in their entirety, as well as subscription journals for which articles can be selectively published openly. DCO funding should not be used to pay publication charges for an article only accessible with a subscription. If other sources of support are unavailable, then please contact the appropriate Community Chair or Co-Chair for information regarding availability of DCO Community funds to defray open access costs for articles acknowledging DCO.

Open Access Resources

DCO scientists looking for high-quality, peer-reviewed open access journals in which to publish their resesarch can review Open Access in the Geosciences with links to resources on Open Access, Author Rights, and Copyright. This regularly updated list on the Geoscience Information Society website, compiled by Shaun J. Hardy, Carnegie Institution of Washington, covers Options for Open Access Publishing in the Geosciences and Open Access Journals in the Geosciences. The list contains publication charges (article processing fees) and impact factors and also includes selected physics, materials science, biology, and chemistry journals. The Geoscience Information Society website also provides helpful information on Open Access publishing, copyright, Creative Commons licensing, and more. 

Establishing the Framework for the Long-term Stewardship of Carbon Data and Information

Data and information about carbon in Earth's interior gain value when understood in the context of the vast amount of carbon and carbon-related data and information already collected. The Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) provides a collective resource to contributors and users to facilitate discovery, understanding, and collaboration across disciplines and generations.

To make the "network" aspect of DCO work, contributors to and users of the DCO need to comply with a set of guidelines or "norms of behavior." These norms recognize that individuals and organizations contribute to science and to the collective wellbeing of humanity by making digital content available through the DCO with minimal or no restrictions. The norms assure users of the DCO that contributors have provided, to the best of their ability, high-quality data, information, and other digital resources about carbon in Earth's interior, accurately described according to agreed standards. Because individuals and institutions will both contribute to and draw from the DCO, members of the DCO community have strong incentives to ensure adherence with community norms. The norms outlined below refer mainly to data derived entirely or largely from DCO materials; however, where appropriate, data generated from non-DCO materials may also be contributed back to DCO.

These initial norms will evolve in response to community needs. By setting clear expectations for behavior, the DCO community will ensure that the DCO becomes increasingly effective for collaboration and research.

DCO Data and Information Policy

Users of DCO digital materials:

  • Use formal scientific publication citation and acknowledge authorship and co-authorship of materials used from DCO.
  • Agree to give appropriate recognition to the role of the DCO as a digital community resource.
  • Agree to make reasonable and timely efforts to notify the relevant DCO contributors (or the DCO community more generally) about their use of specific digital materials from DCO, and about any suspected significant errors, limitations, or other problems discovered in the course of their use of those materials.
  • Acknowledge they themselves are responsible for determining whether DCO materials they use are of sufficient quality and appropriateness for their objectives. 
  • Agree, in all cases, they will contribute back to the DCO or a community repository with acknowledgement to DCO, any value-added data, information, or other digital content derived entirely or largely from DCO materials, with appropriate citation of and documentation about DCO and non-DCO inputs.

Contributors* of DCO deep carbon data, information, and other digital content:

  • Acknowledge their submitted materials are already in the public domain1, or that they have clear rights to make these materials openly accessible through DCO2 at the earliest possible time3.
  • Agree to label their contributions digitally with the DCO-ID4, which specifies rights of access and links back to this statement of norms, and agree to make these contributions accessible and searchable online.
  • Agree to provide at least the minimum information about their contributed materials requested by DCO.
  • Agree, if requested, to make reasonable efforts to provide additional information about their contributed materials, for example, to help document the quality of their submitted materials and to ensure their long-term usability.
  • Agree they will make reasonable efforts to provide appropriate notification to the DCO network (e.g., through DCO interfaces) of any significant errors in their contributed materials or descriptions, if any are discovered after submission.

*Graduate students are granted waivers for release of data used in their thesis work, for a time period related to thesis preparation and defense.

  1. Inspired by Creative Commons - e.g. 0 (CC0), http://wiki.creativecommons.org/CC0_use_for_data
  2. Inspired by Creative Commons by 3 (CC by 3) and variants, http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Data_and_CC_licenses
  3. Acceptable period, per the norms in the specific community not to exceed two years (unless explicitly approved by AP Sloan Foundation).
  4. DCO-ID is the DCO implementation of the Global Handle System (superset of Digital Object Identifier), and may be accompanied by other identifiers (e.g. DOI, IGSN) as appropriate.

Inspiration from: http://classic.ipy.org/Subcommittees/final_ipy_data_policy.pdf