PeatDataHub Data and usage policies

Version 1

Date 20/09/16

PeatDataHub is an international venture between peatland scientists that seeks to address global-scale questions through the collaborative use of shared datasets. This document describes the data and usage policies within the PeatDataHub (PDH) initiative.

Data owners and users

Note: all PDH contributors and users must register their details to gain access to the PDH database.

PeatDataHub members(s): all registered data contributors, users, and site data managers.

Data user(s): members who use data contributed by data owners.

Data owner(s): member(s) who contribute their data to PDH. The data owner(s) can decide how their data will be shared (see data types) and can change the status of their data at any time. Site data manager: member who is in charge of granting different levels of access to data that represents a specific site to other users. Where multiple data sets or sub-plots exist for one peatland site, we encourage data owners to nominate a site data manager. If the site data manager changes, the Database Manager should be informed so that the details of site ownership can be updated. The Database Manager should be the first point of contact for users who want to access data for analysis and publications. In the case of datasets that have been contributed by multiple owners, it is the responsibility of the site data manager to resolve issues of authorship related to the use of the data.

Database Manager: person in charge of the day-to-day running of the database. The role of the database manager and the database team is to facilitate information exchange among scientists.

Data types

Metadata. Information about the data items recorded and stored in PeatDataHub. This data will be shared among all PeatDataHub members.

Public data. These data are open and free for use in science and education. The use of public data will follow the fair use policy stated here, which must include the intended use of PDH datasets. Fair use means that (1) data owners are informed of who is planning to use their data and for what purpose; and (2) proper acknowledgement is given to all data used in peer reviewed publication (See citation of data sources). Lastly, all data owners should be informed of future publications.

Restricted data. These are data that can only be shared with registered PeatDataHub members on a case-by-case basis due to restrictions. Explicit permission is needed from the data owner or site manager in each case. All terms are the same as for Public data and, in addition, data owners must be given the opportunity to collaborate and consult with data users (see co-authorship below).

Note: In a synthesis analysis using public and restricted data, all data should be considered as restricted.

Registration and requests for data

Registration is required to access both public and restricted data, the process includes agreement to the terms set out in this document. Registration takes place at Requests for access to public data should be submitted to the Database Manager at Public data will be made available as soon as possible after receipt of a request. The site manager (where one exists) or data owner will be informed. Requests for access to restricted data should be submitted to the Database Manager at The request should include; (1) title and short description of the project; (2) name and email of the project PI and of Co-PIs; (3) site(s) and measurement data requested; and (4) statement that the terms specified in this document are accepted by all members of the request. The Database manager will contact the relevant site data manager or data owner who, at this point, will be given the opportunity to state if they wish to be involved in publications related to the project, if their data is used in any subsequent analysis.

Name will be displayed in the context of sharing data and assigning permissions

Acknowledgement and co-authorship

Acknowledgement. Every publication should include the standard PeatDataHub acknowledgement as follows; “This study used measurement data acquired and shared by the PeatDataHub community (”. PDH requests that each publication name the sites used, data-years used, data DOI (where applicable), and acknowledgement of funding (if provided by the data owner) in text or supplementary material. Co-authorship. Owners of restricted data should be offered co-authorship of publications that result from the use and analysis of their data. Where restricted data has been published previously, data owners may wish to consider providing access without requesting co-authorship. PeatDataHub encourages data users to offer data owners the opportunity to contribute to the development of manuscripts. Data owners have a responsibility to respond to requests about collaboration within a reasonable time frame (we suggest four weeks).

Redistribution of data from PeatDataHub

Data downloaded from PeatDataHub cannot be redistributed to others and must not be redistributed via other websites, unless expressly permitted by the relevant site data manager or data owner(s).

General comments

Any issues not covered in this document will be considered by the PeatDataHub community.