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Data Access Information

Data Access Policy

As a member of the NSF Long Term Ecological Research Network, the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER Program is committed to providing access to data collected under the auspices of our project in a timely fashion. Study results will be published in the scientific literature, and access to documented data sets and other information will be provided on the GCE website and NSF-approved data repositories (e.g. LTER Network Data Portal, DataONE). 

Access to GCE resources varies by resource type and user affiliation, and requires acceptance of the GCE LTER Data Use Agreement.  Descriptions of the basic data access categories used to classify each resource are as follows:

Category Description Maximum waiting period
Type 0 Public resources, including most GCE metadata, data from published studies, literature citations, and conference presentations.  May also include special reports or unpublished treatments of public data sources. none
Type 1 Project resources, including data from core GCE monitoring, and metadata containing proprietary information. 1 year from the end of observations or data analysis
Type 1b Proprietary resources, including data from individual directed studies or student projects supported by GCE funds, and resources contributed by GCE-affiliated research programs. 2 years from the end of observations or data analysis
Type 2 Sensitive resources, including data sets subject to proprietary or copyright restrictions, containing classified information, or containing information that may compromise the protection of endangered species or habitats.  (Note: submission of type 2 data requires written justification and prior approval by the GCE Executive Committee). Varies based on resource type and data user

Data Access Timetable

The following table summarizes the earliest availability date and distribution location for each major type of resource managed by the GCE Information System.  Data set information, metadata, and data files can be accessed from the GCE Data Catalog.  Data files will only be available on the private GCE web site prior to their public release, and will require a username and password to download.

Resource Access Category User Affiliation First
Year
Second
Year
Third
Year
Bibliographic Citations Type 0 all users Public Web Public Web Public Web
Conference Presentations Type 0 all users Public Web Public Web Public Web
Project Presentations Type 1 GCE Project Web Public Web Public Web
public Author Decides Public Web Public Web
Special Reports
for the Web
Type 1 GCE Project Web Public Web Public Web
public Author Decides Public Web Public Web
Metadata Type 0 GCE Public Web Public Web Public Web
public Public Web Public Web Public Web
Type 1 GCE Project Web Public Web Public Web
public Author Decides Public Web Public Web
Monitoring Data Type 1 GCE Project Web Public Web Public Web
public no access Public Web Public Web
Directed Study Data* Type 1b GCE Author Decides Author Decides Public Web
public Author Decides Author Decides Public Web
Type 2 GCE Author Decides Author Decides Author Decides
public Author Decides Author Decides Author Decides
Non-GCE Study** Type 1-2 GCE Author Decides Author Decides Author Decides
public Author Decides Author Decides Author Decides

* Availability of directed study data is determined by the author, but data must be made available to the public no later than two years after conclusion of the observations or study, unless prior arrangements are made (i.e. submission qualifies as a Type 2 resource).  Contributors are encouraged to provide access to GCE participants within one year, and public access after primary publication of the data.

** Availability of non-GCE resources is subject to conditions specified by the contributing investigator or program.

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LTER
NSF

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959 and OCE-1237140. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.