The goal of the Data Initiative, which is an activity of the World Climate Research Programme’s (WCRP) Stratospheric Processes and their Role in Climate (SPARC) project, is to improve our knowledge and understanding of the overall uncertainty in chemical trace gas and aerosol observations from a multi-national suite of limb-viewing satellite instruments (see Table 1). This knowledge is crucial when using datasets from multiple instruments for data merging activities and the validation of chemistry-climate models. The SPARC Data Initiative Team, which consists of representatives from each instrument team and data analysts, has compiled zonal mean monthly mean time series of all available chemical trace gas and aerosol data in a common format (netCDF). Data description and analyses will be summarized in a peer reviewed SPARC report. Report conclusions are based on the existing data versions at the time of the report formulation and should be used as basis for the evaluation of updated versions.
The tracer and aerosol climatologies will be made public and freely available for data users after publication of the SPARC Data Initiative Report. The datasets will be updated with newer data versions as soon as they become available and have undergone required quality controls. This document sets out a policy for users of SPARC Data Initiative datasets both within and outside the core SPARC Data Initiative activity. This policy seeks to strike a balance between protecting the work that is ongoing by the SPARC Data Initiative Team and fostering legitimate scientific use of the data.
A person wishing to use any portion of the SPARC Data Initiative datasets is requested to respect this data policy, which varies according to the phase of the SPARC Data Initiative with the current phase indicated in red.
Phase 0 (The SPARC Data Initiative and report writing are ongoing)
This is the most restrictive phase for use of the datasets and aims at protecting the still ongoing quality control of the data as well as the completion of the SPARC Data Initiative report. Access to a portion of the datasets is granted in special cases only after agreement from the full SPARC Data Initiative Team. This phase includes the obligation to offer co-authorship to representatives from each instrument team (Table 1). Users are required to follow guidelines 1-5 listed below.
Phase A (From publication of the SPARC Data Initiative Report up to one year later)
Scientific exploration of the data and publication of results in the scientific literature is encouraged. The data are available for the entire science community. This phase includes the obligation to offer co-authorship to the relevant instrument team representatives (Table 1) in order to ensure proper use of the data sets, as well as credit. Users are required to follow guidelines 1-5 listed below.
Phase B (Starts one year after publication of the SPARC Data Initiative Report)
Scientific exploration of the data and publication of results in the scientific literature is encouraged. The data are available for the entire science community. We encourage the data user to seek collaboration with the individual instrument representatives in order to allow for a proper description and use of the data. Users are asked to follow guidelines 1-5 listed below.
Data policy guidelines of the SPARC Data Initiative:
- Get access to the data through the official SPARC Data archive located at the SPARC Data Center. Submit contact name of researcher, email address, affiliation, and a short summary of the proposed work via the interface on the webpage. Accept the SPARC Data Initiative policy document online in order to acknowledge having read it and to agree to use the data in accord with these guidelines. This information will be communicated to the team leaders and the various instrument team representatives. After following the above instructions access will be granted personally during phase 0 and automatically during phase A and B.
- The SPARC Data Initiative climatologies are not to be further distributed once obtained from the SPARC data archive. Other interested users should be directed to follow the data policy guidelines as outlined in this document and to download the data from SPARC Data Archive. Exempt from this guideline are scientists working solely with the datasets of his/her own instrument team.
- Users of the SPARC Data Initiative datasets are expected to respect the interests of the individual instrument teams and their research groups in the interpretation and publication of the data. A routine line of communication with the instrument representatives in order to discuss climatologies and research results is recommended. This guideline implicitly recognizes the possibility of ongoing work within the instrument teams that has yet to be published or otherwise made available.
- For any publication using SPARC Data Initiative datasets, please include a reference to the SPARC Data Initiative report, overview paper and/or the respective chemical trace gas or aerosol publications. The list of planned and published papers can be found on the SPARC Data Initiative website http://www.issibern.ch/teams/atmosgas/index.html/Publications.html. Also refer to each instrument’s main publications, which can be found in the SPARC Data Initiative Report in the respective tracer sections.
- Please include the following acknowledgement in any publications using the SPARC Data Initiative climatologies and send the SPARC Data Initiative team leaders (*protected email* and *protected email*) the manuscript reference. This information will help us attract future funding for similar projects.“We acknowledge the individual instrument teams and the respective space agencies for making their measurements available, and the Data Initiative of WCRP’s (World Climate Research Programme) SPARC (Stratospheric Processes and their Role in Climate) project for organizing and coordinating the compilation of the chemical trace gas [and/or aerosol] datasets used in this work.’’
Table 1: List of instrument team representatives and/or contact persons.