In a program such as U.S. GLOBEC, with investigators with many different skills and interests and from many different institutions or agencies, it will be necessary to lay out ground rules for data inventoring, preliminary exchange, and use by others. A free flow of preliminary information to all program investigators is vital in planning later cruises, data analyses, and modeling efforts, and in putting together the broad picture of the relationship between and among the various biological, physical, and chemical data which have been collected. As input to the U.S. GLOBEC data management committee, issues which must be addressed before any data are collected are the following:
Considerable effort has recently been expended in the development of data management procedures and software for WOCE and JGOFS. Any data management system developed for U.S. GLOBEC should build on these ongoing efforts. As recognized by JGOFS, the data procedures must be able to accommodate biological as well as physical and chemical parameters, and this requires provisions for documenting measurement protocols and including data in a raw unprocessed form.
There are contractual obligations for data submission to national data centers such as NODC and NESDIS that accompany Federal Agency research awards. Generally, inventories of all data collected are to be submitted to a designated center within sixty days of the end of the observational period/cruise or periodically for continuing observations. For data sets identified for submission to national centers, it is the principal investigator's responsibility to submit them within two years of the observational period/cruise. Since U.S. GLOBEC is part of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, all investigators involved in the Georges Bank Study must adhere to the data management policies of that prgroam. All Federal regulations will be spelled out in detail for each funded investigator and deadlines for data submission, etc., will be enforced by the U.S. GLOBEC Program Manager.