Information Management: Data Access Information

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Data Access Policy

As a member of the NSF Long Term Ecological Research Network, the Coweeta 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 documented data sets and other information will be provided over the Internet for legitimate scientific and educational purposes. 

Access to CWT resources varies by resource type and user affiliation, and requires acceptance of the CWT LTER Data Use Agreement.  Descriptions of the basic data access categories are taken from the Coweeta LTER Data Policy and areused to classify each resource are as follows:

  • Type I: Public Resources including most CWT metadata, data from published studies, literature citations, and conference presentations. May also include special reports or unpublished treatments of public data sources. These data are available without restriction from the CWT database.
  • Type II: Program generated resources including monitoring data generated by the U.S. Forest Service, and metadata containing PI information. Initially these data are available for a specific scientific purpose by permission of the investigator who collected them. One year after generation and after the data are in the CWT LTER database they are available without restriction.
  • Type III: PI generated resources including data from individual directed studies or student projects supported by CWT funds, and resources contributed by CWT-affiliated research programs. These data are available to the general public within 2 years from collection and no later than the publication of the main findings of the dataset.
  • Type IV: Sensitive resources including datasets subject to PI, copyright, or other legal restrictions. Some examples may include: data covered under prior licensing such as SPOT satellite data, personal identifiers or other data concerning human research participants covered by the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), locations of endangered species or other data protected by the Endangered Species Act, or location of cultural resources or other data protected by the Historic Preservation Act. These data are not freely available, but may be distributed under specific restrictions specified by the data set owners.