Data Policy
29 Nov 2010



ISIS data management policy




1. General principles

1.1 This data management policy pertains to the curation of and access to experimental raw data and metadata collected and / or stored at the ISIS facility.

1.2 Acceptance of this policy is a condition of the award of beamtime at ISIS.

1.3 Users must not attempt to access, exploit or distribute raw data or metadata unless they are entitled to do so under the terms of this policy.

1.4 Deliberate infringements of the policy may lead to denial of access to ISIS raw data or metadata.

2. Definitions  

For the purposes of this policy:

2.1 ‘raw data’ are data collected from experiments performed on ISIS instruments.  This definition includes data that are created automatically or manually by Facility-specific software and/or ISIS staff expertise in order to facilitate subsequent analysis of the experimental data, unless otherwise agreed.

2.2 ’metadata’ is information pertaining to data collected from experiments performed on ISIS instruments, including (but not limited to) the context of the experiment, the experimental team (in accordance with the Data Protection Act), experimental conditions and other logistical information.

2.3 the term ‘principal investigator’ (PI) pertains to the PI identified on the ISIS experiment proposal.

2.4 the term ‘experimental team’ includes the PI and any other person to whom the PI designates the right to access resultant raw data and associated metadata.

2.5 the term ‘on-line catalogue’ pertains to a computer database of metadata containing links to raw data files, that can be accessed by a variety of methods, including (but not limited to) www-based browsers.

2.6 the term ‘results’ pertains to data, intellectual property, and outcomes arising from the analysis of raw data.

2.7 the term ‘long-term’ means a minimum of ten years.

2.8. the term ‘public domain’ means belonging to the community at large, unprotected by copyright or patent and subject to appropriation by anyone.

3. Raw data and associated metadata

3.1 Free and commercial access to ISIS

3.1.1 All raw data and the associated metadata obtained as a result of free (non-commercial) access to ISIS, reside in the public domain, with ISIS acting as the custodian.

3.1.2 All raw data and the associated metadata obtained as a result of ‘commercial-in-confidence’ access to ISIS will be owned exclusively by the commercial user.  Commercial users must agree with their relevant instruments scientists how they wish their raw data and metadata to be managed before the start of any experiment.

3.2 Curation of raw data and associated metadata

3.2.1 All raw data will be curated in well-defined formats, for which the means of reading the data will be made available by the Facility.

3.2.2 Metadata that is automatically captured by instruments will be curated either within the raw data files, within an associated on-line catalogue, or within both.

3.2.3 Data will be stored initially on instrument-related computers, and will be migrated or copied to archival facilities for long-term curation.

3.3 Access to raw data and metadata

3.3.1 Access to raw data and metadata beyond the period that it is stored on instrument-related computers will be via a searchable on-line catalogue.

3.3.2 Access to the on-line catalogue will be restricted to those who register with STFC/ISIS as users of the on-line catalogue.

3.3.3 Access to raw data and the associated metadata obtained from an experiment is restricted to the experimental team for a period of three years after the end of the experiment. Thereafter, it will become publicly accessible. Any PI that wishes their data to remain ‘restricted access’ for a longer period will be required to make a special case to the Director of ISIS.

3.3.4 It is the responsibility of the PI to ensure that the experiment number (RB number) is correctly entered into the metadata for each raw data set, in order to correctly associate each data set with the PI.  If this is not done, the experimental team will not be able to access the data via the on-line catalogue and other users may inadvertently be given access rights to the data.

3.3.5 Appropriate STFC staff (e.g. instrument scientists, computing group members) may be given access to any Facility-curated data or metadata for Facility-related purposes. ISIS undertakes that they will preserve the confidentiality of such data.

3.3.6 The on-line catalogue will enable the linking of experimental data to experimental proposals.  Access to proposals will only ever be provided to the experimental team and appropriate STFC staff, unless otherwise authorized by the PI. 

4. Results

4.1 Ownership of results

4.1.1 Ownership of all results derived from the analysis of the raw data is determined by the contractual obligations of the person(s) performing the analysis.

4.2 Curation of results

4.2.1 ISIS will provide a facility for users to upload results and associated metadata to the facility and enable them to associate these results with raw data collected from the Facility.

4.2.2 The upload of results and metadata are subject to volume restrictions.

4.2.3 These results will be stored long-term by the Facility.  It will not be the responsibility of the Facility to fully curate this data e.g. to ensure that software to read / manipulate this data is available.

4.3 Access to results

4.3.1 Access to the results of analyses performed on raw data and metadata is restricted to the person or persons performing the analyses, unless otherwise requested by those persons.

5. Good practice for metadata capture and results storage

5.1 The experimental team is encouraged to ensure that experimental metadata are as complete as possible, as this will enhance the possibilities for them to search for, retrieve and interpret their own data in the future.

5.2 ISIS undertakes to provide facilities for the capture of such metadata items that are not automatically captured by an instrument, in order to facilitate recording the fullest possible description of the raw data.

5.3 Researchers who aim to carry out analyses of raw data and metadata which are publicly accessible should, where possible, contact the original PI to inform them and suggest a collaboration if appropriate.

5.4 PIs and researchers who carry out analyses of raw data and metadata are encouraged to link the results of these analyses with the raw data / metadata using the facilities provided by the on-line catalogue.  Furthermore, they are encouraged to make such results publicly accessible.

6. Publication information

6.1 References for publications related to experiments carried out at ISIS must be deposited in the STFC e-Pubs system within six months of the publication date, or during any new application for beamtime, whichever is the earlier.