The ISIS data policy lays out guarantees that ISIS provides, along with requirements for users of the facility, pertaining to the curation, access, ownership, use and storage of data collected at ISIS.
ISIS is committed to the principles of FAIR data in order to support research, and the advancement of knowledge and technology. We release data in common, accessible formats under a permissive Creative Commons license, along with detailed metadata in a variety of human and machine readable formats.
1. General principles
1.1 Acceptance of this policy is a condition of the
award of beamtime at the ISIS Neutron and Muon facility (ISIS).
1.2 Users must not attempt to access,
exploit or distribute ISIS data unless they are entitled to do so under the
terms of this policy.
1.3 Deliberate infringements of the
policy may lead to denial of access to data and/or denial of future beamtime
2.1 The term ‘raw data’ refers to the
original neutron and muon data and neutron image data collected from neutron
and muon detectors and imaging cameras.
2.2 The term ‘facility generated
reduced data’ refers to raw data that have been automatically processed by
facility software with the purpose of, for example, removing unwanted signals
in the raw data. Data manually reduced by the users of the facility are not covered
by this term.
2.3 The term ‘metadata’ is
information pertaining to data collected from experiments performed on ISIS
instruments and data collected from creating facility generated reduced data.
This includes (but is not limited to) the context of the experiment, scripts
used to generate reduced data, the experimental team (in accordance with the
Data Protection Act), experimental conditions and other logistical information.
2.4 The term ‘result data’ refers to
data and intellectual property arising from the manual reduction of raw data
and associated metadata, and from the analysis of raw data, facility generated
reduced data and associated metadata.
2.5 The term ‘principal investigator’
(PI) pertains to the PI identified on the ISIS experiment proposal.
2.6 The term ‘experimental team’
includes the PI and any other person to whom the PI designates the right to
access resultant raw data, facility generated reduced and associated metadata.
2.7 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)
2.8 The term ‘DAaaS’ stands for Data
Analysis as a Service and pertains to a platform that users can access to
manually analyse and reduce data.
2.9 The term ‘long-term’ means a
minimum of ten years.
2.10 The term ‘medium-term’ means a
minimum of 6 months.
The term ‘curation’ denotes the long-term storage, backup and protection of
data in a manner that respects and guarantees the prescribed access-rights.
2.12 The term ‘embargo period’ denotes the period of time in which access to data is restricted to the experimental team only. ‘Embargoed data’ is data still within an embargo period.
3. Raw data, facility generated reduced data and associated metadata
3.1 Free and proprietary access to ISIS
3.1.1 All raw data and associated metadata obtained as a result of free (non-proprietary) access to ISIS will be treated as described in the rest of this section, with ISIS acting as the custodian.
3.1.2 All raw data and associated metadata obtained as a result of proprietary access to ISIS will be owned exclusively by the commercial user. This data will be treated as described in the rest of this section, but will only ever be accessible to members of the experimental team, unless requested otherwise according to 3.4.4.
3.1.3 The principal investigator on a proprietary experiment can request any raw data or associated metadata obtained as part of the experiment be deleted from ISIS storage at any time.
3.2 Curation of raw data and associated
3.2.1 All raw data will be created in
standardized formats, for which the means of reading the data will be made
available by ISIS.
3.2.2 Metadata associated with raw
data that is automatically captured by instruments will be curated either
within the raw data files, within an associated on-line catalogue, or within
3.2.3 Raw data and metadata will be
stored initially on instrument-related computers, and will be migrated or
copied to archival facilities for long-term curation.
3.3 Storing of facility generated
reduced data and associated metadata
3.3.1 All facility generated reduced
data will be created in well-defined formats that are readable at the time of
creation either by facility or non-facility software, or both.
3.3.2 Facility generated reduced data
will be stored on medium-term storage, subject to volume restrictions.
3.4 Concerning access to raw data and
3.4.1 Raw data and metadata beyond the period that it is stored
on instrument-related computers will long-term be accessible and searchable
from the on-line catalogue.
3.4.2 Access to raw data obtained from an experiment is restricted to the experimental team for an embargo period of three years
after the end of the experiment. Thereafter, it will become available to the
wider community under the
CC-BY license that obliges users to acknowledge ISIS and cite Digital Object Identifiers
(DOI) that are linked to ISIS data. 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.
3.4.3 During the proposals process, some elements of the metadata associated with an experiment (such as the title) are indicated as being public; these will be publicly accessible immediately upon the proposal being accepted. All other elements of the associated metadata are handled in the same way as the raw experimental data in regards to the embargo period.
3.4.4 Any PI who wishes their data to be made publicly accessible before the end of the 3 year embargo period can ask ISIS to enable this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
3.5 Concerning access to facility
generated reduced data and associated metadata
3.5.1 Facility generated
reduced data and associated metadata will be accessible from the DAaaS
3.6 Concerning access to raw data, facility generated reduced data and associated metadata
3.6.1 Access to the DAaaS platform will be restricted to those who register with STFC/ISIS
3.6.2 Access to embargoed data through the on-line catalogue will be restricted to experimental team members who register with STFC/ISIS as users. Data that is not under embargo will be openly accessible.
3.6.3 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 may not be able to access the data via the on-line catalogue and the DAaaS platform, and other users may inadvertently be given access rights to the data.
3.6.4 Appropriate STFC staff (e.g. instrument scientists, computing group members) may be given access to any ISIS data or metadata for facility-related purposes. ISIS undertakes to preserve the confidentiality of such data for the 3 year embargo period.
3.6.5 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 (with the exception of those parts of the online proposal which are flagged as publicly accessible within the proposal system).
4. Result data
4.1 Ownership of result data
4.1.1 Ownership of all result data
derived from users manually reducing raw data and analysing raw data, or both,
is determined by the contractual obligations of the person(s) performing the
4.2 Storing and curation of result
4.2.1 It will not be the
responsibility of ISIS to ensure that software to read / manipulate result data
4.2.2 Result data created by users of
the DAaaS platform will be stored on medium-term storage, subject to volume
4.2.3 For STFC staff, the eData service is provided to upload result data and associated
metadata for long-term storage, subject to volume restrictions. ISIS currently does not provide any such
facility for non-STFC staff.
4.3 Access to result data
4.3.1 Access to the result data 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 result data 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 ISIS data made
available after the embargo period should, in addition to citing the data DOI
also, where possible, contact the original PI to inform them and suggest a
collaboration if appropriate.
5.4 PIs and researchers are
encouraged to make result data they generate open access, and to link such data
to available ISIS data DOIs.
6. Publication information
6.1 For STFC staff, references for
publications related to experiments carried out at ISIS must be deposited in
the STFC e-Pubs system https://epubs.stfc.ac.uk/ and comply with relevant UKRI and STFC open access policies
6.2 All publications related to
experiments carried out at ISIS are obliged to acknowledge ISIS and cite data
DOIs of the experiments.
The ISIS data policy is reviewed on an annual basis by a group of ISIS staff to keep it as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions, please either email email@example.com or comment on/open an issue at https://github.com/ISISDataPolicy/policy/issues.
DOI for this policy: https://zenodo.org/record/6411387.
Links to previous Data Policy versions
Prior to April 2022
Prior to April 2021
Prior to March 2020