Steps to archiving data with CEDA

How do I tell CEDA about my data?

NERC grants: All NERC grants require an outline data management plan within the proposal stage, general NERC guidance can be found here. CEDA, or another more relevant Data Centre, will contact you once your application is successful for further details and discussion about archival. Appropriate data management must occur for each funded project, NERC data policy guidance can be found here. The costs of the data centre are met by NERC directly and so do not need to be specified in the proposal.

Non-NERC data sources: For data produced from non-NERC funding please contact CEDA to discuss your requirements. 

Data management planning

Wherever the data come from, data providers are encouraged to think about the long term plan for their data at all stages of their project: before, during and after the data production itself. This will often lead to good data management practices and help avoid potentially time consuming issues arising down the line. 

In essence, some form of "data management plan" will greatly assist in identifying the steps that should be followed. Depending on the scope of the data in question this could be a simple few lines or could be a detailed document listing information such as file formats, metadata conventions and delivery time scales. 

For NERC grants, the outline data management plan from the proposal will be the start point for creation of the full data management plan. This full DMP should be mutually agreed between the Data Centre and the Principal Investigator within three months of the start date of the grant.

Are the data worthy of archiving?

Whatever the scale of the project it is useful to first determine the value of the data and whether there are any requirements to formally archive them. The  NERC Data Value CheckList is an excellent and quick series of questions to help evaluate any data to see if they should be archived. While aimed primarily at NERC funded research, it can be used for non-NERC funded work too. Here is a flavour of the questions to address:

  • Is there any potential onward benefit for the data to others?
  • Am I mandated by a research council policy or legal requirement to make the data available?
  • Do I wish to obtain recognition for the data product in its own right? If so, how can I get this?
  • For how long does the data need to persist?
  • Have the data been, or will they be, used in publications? Therefore, is there a case to archive the data for reproducibility of the results?

Where to archive the data?

Having determined that there are data suitable for archiving the next question to address is where to archive the data. 

Data type Suggested archive Next Steps
NERC funded Atmospheric, Earth Observation, Climate Change Solar-Terrestrial near-Earth environment research data CEDA If CEDA have not contacted you within 3 months of the project start date, please contact us
Other NERC funded research One of the NERC funded data centres.  Visit NERC Data Centres page
Third party data (e.g. commercial or government data) relating to atmospheric, EO, climate change or near-Earth environment  CEDA or a suggested archive Contact CEDA for more advice
Private data Depending on the type of information available there may be suitable organisations who can assist with this. For example, the Climate Observers Link, the Met Office or your local records office. Contact CEDA for advice if data are suitable for CEDA archival

Delivering data to the CEDA archive

The data management plan will outline which file formats and other conventions to use. See  preparing data for archive.  

Data file can be sent to CEDA via our  arrivals service or, if more convenient, we can pull data from your local distribution systems, for example an institutional FTP site. Once at the archive the data files are checked to see if they meet the required formatting and other conventions. If they fail we will get in touch and discuss how to correct the files.  

Not all the information needed is recorded in the data files themselves. We will also ask for an appropriate description of the data, instruments, models and project for discovery records in the CEDA catalogue. We gather this using various  web forms. Additionally there are often other resources needed to make sense of the data, for example user guides, software or calibration reports. These extra documents are often deposited into the CEDA docs repository.  

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