Acquisition and Collections Policy


The CEDA Archive is the UK’s national data centre for atmospheric physics, atmospheric composition, climate change and earth observation sciences funded through the UK Natural Environment Research Council. The CEDA Archive accepts digital environmental data in re-usable formats for curation, including long-term storage and public dissemination. This policy document covers the nature and scope of the CEDA Archive's acquisition of digital resources for long-term curation and dissemination and the decision-making process for acceptance. Access and use specifies who can access digital resources held by the CEDA Archive and how access is enabled. This acquisition policy is under periodic review and will develop throughout the lifetime of the data centre.

Nature and scope of digital resources

This section outlines the range of digital resources accepted for deposit and curation at the CEDA Archive. The evaluation of resources offered for deposit at the CEDA Archive is also described.

Scope of digital resources accepted

The CEDA Archive holds digital resources within the atmospheric physics, atmospheric composition, climate change and earth observation science domains. However, digital resources concerned with other areas of the environmental sciences will also be considered for curation on a case-by-case basis. The CEDA Archive prioritises ingestion of digital resources generated as a result of NERC funding. Digital resources generated via alternative funding avenues may also be considered if the deposit in question is perceived to be of importance to the environmental research community. There is no limit on the geographical or temporal range of digital resources the CEDA Archive accepts. The data are generally either:

  • NERC owned data or data generated by NERC funded grants, where we aim to provide long-term preservation. 
  • Third party data, where the aim is to facilitate research. 
  • Data generated by non-NERC funded grants that is deemed to be of significant long-term value to our core research communities.

Type of digital resources accepted

The CEDA Archive holds nationally and internationally important digital resources concerned with the atmospheric physics, atmospheric composition, climate change and earth observation communities. Files, images, moving images and model outputs are all acceptable for deposit and curation where it is deemed feasible to maintain them and they are considered to be capable of re-use. In all cases, digital resources must be provided with sufficient supporting documentation to enable understanding of the resource without the need to contact the depositor directly.

The CEDA Archive does not accept data where there is a disclosure risk and ask that any data containing sensitive information be anonymised or be of a sufficiently broad scale that sensitive location information is not made publicly available.

Criteria for evaluating digital resources

The CEDA Archive will identify those types of resource that have potential re-use value as part of its ingestion process. Each deposit request will be checked against a number of criteria based on the NERC data value checklist.

These criteria include:

  • Are related resources already held by the CEDA Archive or other data centre?
  • Was the research funded by NERC?
  • Is the CEDA Archive the most appropriate data centre for that resource?
  • Are data unique, repeatable or does the cost of regeneration exceeds the cost of curation?
  • Have the resources been used in a peer-reviewed publication?
  • Can the resource be described sufficiently to support re-use
  • Can the resource be stored in a re-usable (and preferably non-proprietary) format?
  • Will ingestion incur excessive cost due to the size of the resource and has this has been budgeted for by the project?

Depositors are provided with guidance as to what is expected from them including:

Payment for acquisitions

Charges for acquisition services to NERC-funded researchers or researchers wishing to deposit nationally important digital resources will usually be waived. However, the CEDA Archive recognises that in extraordinary circumstances, where digital archiving entails significant expenditure, costs may need to be recovered from the depositor. Charging may therefore be necessary for certain classes of depositor or for excessive volumes of data. The charging policy states that charging will be based on the time and materials used when ingesting a digital resource.

Access and use

All data in the CEDA Archive will be listed in the catalogue. This publicly accessible catalogue enables searching of the entire CEDA Archive holdings and provides view and download services. Information on citation, licensing, embargo periods and access to supporting documentation for re-use is also provided via the catalogue which holds discovery level standards compliant metadata for each digital resource. Public access to the digital resources held by the CEDA Archive is conditional on acceptance of any terms and conditions under which the resources are made available. Access to the holdings is in most cases free at the point of use. Data held by the CEDA Archive are available under a range of different licences, including open licence such as the UK’s Open Government Licence (OGL). The licence applicable for each dataset is listed on the associated data catalogue page. The CEDA Archive supports the depositor’s right of first publication and, in line with NERC data policy, permits an agreed embargo period of up to two years from the point of data collection or generation. Digital resources may be ingested into the CEDA Archive, however public access to those data would be restricted until such time as the embargo period expires.

It is the policy of the CEDA Archive to:

  • provide data management advice and guidance to researchers working on NERC-funded atmospheric physics, atmospheric composition, climate change and earth observation projects
  • store a copy of the data 'as supplied' in a secure archive location in an agreed format
  • ensure the data are discoverable and provide access to data held in the archive under appropriate access control
  • create Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for digital datasets, facilitating data citation and display these alongside the data where requested by the data provider
  • encourage the use of the datasets held by the CEDA Archive for a full range of purposes including future scientific projects and within information products or decision support systems
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