La Plata Basin Data Management Policy                DRAFT         DRAFT            DRAFT

The following data protocol and management issues were discussed and agreed to by the LPB Science Working Group. This data management strategy (i.e. protocol, schedule, data submission, and distribution) form the basis of the LPB data management policy discussed in this chapter and expanded in subsequent sections of this document.


The La Plata Basin (LPB) program, component of the WCRP/CLIVAR/VAMOS program, is an internationally coordinated effort to contribute to the understanding of the role of the regional hydrology, climate and climate variability. The ultimate goal of LPB is to improve short and long term water management. 
   LPB data will be provided from a variety of field activities lead by researchers and group of researchers, which have already received specific funding to support their activities. Henceforth, these will be referred to as data providers or LPB participants. The archiving of LPB data set will be done into one of the distributed LPB Data Archive centers (LPBDA) . 

    Performing high-quality measurements during the planned LPB period, carrying out quality and error checking procedures, and submitting data and related documentation to the LPBDA will require substantial financial and logistical efforts of the data providers. The necessary support for these activities originates from a variety of international, national and institutional sources.

    This policy was approved at the LPB coordination meeting.

2.1.1 LPB Data Categories 

    In order to set up data release guidelines which balance the interests of both data users and data providers; it was considered useful to divide LPB data into the following two categories:

        Category 1: Standard data. (e.g. operative rawinsondes, surface standard meteorology)

Low or common exploitation value, measurement technology common, generally well understood little or no problems with data interpretation.

        Category 2: Enhanced or Experimental data. (e.g. LPB rawinsondes, pibal balloon and aircraft data, radar data) High exploitation value, measurement technology sophisticated and/or of experimental nature, contacts to data providers recommended for correct interpretation of data, high efforts necessary to maintain continuous measurements and high quality of data. These data will be taken for specific research purposes and maintained by a specific research group and/or the station or instrument PI.


2.2.1 Release of Data in Compliance with WMO Resolution 40 (CG-XII) and WMO Resolution 25 (CG-XIII)
    LPB was initiated by VAMOS/CLIVAR/WCRP, whose co-sponsor is WMO, as an international project. It is thus appropriate that any policy for release and dissemination of LPB data should principally comply with the WMO policy, practice and guidelines for the exchange of meteorological, hydrological, and related data and products, as embodied in Resolution 40 of the Twelfth WMO Congress 1995 (CG-XII), and Resolution 25 of the Thirteenth WMO Congress 1999 (CG-XIII); that is, free and unrestricted exchange of essential data and products.
    The no-restriction principle shall in particular mean that no financial implications are involved for the LPB data exchange. LPB data files available through one of the LPBDA shall be offered free of charge to the data users.

2.2.2 No Commercial Use or Exploitation
    It is understood that all LPB data shall be delivered to users only for scientific studies designed to meet LPB-WCRP objectives. Commercial use and exploitation by either the data users nor the LPBDA is prohibited, unless specific permission has been obtained from the LPB investigators concerned in writing.

2.2.3 No Data Transfer to Third Parties
    One restriction, which will be imposed on all data users, concerns the re-export or transfer of the original data (as received from the archive) to a third party. Such restriction shall apply to all categories of LPB data, and is in the best interests of both the LPB investigators and the potential users.
    Unrestricted copying of the original data by multiple, independent users may lead to errors in the data and loss of identity of its LPB-DA origin and is strictly prohibited.
   LPBDA will offer LPB data files to potential data users through electronic means, (e.g. the Internet) or other designated media (e.g. CD ROMs). The LPBDA shall install technical means to keep protocol on all data transfers to data users thus maintaining a catalogue of all data users, and the data files they have obtained.

2.2.4 Timing for Release of LPB Data from LPBDA

    The timing issue clearly involves some conflicting aspects. The data user will obviously be interested in obtaining data as soon as possible after the time of measurement. The data providers, as well as the LPBDA, will wish to ensure the highest attainable quality of the data. The latter will generally be time consuming, particularly in view of the shortage of manpower in many cases.

In addition, the data providers may have for good reasons an interest to exploit the respective data, or part of it, for his/her own scientific interest, or for another funded project or experiment, before these data are made openly available to a larger community.
    Ideally, data should be ready for general release after some specific period following its acquisition, during which the exchange process between the data provider, the LPBDA and also the other data providers, including quality control and assurance, will have been completed. Six months has been considered as the appropriate length for this data turn-around period.
    All data taken for LPB, shall be categorized into standard (category 1) and enhanced or experimental (category 2) data. See section 2.1.1 above for definition of these categories. Standard data shall be freely open to the science community after the basic turn-around period of six months.     Enhanced or experimental data shall be freely open to the science community after a prolonged turn-around period of 15 months at maximum.
    Each data providers will be responsible to divide data provided to the LPB- LPBDA into the mentioned category scheme (Section 2.1.1). In cases of conflict, it is the data provider who decides on the category of specific data at the respective site.

    It shall be possible in special cases for a potential data user to establish direct contact to a data provider in order to agree on exceptions (i.e. shortenings of the turn-around period) to these rules for specific data or data periods. It is suggested that these communications shall be performed with co-ordination of the LPBDA.

2.2.5 Acknowledgement and Citation
    Whenever LPB data distributed by LPBDA are being used for publication of scientific results, the data's origin must be acknowledged and referenced. A minimum requirement is to reference LPB and the LPBDA. If only data from one specific source of LPB data (or a limited number of them) has been used, additional acknowledgement to the data provider and its (their) institutions or organizations shall be given.
    Maintaining continuous, high-quality measurements, performing quality and error checking procedures, and submitting data and related documentation to the LPBDA will require substantial financial and logistical efforts of the LPB investigators.
    The PDA shall make proper reference to all data providers and, if required, to their funding sources.

2.2.6 Co-Authorship for Principal Investigators (PIs)
    Co-authorship of LPB participants on published papers making extensive use of LPB data is justifiable and highly recommended, in particular, if a PI has responded to questions raised about the data's quality and/or suitability for the specific study in question, or has been involved in directly contributing to the paper in other ways. It is highly recommended that any data user should contact the responsible PI and ask him/her if he/she wants to become co- author, or if an acknowledgement (see section 2.5) would be sufficient. If co-authorship is requested, the PI and the data user should establish a basis for collaboration. A PI in this context means the responsible site or instrument scientist or any person (student, collaborator) that he/she may suggest.
    Data users of LPB data are encouraged to establish direct contact with PIs and LPB investigators for the purpose of complete interpretation and analysis of data for publication purposes. This is in particular recommended for category 2 data.

2.2.7 LPB Publication Library
    Whenever LPB data distributed by LPBDA are being used for publication of scientific results, the author(s) shall sent a copy of the respective publication, preferably in electronic form, to the LPB Project Office in order to build up a LPB publication library. The Project Office will maintain this library and will make it public, for example via the LPB website, for a continuous monitoring of the LPB data applications and LPB's achievements in general.

2.4. LPB Data Management Functional Description and Strategy
The general approach to data management support for LPB is summarized in a data flow diagram (see Fig. 1). It is important that the LPB data management strategy be responsive to the needs of the investigators, assuring that data are accurate and disseminated in a timely fashion. It is also important that the investigators know what is expected of them in this process. A time line of critical dates in the sequence of LPB data management tasks are included in Fig. 2. After a description of the Data Archive Center (Section 3.1), each step in the LPB data management process is discussed in more detail.

3.1 Data Archive Center 

The LPB data will be available to the scientific community through a designated mirror LPB Data Archive Center located at NCAR Earth Observing Laboratory Data Services, Boulder, Colorado, USA. All data sets collected for LPB will be available through the existing interactive EOL Data Management System (CODIAC). CODIAC offers scientists access to research and operational data. It provides the means to identify data sets of interest, facilities to view data and associated metadata, and the ability to automatically obtain data via internet file transfer or magnetic media. The user may browse data to preview selected data sets prior to retrieval. Data displays include time series plots for surface parameters, thermodynamic diagrams for soundings, and GIF images for model analysis products and satellite imagery. CODIAC users can directly retrieve data. They can download data via Internet directly to their workstation or personal computer or request delivery of data on magnetic media. Data may be selected by time or location and can be converted to one of several formats before delivery. CODIAC automatically includes associated documentation concerning the data itself, processing steps, and quality control procedures.

Contact Information:

    Mailing Address: P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO, USA, 80307

    Shipping Address: 3450 Mitchell Lane,    Boulder, Colorado, USA, 80307

    Telephone: (303) 497-8987 [FAX (303) 497-2044]

    Internet Access: