Scripps Institution of Oceanography: Research Vessel Data and Sample Distribution Policy

The Scripps data and sample policy follows the general philosophy outlined by the National Science Foundation in publication NSF 17-037: Division of Ocean Sciences Data and Sample Policy (

The Division of Ocean Sciences requires that metadata files, full data sets, derived data products and physical collections must be made publicly accessible within two (2) years of collection. This includes software and derived data products (e.g., model results, output, and workflows). A brief description of preferred data and physical collection archives and centers and their criteria for submission can be found on the OCE website or through contact with the Cognizant Program Officer of the given award. Any limit on access to data, samples, or other information beyond the two-year moratorium period must be based on compelling justification, documented in the Data Management Plan of the proposal, or approved by the cognizant Program Officer.

Where no data or sample repository or archive exists for collected data and samples, the PI is required to identify a preservation plan in the Data Management Plan that complies with the general philosophy of sharing research products and data within two years of collection as described above.

Scripps Data Policy

The following data distribution policy will be in effect for cruises funded by any source unless superceded by the data policy of the funding agency. It is the chief scientist's responsibility to know the data policy of the funding agency, and in cases that require non-standard data handling, to provide documentation of this policy to Scripps Institution of Oceanography in order that we may comply appropriately.

The Scripps data policy is intended to be both fair and flexible. However, chief scientists may request an exception to the standard data policy. Requests will be reviewed by the Associate Director (Ship Operations and Marine Technical Support) and Scripps Marine Operations Committee.

Public Data

Operational data are considered to be non-proprietary. These data include navigation, ship speed, ship orientation (pitch/roll/yaw), and winch data (payout, tension, speed). Swath sonar coverage information (the geographic position of individual soundings) is also considered nonproprietary. The inventory of all routine underway data files is also considered non-proprietary. These data will be used 1) to inform public audiences how and where samples and geophysical data were collected, and 2) to assist with future cruise planning and operations. Weather observations and environmental data (such as wind speed and direction and barometric pressure) used in routine reporting of sea conditions and/or sea state are also considered non-proprietary.

Proprietary Data

If desired, chief scientists may elect to place a proprietary hold on data from all other sensors for periods up to two years. During the hold period, proprietary data will not be provided to third parties without the written consent of the chief scientist.

Digital copies of all routine underway data will be provided to the chief scientist at the end of the cruise. A second copy will be sent to the Scripps Geological Data Center, acting as a partner in the NSF-sponsored Rolling Deck to Repository (R2R) program ( R2R works with the US academic research fleet community to routinely document, assess, and preserve the underway sensor data from oceanographic research vessels. This ensures the data are properly archived, and assists investigators in fulfilling agency reporting requirements. R2R also performs quality assessment and post-processing for certain data types. After the cruise, R2R will contact the chief scientist to request permission to release the underway cruise data. Once the release is granted, the data will be submitted to long-term public archives such as the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI:, and made available online at

Data acquired during the cruise by specialized facilities such as the Oceanographic Data Facility (ODF), National Deep Submergence Facility (NDSF), Ocean Bottom Seismograph Instrument Pool (OBSIP), or National Marine Seismic Facility (NMSF) are archived through arrangements with the NSF-supported CCHDO, MGDS(@IEDA), and/or IRIS Data Centers. For all other data acquired on your expedition it is the responsibility of the Chief Scientist to ensure that these data are submitted to appropriate repositories. The chief scientist is also responsible for all reporting commitments mandated by the terms of the funding agency.

Foreign Clearance Data Requirements

For cruises that involve foreign clearance permits, the transmission of most or all data acquired within foreign waters may be required to be released to that country. It is the responsibility of the chief scientist to understand and comply with all data requirements of all foreign clearance permits. However, the Scripps Foreign Clearance Office is available to assist scientists in meeting these obligations.