Cesar Database: Data policy

Cesar data policy


The Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research (Cesar) has been established in 2002 as a consortium of eight Dutch institutes.

The goal of Cesar is:

to set-up and operate at the Cabauw site an observational facility with a comprehensive set of remote sensing and in-situ equipment to characterize the state of the atmosphere, its radiative properties and interaction with the land surface, for the study of physical and chemical processes, climate monitoring and validation studies.

The driving motivation for Cesar is

  • the need for observational data to address crucial questions regarding climate change,
  • the notion based on previous work, that this can only be accomplished with the synergetic use of co-located remote sensing instruments in combination with in situ data,
  • the conviction that joining forces of the participating research institutes will add significant value to Dutch and international science in this important field.

The purpose of the data policy for Cesar is:

to establish a common set of guidelines to set expectations and establish procedures for sharing data acquired in the course of the Cesar project; these data may be acquired from Cesar efforts, or from collaborative programs.

Data providers are the partners involved in Cesar. A dataset contains a coherent set of parameters for a given period of time stored in a set of identical structured files. The data policy applies only to datasets in the Cesar Database . The data providers remain owner of their respective basic data. The Cesar data policy supersedes data policy statements of the individual institutes participating in Cesar. Two kinds of data users are distinguished: 1) Cesar members and 2) External data users. The data policy applies to both groups of data users. The difference for the two data user groups is in the availability of certain data and in the release time of the data. A subset of the data will be available only to the Cesar members. Data providers decide for their own datasets to which data users the data are provided.

Cesar data covers a wide spectrum concerning for example in the complexity of measurement techniques used and in their scientific (and commercial) value. While data users generally wish to receive all types of Cesar data in an unrestricted manner, with as little delay as possible and free of charge, the data providers interest is generally to protect their data to a certain extent for the sake of their own (or other projects) scientific and commercial exploitation.

Cesar data release and dissemination guidelines

Considering the noted constraints and interests of the various parties involved the following data release and dissemination guidelines have been agreed upon by all Cesar partners.

Release of data free and unrestricted

Exchange of data and products is free and unrestricted. The no-restriction principle means that no financial implications are involved for the Cesar data exchange. Cesar data providers transfer their dataproducts to the central database free of charge. Also, Cesar data files stored at the central database are offered free of charge to Cesar data users. The Principle Investigator (PI) and its institute remain owner of the data and are free to disseminate their own data as they like.

No commercial use or exploitation

All Cesar datasets are delivered to data users only for scientific studies designed to meet Cesar objectives. Commercial use and exploitation is strictly prohibited, unless specific permission has been obtained from the data providers concerned in writing.

No data transfer to third parties

The re-export or transfer of the original data (as received from the Cesar Database ) to a third party is prohibited. Such a restriction is in the best interest of both the data providers and the potential data users. Unrestricted copying of the original data by multiple, independent users may lead to errors in the data and loss of identity of its Cesar origin and is therefore strictly prohibited.

The Cesar Database offers Cesar data files to data users through the webportal. The Cesar Database logs all data transfers to data users thus maintaining a catalogue of all data users, and the data files they have obtained.

Timing for release of Cesar data from the Cesar Database

The timing issue involves some conflicting aspects. The data user will be interested in obtaining data as soon as possible after the time of measurement. The data provider and the Cesar Database will wish to ensure the highest attainable quality of the data. The latter will generally be more time consuming.

In addition, the data provider, or the reference site manager or instrument Principle Investigator (PI), may have for good reasons an interest to exploit the respective reference site 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 and the Cesar Database, including quality control and assurance, will have been completed. The data turn-around time for each dataset will be determined by the data provider and the Science Steering Committee Cesar.

Acknowledgement and citation

Whenever Cesar datasets distributed by Cesar Database are being used for publication of scientific results, the origin of the data must be acknowledged and referenced. A minimum requirement is to reference Cesar. If only datasets from one Cesar partner (or a limited number of Cesar partners) has been used, additional acknowledgement to the institutions or organizations shall be given.

Co-authorship for Cesar principal investigators (PIs)

Cesar is equipped with sophisticated, state-of-the-art instrumentation and does comply with strict requirements of instrument maintenance, exposure of instruments, calibration, and quality assurance procedures, in order to achieve the highest standards of measurement, accuracy, representativeness, stability and repeatability. To reach this goal, each instrument (or combination of instruments) is linked to a PI who is a leading expert for that specific instrument.

Co-authorship of Cesar PIs on papers making extensive use of Cesar data is justifiable and highly recommended, in particular, if a PI has responded to questions raised about the data 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 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 scientist or any person (student, collaborator) that he/she may suggest. Data users of Cesar datasets are encouraged to establish direct contact with PIs and data providers for the purpose of complete interpretation and analysis of data for publication purposes.

Cesar publication library

Whenever Cesar reference site data distributed by the Cesar Database 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 content manager of the Cesar Database in order to build up a Cesar publication library. Cesar consortium will maintain this library and will it make public for a continuous monitoring of the Cesar data applications and Cesars achievements in general.

Cesar Database
Search and order
Cesar Observatory