5.1 Data policy

The data policy of SO GLOBEC should emphasise three essential attributes:

  1. Timely submission of data;
  2. Recognition of the data collector; and
  3. Open availability to the scientific community.

Each nation should operate and maintain a data repository and a data catalogue.

It is recommended that a Data Management Task Team (DMTT) be formed to develop guidelines for data transfer and the establishment of an international data inventory. The DMTT would be establshed by the SO GLOBEC Executive Committee (please see Sections 6.2.1 and 6.2.2); the data policy it formulates would be disseminated through the SO GLOBEC Secretariat (please see Section 6.2.3). In developing the Data Policy, the DMTT should be encouraged to take account of policies established by similar or related programmes, such as JGOFS (IGBP Report No. 23) and US GLOBEC (Report No. 10).

5.2 Historical data

5.2.1 International

Sources of historical data which may be relevant to SO-GLOBEC have been specified in GLOBEC Report No 5 (Table 4.4.1). As regards biological data, the former presentation dealt mostly with the databases of international programmes, i.e. BIOMASS, CCAMLR, CEMP, IWC. These data may be available through direct contact with those respective programmes. The situation with national collections and archives is not so clear.

5.2.2 National

It is recommended that catalogues of biological data relevant to SO GLOBEC be prepared on a national basis. The DMTT would be called upon to recommend a common format and to initiate a mechanism for the preparation of such catalogues. In many cases, the preparation of catalogues could be organised by an official request from SCAR to the national SCAR Committees of the countries known to have extensive sets of historical data (e.g. Russia, United Kingdom). For some countries (e.g. Russia), the application via SCAR channels is the only way to provide national funds for such activity.

One example of a potential national database is provided by the former Soviet Union, which collected abundant biological data regarding krill and zooplankton during expeditions over three decades ending in the 1980s. However, the data are generally stored in archives in a form inappropriate for use. Archives are concentrated mostly at the institutes of AtlantNIRO (Kaliningrad), VNIRO (Moscow) - the Scotia Sea; YugNIRO (Kertch, Crimean Republic, Ukraine)- the Prydz Bay area, TINRO (Vladivostok) - D'Urville Sea and the Balleny Islands area. Original samples are generally not available, except for those transferred to the Zoological Museum of Moscow University. Most of the technical reports from the cruises organised by these institutes are available from VNIRO. A second example is the database from the"Discovery" collections (UK), which may reflect an Antarctic pelagic ecosystem which differs from the present one.