Revised TCCON Data Use Policy (draft)


The Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) strives to provide the most precise and accurate observations of column averaged dry-air mole fractions for CO2, CH4, N2O, HF, CO, H2O, and HDO. These observations are the calibration and validation reference for all current and many future greenhouse-gas observing satellite missions.

TCCON data are provided to the scientific community at no charge. However, each TCCON station represents a large investment in money, work and time by the PIs and their associates. There is no central funding for TCCON and the long-term operation of most stations relies on being able to acquire competitive external funding in the future. Therefore, it is vital for all TCCON PIs that they receive proper attribution for the use of their data.

Terms of use for TCCON data

TCCON data are open but their use is not free of obligations. The following rules apply to all users of TCCON data. Failure to follow these terms of use may lead to the revocation of the TCCON data license from individuals or institutions.

Use of public TCCON data prior to publication

  1. The TCCON Data Archive provides public TCCON data at no charge and without the need for registration.
  2. Public TCCON data may be downloaded and used without further obligations as long as they are not used for scientific presentations or publications outside the user's institution.
  3. Redistribution of TCCON data by the user is not permitted.

Use of TCCON data in scientific presentations or publications

When TCCON data are used in scientific presentations or publications outside the user's institution, special rules apply to ensure proper attribution and acknowledgment and avoid misinterpretation of TCCON data:

  1. At least 10 weeks before a presentation or submission of a publication involving TCCON data, the authors need to contact the PIs of the respective TCCON stations.
  2. Instead of contacting all PIs individually, the authors may instead contact the TCCON chair/deputy chair for their region.
  3. Depending on the impact of the TCCON data on the respective study, the TCCON PIs will determine the form of proper attribution and acknowledgment.
  4. The TCCON PIs will report their decision to the authors within 4 weeks.

Proper attribution and acknowledgment for the use of TCCON data

Depending on the decision of the TCOON PIs, proper attribution and acknowledgment of TCCON data in a presentation/publication may consist of:

  • citing the data set reference DOI for each TCCON station data set that was used (always required)
  • acknowledging the TCCON Data Archive (always required)
  • offering co-authorship to involved TCCON PIs (TCCON PIs will decide if coauthorship is appropriate)

The TCCON PIs will provide the authors with all the necessary information and documents to fulfill these obligations.

Guidelines for co-authorship

The TCCON PIs will only require co-authorship if the TCCON data have a substantial impact on the key results of the presentation/publication. For example, if

  • TCCON PIs provided substantial intellectual input to the presentation/publication.
  • TCCON data less than one year old were used in the study.
  • the majority of figures or tables display TCCON data.
  • the key results would change if TCCON data were dropped from the study.

This list is not conclusive.

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