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(Draft: 7 February 2017)

The following guidelines apply to issues of data sharing, data ownership, and intellectual property within UrBioNet. UrBioNet is a network of scientists and practioners founded by Charles Nilon, Myla Aronson, Christopher Lepczyk, Tommy Parker, Paige Warren, Sarel Cilliers, Mark Goddard, Amy Hahs, Cecilia Herzog, Madhusudan Katti, Frank La Sorte, and Nicholas Williams. UrBioNet aims at developing a global archive of urban biodiversity to make these data available for the scientific community.

These guidelines will be revised periodically and as a consequence they will be modified or ratified. All data custodians will be informed of modifications and will have the right to ratify or withdraw their participation.


1) Status of data contributed to UrBioNet

An individual that directly contributes data to UrBioNet is called a custodian. A custodian may be a person who owns the original data or may act as a representative of all individual contributors in a collective dataset. UrBioNet will only deal with the custodian or deputy custodian. If the owners of a collective dataset already contributed to UrBioNet decide to change the custodian, it will be their responsibility to inform the director of UrBioNet of the new situation.
Intellectual property rights in the data remain with the data custodian. Custodians retain the right to withdraw their data at any time.

Custodians choose one of the following three conditions, under which their data will be made available via UrBioNet.

Permission in each case: The custodian will be contacted each time UrBioNet has the potential to involve these data. Explicit permission is necessary in each case before the data can be made available.

Permission by default: These data are available without the need for specific permission in case of each individual data request. The UrBioNet database management will inform the custodian. If no objection is raised within two weeks, it will be assumed that the custodian has given permission to make these data available for the request in question.

Publicly available: These data are publicly available.

The custodian may, at any time, change the availability status of her/his data.

The steering committee encourages data owners to make their data publicly available.

In the case of collective datasets that contain data that originally belong to several other people, it will be the custodian’s responsibility to solve intellectual property rights and authorship rules within the group of contributors. UrBioNet will not take responsibility for data mishandling on the part of the custodians.


2) Data Requests

Individuals or groups of individuals that would like to use data in the UrBioNet database must submit a request to the directors of UrBioNet, containing: (1) title and one-page summary of the project; (2) name and email of the head (PI) of the request and of Co-PIs; (3) list of requested data; and (4) explicit statement that all listed members of the request know and accept these intellectual property guidelines. This includes students and post-docs of steering committee members and network members. All requesters of data much be members of the network.

The UrBioNet steering committee will review all data requests for possible conflicts with other requests.

Title of projects and names of the PI and Co-PIs will be made public at the UrBioNet website.

Requesting publicly available data: In case of requests that include only data in the category ‘publicly available’, upon positive review of the request, the requested data will be made available immediately after the request has been submitted. The custodians will be informed.

Requesting restricted data: Restricted data (‘permission in each case’ or ‘permission by default’) are only available if the PI or one of the Co-PIs contributes data to the UrBioNet database. If restricted data are requested, the respective custodians will be asked for permission to make their data available, based on the information about the project. Custodians will have two weeks to provide or withdraw permission. During this time custodians will have the opportunity to indicate if they require being involved in publications of the given project, and potentially become co-author, in case their data will be used in subsequent analyses.

Derived data from their project returned to the database along with corresponding metadata. Additionally, we expect each request for data to be matched with new data (not just derived data) along with corresponding metadata to be added to the UrBioNet database.


3) Requirements in the Context of Publications

If data received from UrBioNet are used for publications, the following requirements apply:

Authors must inform the directors of UrBioNet of the publication and send a PDF to the directors within 1 month of online or print publication (whichever is first).

Citation of data sources
The references of the individual datasets, as indicated by the custodians, and the standard reference of UrBioNet should be cited in the methods section of any product that involves the datasets. The standard reference of UrBioNet is currently in production. Nilon, C., M.F.J. Aronson, C. Lepczyk, et al. 2014. UrBioNet: A Global Network for Urban Biodiversity Research and Practice.

Involvement in manuscripts and authorship
Custodians of restricted data (‘permission in each case’ or ‘permission by default’) should be invited to contribute to the development of manuscript/s, if they had indicated this requirement at the time of data release and if their data have been used in subsequent analyses. The PI of the request is expected to send the invitations at an early stage of manuscript preparation, so that valid suggestions by co-authors can still be accommodated. Co-authorship will be offered to those who respond to this invitation and to subsequent updates within a timely fashion (three weeks) with a significant contribution, see authorship guidelines.

The required acknowledgement of UrBioNet in papers is:
“The study has been supported by UrBioNet ( UrBioNet was made possible by a grant from the US National Science Foundation, NSF Award # 1354676. For presentation, use the logo.

Derived Data
Derived data from the UrBioNet database must be made public and entered back into the UrBioNet database.


4) Redistribution of Data Received from UrBioNet

It is not allowed to redistribute data received from UrBioNet, unless expressly permitted by the respective data custodian(s).


5) General Comments

The PI of a request will be responsible that all use of data made available from the UrBioNet database in the context of the given request will be in accordance with the UrBioNet Intellectual Property Guidelines. Additional agreements between the PI of the request and individual data custodians need to be respected.
In case of misconduct, the database management will inform the PI and the respective custodians and ask the PI to correct his/her fault. If this does not happen to full consent, or if the misconduct is repeated, the Steering Committee will make the misconduct public, e.g., inform involved journals and/or data repositories and eventually the home institution of the PI. If misconduct is repeated, the PI will be denied new access to UrBioNet and authorization to use data received in the context of on-going proposals will be withdrawn.
Any issues not contemplated in these guidelines will be considered by the UrBioNet Steering Committee.

These data sharing guidelines are based on the TRY Initiative guidelines.