Data Use Policy


NMDC Data Use Policy

The National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC) data offered on this website are contributed by individual scientists, who share their data openly with the global community. The NMDC policy is that all data and data contributors should be properly acknowledged in alignment with the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) and in accordance with the Creative Commons with Attribution 4.0 International license.

The core, required concepts in a citation are:

Author or Creator: The people or organizations responsible for the intellectual work to develop a data set. The data creator.
Public Release Date: When the particular version of the data set was first made available for use (and potential citation) by others.
Title: The formal title of the data set. It may also include version or edition information but should be carefully controlled. A better alternative is to track version information independent of the title. Note this is the title of the data set, not the project or a related publication. It is important for the data set to have an identity and title of its own.
Version ID: Careful versioning and documentation of version changes are central to enabling accurate citation. Data stewards need to track and clearly indicate precise versions as part of the citation for any version greater than 1. It may be appropriate to track major and minor versions.
Repository: The name of the entity that holds, archives, publishes, prints, distributes, releases, issues, or produces the data. This property will be used to formulate the citation, so consider the prominence of the role. This may be an appropriate place to recognize a major sponsor of the data.
Resolvable Persistent Identifier: The unique identifier that provides the ability to access the data. Not all data have Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) or can be digitally accessed, so an alternative method to access metadata, such as a URL or a physical address, can be provided instead.
Access Date: Because data can be dynamic and changeable in ways that are not always reflected in release dates and versions, it is important to indicate when online data were accessed.

Part A: NMDC Data Contributor Checklist

  1. Discuss data archiving needs: data quantity, interaction of project data systems and personnel, and formats with the NMDC team (support@microbiomedata.org).
  2. For data archival at a DOE data resource, submit data in relevant community standards and apply QA/QC.
    • Organization of data and files
    • Formats, naming, and units
    • Flagging and data level designations
    • Uncertainties in data values (provide specifics on protocols or methods for calculating data values)
  3. For data archival at a non-DOE data resource, submit location of raw experimental data for linkage by the NMDC.
  4. Provide data package documentation along with appropriate standardized sample metadata.
    • Describe the contents of files and data in the files
    • Provide clear descriptive data package title, abstract, keywords, authorship, and funding information
    • Use consistent, descriptive file naming
    • Provide raw experimental data for long term preservation and, when appropriate, experimental data products and preparation metadata
    • Document QA/QC performed
  5. Agree to the data contributor license below (Part B). NMDC supports Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License for data usage rights. Metadata will always be available in the public domain, using the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication. If you have data that cannot be released under a free, fair-use policy, contact support@microbiomedata.org to discuss your options for archiving with NMDC.
  6. If you have data packages that combined will require on the order of 0.5TB or more storage or if packages individually will be on the order of 10 GB, please contact support@microbiomedata.org in advance of storing your data.

        Part B: UC Berkeley Lab Data Contributor License Agreement

        In order to clarify the intellectual property rights granted with respect to any contributions from any person or entity (“Contribution“), The Regents of the University of California, Department of Energy contract-operators of the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (“Berkeley Lab”) must have a Contributor License Agreement (the “Agreement“) agreed to by each contributor. The license granted hereunder is for your protection as a contributor as well as for the protection of Berkeley Lab; it does not change your rights to use your own Contributions for any other purpose.

        Either individuals or businesses, governmental or non-profit entities, including without limitation, all employees or agents acting on behalf of any such entity (an Entity), may submit Contributions to the National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC) data project (the Data Project) under this Agreement. By clicking “I Agree”, you indicate that you are entering this Agreement on behalf of an Entity, you represent that you have the authority to bind such Entity to this Agreement, in which case, the terms “You” and “Your” shall refer to such Entity, as further defined below.

        Please read this document carefully before agreeing to it, and print a copy for your records if required.

        You accept and agree to the following terms and conditions for (i) all contributions that You may have previously submitted to the Data Project, unless otherwise governed by a written license agreement, and (ii) Your present and future Contributions submitted to the Data Project. Except for the licenses granted herein You reserve all right, title, and interest in and to Your Contributions.

        1. Definitions.

        “You” (or “Your”) shall mean the holder of intellectual property rights in the Contributions or the Entity authorized by such holder of intellectual property rights to enter into this Agreement with Berkeley Lab. For Entities, the Entity making a Contribution and all other Entities that control, are controlled by, or are under common control with that Entity are considered to be a single Contributor. For the purposes of this definition, “control” means (i) the power, direct or indirect, to cause the direction or management of such entity, whether by contract or otherwise, (ii) the power to appoint a majority of the board of directors or other similar governing body of such entity, (iii) ownership of fifty percent (50%) or more of the outstanding voting shares of, or other voting equity interests in, such entity, or (iv) any other beneficial majority ownership of such entity.

        “Contribution” shall mean any data or other content including any modifications or additions to any existing data or content (including metadata), that is or has been intentionally submitted by You to Berkeley Lab for inclusion in, or documentation of, Berkeley Lab. For the purposes of this definition, “submitted” means any form of electronic, verbal, or written communication sent to Berkeley Lab or its representatives, for the purpose of adding to, modifying, and/or improving the Work other than a communication that is conspicuously designated in writing by You as “Not a Contribution.” Data Project and Contributions are collectively referred to herein as the “Work“.

        2. Grant of License.

        You hereby grant, to Berkeley Lab and its agents, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, all rights necessary to copy, store, redistribute, and share Your data, metadata, and any other content of Your Work, with the public.

        You assert that Your Work is not subject to current export control laws and does not contain personally identifiable information, and Berkeley Lab hereby agrees to share Your Work with the public subject to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

        Your Work is subject to the terms of the Creative Commons with Attribution 4.0 International License indefinitely.

        3. Representations and Warranties.

        If You are entering into this Agreement as an individual, You represent and warrant that You are legally entitled to grant the above license. If Your employer(s) has intellectual property rights in the Contributions, You represent and warrant that You have received permission to make Contributions on behalf of that employer, that Your employer has waived such rights for Your Contributions to Berkeley Lab, or that Your employer has executed a separate contribution agreement with Berkeley Lab.

        You represent and warrant that (i) You will observe all applicable United States and foreign laws and regulations (if any) with respect to the export, re-export, diversion or transfer of any software, any data, or both, including, without limitation, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations, and (ii) You will not transfer to Berkeley Lab any personally identifiable information or any information that is export controlled other than information classified as EAR99 under the Export Administration Regulations without prior written authorization from Berkeley Lab.

        If You are entering into this Agreement on behalf of an Entity, You represent and warrant that You are legally entitled to grant the above license. You further represent and warrant that each employee of the Entity that submits Contributions is authorized to submit such Contributions on behalf of the Entity.

        Except as warranted above, You provide Your Contributions on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied, including, without limitation, any warranties or conditions of TITLE, NON- INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY, or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

        4. Covenants

        You agree to promptly notify Berkeley Lab of any facts or circumstances of which you become aware that would make any representations herein inaccurate in any respect.

        5. Miscellaneous

        This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, without regard to the conflict of laws provisions thereof.

        Any provision of this Agreement that is determined to be unenforceable or unlawful shall not affect the remainder of the Agreement and shall be severable therefrom, and the unenforceable or unlawful provision shall be limited or eliminated to the minimum extent necessary to that this Agreement shall otherwise remain in full force and effect and enforceable.

        This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties and supersedes any and all prior agreements between them, whether written or oral, with respect to the subject matter hereof.

        This Agreement may be terminated by either party at any time for any reason, upon thirty (30) days prior written notice. Excepting Section 2 of this Agreement all other terms and conditions shall survive any such termination.

        This Agreement may not be amended, modified or provision hereof waived, except in a writing signed by the parties hereto.

        No waiver by either party, whether express or implied, of any provision of this Agreement, or of any breach thereof, shall constitute a continuing waiver of such provision or a breach or waiver of any other provision of this Agreement.

        Part C: Data Use and Citation

        Users of the NMDC system must register and provide basic contact information, ORCiD, in order to download datasets and fully explore the NMDC metadata catalogue. Citations of the data products must be done in accordance with the Creative Commons with Attribution 4.0 International license and NMDC will provide clear guidance to users on how to cite the datasets when used in a publication in accordance with established best practices.

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