Alignment of Polar Data Policies - Recommended Principles
Data policies are important tools to set expectations among the observing community, other rights holders and users about how and what data to share and how to treat data shared by others. As a primary resource for science and cross-disciplinary collaboration data should be managed according to widely recognised principles. Data policies based on shared, fundamental principles will clarify obligations and stipulate norms with respect to data sharing, access, management, preservation, and acknowledgment. Agreement on such principles will facilitate collaborative research and serve to increase the productivity of data for scientific, operational, management and decision-making purposes. This is particularly important in polar regions, where data collection tends to be prohibitively expensive. Polar data sharing and open data policies go back to the First International Polar Year (1882-1883). The fourth International Polar Year (2007-2008) provided a major impetus to improving data management at both poles and introduced a seminal data policy specific to polar research. Later on, several polar science bodies introduced their own data policies modelled on the IPY data policy. While these share major ideas and obligations, they were not written to be explicitly aligned and differ in important aspects. In addition, they pre-date the FAIR principles and other key principles for data management, as well as other modern technological and institutional changes that significantly impact the ways in which scientific data are managed and shared. In this paper we examine such developments along with the data policy recommendations and policies of important global and regional organisations. We conclude by recommending ten fundamental principles for adoption in polar data policies.