Data Access and Use Policy

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PorToL User Agreement and Policy on Data Ownership, Use, and Publications

The Porifera Tree of Life (PorToL) project seeks to integrate across the field of sponge biology by providing the scientific community with access to gene sequences, sequence alignments, phylogenies, and morphological data. All registered users of the PorToL website can view all of these data. However, individuals viewing these data acknowledge that these data are tagged with ownership for individuals that have submitted specimens, processed samples, or otherwise contributed to data analyses and interpretation.

We anticipate that all publications involving PorToL-generated data will be multi-author publications. Authors of publications using PorToL data should notify a PorToL PI in the early stages of manuscript preparation to coordinate with all data owners. Our policy is that all individuals who contribute sequences, specimens, data analyses, or interpretations of data will have the opportunity to be a co-author on relevant publications. Any researcher who makes a substantial, direct, intellectual contribution to the work will be listed as an author. No one will be prevented from doing so. All authors must approve final versions of papers. Order of authorship will be determined by contributions to the actual writing of publications. For more complete guidelines, we agree to follow those provided by the Harvard Medical School (http://www.hms.harvard.edu/fa/guide_doc.html). In the event that no PorToL PI's are included as authors of a paper, grant numbers for the project will be included in the acknowledgments.

Overlap or competition with projects currently in progress in the laboratories of our international collaborators is an especially critical and sensitive issue. Each of these cases will be considered on an individual basis. We will make every effort to collaborate and coordinate with studies in progress. Thus, we may wait for studies of which we are aware to be submitted for publication prior to a submitting a "competing" paper involving PorToL.

As PorToL-generated data are published, they will be made publicly available on PorToL, the Sponge Barcoding Database, and GenBank.

All PorToL users agree that:

  1. All registered users of the PorToL website can view all PorToL data.

  2. All PorToL data are tagged with ownership for individuals that have submitted specimens, processed specimens, or otherwise contributed to the generation of the data.

  3. All PorToL users must ask permission from data owners before distributing or publishing any PorToL data, including presentations at scientific conferences.

  4. PorToL data owners must have the opportunity to be co-authors on all publications using PorToL data.