Procedures for Early Collaborative Use of SDSS Data with Non-Participants
Section 4.1 of the SDSS Principles of Operation (PoO) states that data rights are in the hands of scientists at an SDSS institution ("Participants") who have PI status or whose primary responsibility is the construction of the SDSS, and of individuals at other institutions granted such Participant status. Section 4.2 of the PoO describes the principles under which SDSS data may be used collaboratively by non-Participants prior to public release. The purpose of this document is to define efficient procedures for implementing this section of the PoO. The procedures are slightly different for "inside" collaborators, who are at SDSS institutions, and for "outside" collaborators, who are not. See also "SDSS Data Access by Graduate Students and Postdocs".
Examples of the kinds of collaborations covered by this policy include:
In practice, much of the scientific analysis of the SDSS data will be done by students and postdocs at SDSS institutions. These "inside" collaborators access the data through individuals at their institution with data rights. These individuals (i.e., the graduate and postdoctoral advisors) are responsible for ensuring that their collaborators read and agree to the PoO and publication policy, and they are responsible for ensuring that these policies are followed and that the data are not released outside the collaboration. They and their institutions are also responsible for providing the necessary research support: computing, page charges, trips to scientific meetings, and so forth.
Because collaborative work with students and postdocs will be the norm rather than the exception, no special permission is required to initiate such collaborations. However, as with all SDSS investigations, a team contact should provide notice to the collaboration upon the initiation of any project that is expected to lead ultimately to a publication, as described in Section 4.3.1 of the PoO and Section 8.1 of the Publication Policy. Such notification is especially important in the case of Ph.D. theses, so that those concerned are aware of any potential conflicts with other projects. The notification of initiation of an investigation should be submitted by an individual with data rights and should list all of the student, postdoctoral, and other collaborators. By submitting the notification, the individual with data rights implicitly accepts responsibility for ensuring that SDSS policies are followed by the non-Participants who are collaborating on the project.
External Collaborations with those leaving SDSS institutions
An individual at an SDSS institution who is working on projects involving SDSS data and leaves that SDSS institution may request External Collaborator status for those particular projects, so that he/she may continue working on them after he/she leaves. The request shall be made to the Chair of the Collaboration Council, and the decision will be made by the Management Committee in consultation with the leaders of the projects involved, the relevant working group chairs, and the CoCo. Normally, External Collaborator status will be granted provided that the individual has had significant involvement in the project before he/she leaves. This policy applies to faculty, postdocs, and graduate students. Individuals with portable data rights (participant status), of course, need not make such a request.
Collaborations involving colleagues not at an SDSS institution and visitors at SDSS institutions (hereafter non-SDSS scientists) are treated differently. These collaborators will again access the data through Participants with data rights. At the initiation of such collaborations, the SDSS scientist(s) involved should:
Once a project involving external collaborators is approved, the participants involved should:
If a project involving external collaborators is not approved by CoCo, the project team may appeal the decision to the Management Committee.
If a project is not approved and moves ahead in any case (e.g., follow-up observations are taken), the participants involved will be deemed to be in violation of this policy only if a publication results or if a public announcement of the results is made. At that time, the CoCo chair will inform the Management Committee that those involved are deemed to be in violation of the SDSS PoO.
For the case of students and postdocs supervised by SDSS Participants, see the policy on Data Access by Students and Postdocs.