ASTROPHYSICAL RESEARCH CONSORTIUM
Principles of Operation
for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

as approved 21 November 2000

Table of Contents

  1. Preamble
  2. Management
  3. Scientific Goals
  4. Data Access and Publication Policies
  5. Proposals and Initiatives
  6. The Observatory

Introduction

This document presents the Principles of Operation (PoO) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which have been agreed upon by the Participating Institutions. They may be revised as needed by future agreements. Changes to the PoO must be approved by the Board and will generally be based on recommendations from the Advisory Council, acting either at its own initiative or in response to a request from the Board.

Background

The initial Principles of Operation (PoO) for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) were drafted during 1989 and approved by the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) Board of Governors (Board) in February 1990. They were revised in 1995 to reflect both the addition of four more Participating Institutions to the original Collaboration and a change in the model through which the ARC Board managed the SDSS project (with the SDSS Advisory Council replacing the SDSS Subcommittee of the Board). This revision was subsequently approved by the ARC Board in November 1996.

A new management organization was approved by the ARC Board at its November 1997 meeting. This reorganization was implemented to reflect results of internal and external reviews of the management of the SDSS project during 1997, and to respond to the guidelines established in a Memorandum to ARC from the Presidents of the four Participating Universities. The structure of this organization was further refined and modified through extensive discussions at the August and September 1998 Advisory Council meetings. The resulting structure was then approved by the Advisory Council at its November 1998 meeting.

This document describes the management structure currently in place for the SDSS, a structure expected to serve the project well during the commissioning and operations phases of the project. This document supersedes the 1990 and 1996 versions of the PoO, but does not invalidate any actions taken under those documents.

Scope

This document provides the basis for the governance of the SDSS. The Director of the SDSS will develop and put in place the specific procedures and rules to run the SDSS smoothly in a manner consistent with the PoO. The Director should keep the Advisory Council informed about such procedures and rules, and ensure that the Spokesperson keeps the Collaboration informed through public postings (e.g. on the SDSS webpage).

Key Terms

Certain key terms, when capitalized, will have the following meanings throughout this document:

SDSS
the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
ARC
Astrophysical Research Consortium, a nonprofit Washington corporation for research and education in astronomy with seven member organizations, six of which are participating in the SDSS.
Board
the ARC Board of Governors.
PoO
Principles of Operation, the document setting forth the operating principles for the SDSS as initially adopted by the ARC Board of Governors in 1990 and the superseding versions adopted in 1996 and 2000.
Participating Institutions
the six ARC institutions and five non-ARC institutions participating in the SDSS. There are three types of Participating Institutions:
Full Members
the five ARC Participating Institutions, currently including The University of Chicago, the Institute for Advanced Study, The Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University, and the University of Washington, with ultimate responsibility for completing the Primary Survey and Science Archive, each with two voting members of the Advisory Council and an unlimited number of Participants.
MOU Partners
the three non-ARC Participating Institutions participating through Memoranda of Understanding (MOU), currently including Fermilab, the Japan Participation Group (JPG), and the US Naval Observatory (USNO), with shared but MOU-limited responsibility for completing the Primary Survey and Science Archive, each with two voting members of the Advisory Council, and a number of Participants defined by the MOU.
Affiliate MOU Partners
the three Participating Institutions participating through MOU, currently including the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, and New Mexico State University, with no responsibility for completing the Primary Survey and Science Archive beyond the cash and/or in-kind contributions specified in the MOU, each with one non-voting member of the Advisory Council, and an MOU-limited number of Participants, postdocs, and students.
Advisory Council
the body which represents the Participating Institutions and advises the Board on matters relating to the SDSS through a simple majority of voting members for a quorum and a simple majority method of decision-making both in the Advisory Council as-a-whole and in its Executive Committee.
Director
the Director of the SDSS.
Participants
persons having access to the Science Archive prior to public release.
Collaboration
collectively, all Participating Institutions and Participants.
Working Groups
groups of SDSS scientists who will focus on particular fields or categories of astronomy as they pertain to the SDSS.
Primary Survey
the photometric and spectroscopic surveys of the North Galactic Cap and selected portions of the South Galactic Cap.
Core Program
the collective of the core science defined by the Working Groups in the form of Key Projects.
Science Archive
the reduced survey data, data products, software interfaces, and supporting scientific and technical information created by the SDSS to enable scientific analyses of the survey data.
Proposal
a formal proposal in the name of ARC or a Participating Institution to an outside funding source requesting financial support for the SDSS or its scientific exploitation.
Initiative
an activity to extend the SDSS beyond the Primary Survey; an activity proposed by a non-Participant or non-Participating Institution involving access to the SDSS data, hardware, or software.

1. Preamble

1.1 The goal of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is to conduct wide-angle surveys of the sky to enable science designed to address critical issues in extra-galactic astronomy, especially in the field of large-scale structure: specifically, to conduct a digital multiband photometric survey at high northern Galactic latitudes (b > 30 degrees) and in the same area a multifiber spectroscopic survey of galaxies and quasars. These will be supplemented by a deeper survey with more restricted sky coverage in the Southern Galactic hemisphere. These three surveys constitute the Primary Survey of the SDSS. The photometric surveys will serve both to select the galaxies, quasars, and other targets for the spectroscopic survey, and as scientifically significant data sets in their own right. The spectroscopic survey will be primarily designed to yield accurate redshifts. The Primary Survey is expected to take five years to complete, after a suitable commissioning phase.

1.2 The top priority will be to ensure the highest possible scientific integrity of the Primary Survey. Calibrations must be extensive and trustworthy. Moreover, the intent is that the survey be well enough designed and the data of sufficient quality that it will have a long and productive lifetime.

1.3 The main product of the SDSS is the Science Archive, consisting of reliable and easily utilized data sets, data products, and software interfaces. The Science Archive is designed to support scientific analyses that will provide insight into the nature and origin of large-scale structure and other fundamental topics.

1.4 Work aimed at extracting scientific results as the survey progresses has been, and will continue to be, encouraged. Indeed, such work is an essential part of this effort. Participants may carry out whatever scientific projects they choose, subject to the policy guidelines discussed in Section 4 and Section 5. However, Participants engaged in this work should help in the overall quality control effort and must provide their own resources as needed above and beyond the data and the software tools provided by the project.

1.5 Consistent with plans to maintain the integrity and usability of the Science Archive, the Participating Institutions intend to make data public within 18 months of data collection initially, reducing to approximately one year as the survey progresses. Details of the data and publication policies are presented in Section 4. The public data distribution products and schedule are described in a separate agreement with the National Science Foundation.

1.6 In addition to the Primary Survey, Initiatives for other separately funded projects to use available telescope time or data in new ways will be entertained provided they do not interfere with or delay the Primary Survey, and do not require those Participating Institutions that are not direct beneficiaries of the Initiative to increase their financial contributions. These may include a photometric survey and spectroscopic work in the Galactic plane, imaging at other wavebands, or analyses of the raw SDSS data (which are not included in the Science Archive).

2. Management

2.1 Board

The ultimate responsibility for all aspects of the SDSS project rests with the Board, including approval of annual budgets and requests for outside funding. The Board is assisted by the Advisory Council on matters concerning the SDSS project. The Board must approve entry of all Participating Institutions into the SDSS project. One criterion for entry will be the written acceptance of these PoO.

2.2 Advisory Council

The Advisory Council advises the Board on matters relating to the SDSS project. Advisory Council members represent the Participating Institutions and are therefore the primary channel through which information flows between the Board and Participating Institutions. A majority consensus of the Advisory Council is required before a recommendation to admit a new Participating Institution is made to the Board.

Advisory Council members will be appointed by the Board from among nominations by the Participating Institutions. Each Participating Institution will be represented by at least one and not more than two members. The Chair of the Board will be an ex officio member of the Advisory Council. The Chair of the Advisory Council will be appointed by the Board for a specified term.

The Advisory Council will meet as deemed necessary, but generally at least three times per year. Meetings may be conducted in-person or via teleconferencing. Meeting dates will be set and announced well in advance to assure good attendance. The agenda will be distributed at least five days in advance of the meeting to Advisory Council members, the Chair and Secretary of the Board, and the Director. The Advisory Council Chair is responsible for timely filing of approved meeting minutes with the ARC Secretary.

It is the responsibility of Advisory Council members to ensure that their Participants and relevant institutional officers (e.g. Departmental Chair, Director of Sponsored Programs, etc.) are informed of the SDSS data access, publication, and proposal policies as is implied by that institution's acceptance of these PoO.

The Board has approved the establishment of an Executive Committee of the Advisory Council. It is chaired by the Chair of the Advisory Council and consists of the ARC Officers and members appointed by the Advisory Council. Its purpose is to provide advice and guidance through communications with the Director that are more expedient than is practical with the entire Advisory Council. The Executive Committee has the authority to act for the Advisory Council when deemed appropriate by the Chairs of the Advisory Council and the Board. The Executive Committee will act as a readily available sounding board for the Chair of the Advisory Council and the Director, thereby helping to frame significant management decisions and policy issues for eventual action by the Advisory Council as a whole. The Chair keeps the rest of the Advisory Council informed of the activities of the Executive Committee. Where the Executive Committee acts for the Advisory Council, ratification of the action will be sought at the next meeting of the Advisory Council.

2.3 Director

The Board has delegated to the Director the executive authority for construction of the telescope, related hardware, and software; and for operation of the survey. To those ends, the Director is responsible for:

  • defining and appointing key personnel;
  • keeping the Advisory Council informed on the status of the project, including any major problems and plans for resolving them;
  • working with ARC officers in conducting the project so as to comply with the terms of funding awards received by ARC from federal agencies and private entities;
  • drafting for concurrence by the Advisory Council and approval by the Board the Memorandum of Understanding with any new Participating Institution.
The Director leads the preparation of Proposals to fund the construction and operations of the SDSS (Section 5.1), and assists the Board and Advisory Council in other relevant fund-raising activities as requested.

The Director will be appointed for a fixed term by the Board taking into consideration the recommendation of the Advisory Council. The Advisory Council will identify and evaluate candidates for the position of Director when the incumbent's term is coming to an end, or when the position is vacated unexpectedly.

The Director will be assisted by the ARC corporate office under the general supervision of the ARC Treasurer in preparing annual budgets and monthly financial summaries. The Director will submit annual budgets to the Advisory Council. These budgets will include funds and in-kind services needed for construction, maintenance, and use of the SDSS telescope and instruments, and for the acquisition, processing, archiving, and distribution of the data. The Advisory Council will transmit the Director's budget along with its recommendations to the Board for approval. Monthly financial summaries will be provided to the Advisory Council to show expenditures and obligations compared to the major line item budget.

2.4 Project Scientist

The Director has delegated to the Project Scientist the responsibility for providing the overall quality assurance for the project and ensuring its scientific integrity. From this perspective, he/she monitors the systems aspect of the project in all its phases and evaluates the scientific impact of changes or compromises made in the course of constructing the hardware, preparing the software, and developing the plans for commissioning and operations. The Project Scientist plays a leadership role in organizing and overseeing the scientific effort of the Collaboration.

2.5 Management Committee

The Director has, following consultation with the Advisory Council, defined a Management Committee, appointed its members for fixed terms, and serves as its Chair. The Director may delegate specific areas of responsibility to Management Committee members. The Management Committee presently consists of the Director, Technical Director, and Spokesperson. This may be changed as deemed necessary by the Director.

Informal communication between the Management Committee and members of the Board and Advisory Council is encouraged. These communications will include regularly inviting the Management Committee members to Advisory Council meetings. Formal communications of the Management Committee with the Board or Advisory Council is through the Director.

2.6 Technical Director

The Director has delegated to the Technical Director the authority and responsibility to manage all aspects of the operations and maintenance of the SDSS at the Apache Point Observatory and Fermilab. He/she will have responsibility for the end-to-end process of scientific and technical operations planning, data acquisition, and data processing. The goal of the Technical Director is to obtain, process, and store survey-quality data on schedule and within the budgeted resources. To that end, the Technical Director will coordinate the relevant efforts of personnel throughout the SDSS project.

2.7 Spokesperson

The Director has delegated to the Spokesperson the primary responsibility for representing the SDSS to the outside world, raising the visibility of the SDSS within the astronomy and physics communities, and fostering good morale in the Collaboration. He/she is charged with formulating and implementing guidelines for project publications and for coordinating public presentations. It is anticipated that once the SDSS is well into a period of routine operation, the Director will appoint a Spokesperson nominated by the Collaboration.

2.8 Collaboration Council

The Collaboration Council (CoCo) was formed to advise and support the Spokesperson. It consists of one member from each Participating Institution (appointed by that Institution) plus one member who represents, and is elected by, the External Participants. The Chair of the CoCo is appointed by the Project Spokesperson from its members.

2.9 Working Groups

Working Groups (WG) have been formed to address the following specific topics: large scale structure, clusters, galaxies, quasars, stars, serendipity, southern survey, reddening, and solar system. One function of these Working Groups is to define Key Projects which together define the Core Program of the SDSS.

The WG's are to consider the complete flow of data relevant to each WG from the CCD's through calibration to final publication. The WG's will assist the Director in defining scientific requirements for equipment, observing time, calibration and analysis software, and data storage and distribution. These requirements will be considered by the Project Scientist in formulating recommendations to the Director in the same categories.

Each WG Chair is appointed by the Director for a fixed term. New WG's may be formed and existing WG's may be disbanded only after approval of a written plan by the Director.

3. Scientific Goals

3.1 Primary Survey

3.1.1 The Northern survey

In the approximately pi steradians of the North Galactic Cap region (defined approximately by b > 30 degrees) and a much smaller region in the South Galactic Cap, conduct surveys in the following manner:

  • A photometric survey in five filters to about 23rd magnitude (r', five sigma) for stellar objects;
  • Obtain redshifts for a complete sample of galaxies with a density of roughly 100 per square degree;
  • Obtain redshifts for a complete sample of quasars with a density of roughly 15 per square degree, identifiable by photometric indices.

3.1.2 The Southern survey

In the available South Galactic Cap region in a strip 2.5 degrees wide and approximately 90, conduct surveys in the following manner:

  • A photometric survey in five filters to about 25th magnitude (r', 5 sigma) for stellar objects by co-addition of repeated images;
  • Investigate motion and variability in this region over the duration of the survey;
  • Obtain spectra to suitably defined limits somewhat fainter than defined in the Northern Survey in a substantial fraction of the survey area.

3.1.3 The Primary Survey

The Primary Survey is defined as the combination of the Northern survey, Southern survey, and the following:

  • Spectra obtained of a limited number of other targets of high scientific importance, as defined by the Project Scientist based upon recommendations from the WG's;
  • Other spectroscopic investigations deemed appropriate to refine the spectroscopic target selection criteria;
  • Science activities conducted to the extent necessary to develop, test, refine, and document survey planning; imaging; calibration; target selection; spectroscopy; and the data reduction, storage, and retrieval processes.

The velocity precision for galaxies should in all cases be limited by photon noise and should be better than 60 km/s for normal galaxies at the survey limit. The data should be retained as a full data set of all pixels on the sky as well as in reduced data sets for later analysis and distribution. Such reduced data sets include atlas images of all objects; catalogs of image parameters for all detected objects; and one-dimensional spectra, catalogs of redshifts, and catalogs of spectral properties of all objects for which spectra have been obtained.

Prioritization of resources -- financial, human, and telescope availability -- is indicated by the ordering of subsections 3.1.1 and 3.1.2 above. Primary Survey funds will be dedicated and restricted to these projects.

3.2 Core Program

3.2.1 It is the responsibility of the Working Groups (WG's) to define a set of Key Projects that constitute the Core Program of the SDSS, and to define and appoint members and leaders to the science team for each Key Project.

3.2.2 The specific criteria and procedures used by the WG's to select Key Projects, team members, and leaders will be developed by the individual WG. However, these criteria should be based primarily on maximizing scientific return. Due recognition should also be given to those who have made major contributions to the SDSS, and the balance between the junior and senior members of the WG should be equitably reflected.

3.2.3 The Spokesperson will collect and organize the Key Projects, ensure that the guidelines described above have been followed, and adjudicate disputes. If he/she judges that a WG has not developed an adequate set of Key Projects, he/she may recommend that the Director augment the list of Key Projects and solicit interest from Participants in the formation of additional teams.

3.2.4 The Director will address any institutional issues that may arise, such as adequate representation of the ARC and MOU Participating Institutions.

3.3 Additional Projects

3.3.1 The data from the Primary Survey will be used for many scientific projects that are distinct from the Core Program. Indeed the Science Archive is designed to facilitate the broad and far-ranging exploitation of the data produced by the Primary Survey.

3.3.2 The policies and procedures governing Initiatives to use or augment the SDSS hardware, software, or operations for purposes that are not part of the Primary Survey are discussed in Section 5.3 below. These will be performed on a basis that is strictly non-interfering with the Primary Survey, and must be done without adding to the cost of the Primary Survey.

3.3.3 Examples of such possible Initiatives include a photometric survey of the Galactic disk, spectroscopic study of objects in the Galactic disk, spectroscopic study of objects identified but not studied in the Primary Survey, and imaging of selected regions of the Primary Survey in additional wavebands.

4. Data Access and Publication Policies

4.1 Participants

4.1.1 Participants have unlimited access

Participants have unlimited access to the Science Archive and may use this access to pursue any scientific project, subject to the policies and procedures specified below. Participants must read and abide by the PoO, and are responsible for protecting the scientific integrity of the SDSS and the data rights of other Participants.

4.1.2 At ARC Participating Institutions

At ARC Participating Institutions, Participants are defined to be full-time PhD-level scientific staff that receive at least 50% of their annual salary from that institution. They must also either have Principal Investigator status at that institution or have performed the equivalent of two years service to the SDSS (as judged by the Director).

4.1.3 At non-ARC Participating Institutions

At non-ARC Participating Institutions, Participants are defined via the individual MOU's.

4.1.4 External Participants

The Director may designate other scientists at Participating and non-Participating Institutions as Participants ("External Participants"), based upon exceptional contributions to the SDSS.

At non-Participating Institutions where External Participants may be designated, there must be a relevant institutional officer (e.g. Departmental Chair, Directory of Sponsored Programs, Site Operations Manager, etc.) that will accept accountability to become informed of the survey Data Access, Publication, and Proposal Policies and commit that institution's acceptance of the PoO.

4.1.5 Participant Portability

Persons whose Participant status is by virtue of their affiliation with a Participating Institution who leave that Participating Institution, or otherwise lose their Participant qualifying status, may retain their Participant status only with designation by the Director as an External Participant on a case-by-case basis. In the unlikely event of protest of such rulings, the issue may be appealed to the Advisory Council which will have jurisdiction on the basis of a majority vote.

4.2 Non-Participants Early Collaborative Data Access

Prior to public release, non-Participants may be granted access to limited portions of SDSS data to conduct specific research projects in collaboration with Participants. The sponsoring Participant will be responsible for protecting the scientific integrity of the SDSS and the data rights of other Participants, for ensuring that the non-Participant uses the data responsibly and abides by the Collaboration rules. The sponsoring Participant may terminate the sponsorship at any time by informing the Spokesperson. The Director may terminate access to SDSS data by a non-Participant at any time for cause.

4.2.1 A postdoctoral fellow at a Participating Institution

A postdoctoral fellow at a Participating Institution will be granted early access to SDSS data if more than 50% of his/her salary is paid by that institution and if a Participant at that institution agrees to grant and sponsor such access. The sponsoring Participant shall inform the Spokesperson of his/her sponsorship of the fellow, the termination of the sponsorship when the fellow's status changes, and the title and place of publication of the fellow's work if it involves SDSS data.

4.2.2 A full-time student at a Participating Institution

A full-time student at a Participating Institution will be granted early access to SDSS data if a Participant at that institution agrees to grant and sponsor such access. The sponsoring Participant shall inform the Spokesperson of his/her sponsorship of the student, the termination of the sponsorship when the student leaves or graduates, and the title and place of publication of the student's work if it involves SDSS data.

4.2.3 External Collaborators

A non-Participant at a non-Participating Institution may be granted early access to limited portions of SDSS data as an External Collaborator in order to work on a specific project, if a Participant will agree to sponsor such access. Such a collaboration should bring value to the SDSS in the form of support, resources, observational or computational facilities, or special expertise provided by the External Collaborator. The Spokesperson will judge requests for such collaboration by the above standards and shall make a recommendation to the Management Committee. It will make the final decision and communicate this to the prospective External Collaborator and his/her Participant sponsor. If granted, data access shall be restricted to the specific person for the specific project.

4.3 Projects and Publications

Any Participant may use the Science Archive to undertake any scientific project, subject to the rules and procedures described in this document. It is anticipated that the scientific results of the Core Program will be published primarily and jointly by the Participants belonging to the Key Project teams, with other Participants added by mutual agreement. These policies and procedures apply only to data that has not been released to the public.

4.3.1 Projects List

4.3.1.1 A Projects List shall be maintained by the Spokesperson in an easily accessible format which lists, for each project, the subject matter, known collaborators, a contact person (with address), and the anticipated duration of the project.

4.3.1.2 Participants must notify the Spokesperson -- for inclusion on the Projects List -- on initiation of any scientific project utilizing SDSS data that is expected ultimately to result in publication. Participants must regularly inform the Spokesperson about the progress of the project. These policies apply to Participants both for their own projects and for projects they sponsor.

4.3.2 Publications List

4.3.2.1 A Publications List shall be maintained by the Spokesperson in an easily accessible format which lists for each paper, the title, authors, and journal of submission. By submission here, we signify submission both to a scientific journal and to any other public forum or medium.

4.3.2.2 Participants must submit to the Spokesperson at least three weeks before submission for publication any manuscript which utilizes SDSS data. By submission here, we signify submission both to a scientific journal and to any other public forum. This is required of Participants both for their own projects and for projects they sponsor. The Spokesperson will promptly post these submissions to the Publications List.

4.3.3 Thesis List

4.3.3.1 A Thesis List shall be maintained by the Spokesperson in an easily accessible format that lists Ph.D. thesis projects based on SDSS data. This will include the names of the student and the sponsoring Participant, together with a brief description of the thesis and an estimated schedule for completion.

4.3.3.2 It is the responsibility of the sponsoring Participant to ensure that the Spokesperson is provided with the information needed to create and maintain an accurate and up-to-date posting for his/her student.

4.4 Authorship

4.4.1 Any Participant, at any stage of a research project, may request that his/her name be added to the list of authors with the presumption that permission will be granted if there has been any significant contribution to that research project.

4.4.2 The Spokesperson shall maintain a Builders List. Builders are individuals who have provided an exceptional level of service to the SDSS during the construction and commissioning phases of the project. They will be appointed to the Builders List by the Director from among nominees provided by the Participating Institutions. Builders will be automatically granted authorship on any SDSS scientific publication they request.

4.4.3 If there are disputes among Participants or collaborators on authorship, the Spokesperson will recommend a resolution to the Director, who will rule on individual cases. In the unlikely event of protest of such rulings, the issue may be appealed to the Advisory Council, which will have jurisdiction on the basis of a majority vote.

4.5 Additional Guidelines for Implementation

The Spokesperson may develop more detailed guidelines concerning the implementation of the policies in Section 4, as he/she deems appropriate. A copy of these guidelines will be available from the Spokesperson, and must be read and agreed to by the Participants, a relevant institutional officer at Participating Institutions, and collaborators. These guidelines must be consistent with and may not supersede the basic principles of the PoO.

4.6 Sanctions

4.6.1 If a project is added to the Publications List without due notice on the Projects List, the Director may rule for a delay in publication on the advice of the Spokesperson.

4.6.2 If the Director, with advice from the Project Scientist, deems a project not technically ready for publication, the Director may rule for a delay in publication.

4.6.3 Anyone who submits for publication results based on SDSS data prior to public release of that data, without notifying the Collaboration by ensuring the project is listed on the Projects List and Publications List may be barred from further access to SDSS data by the Director, on the advice of the Spokesperson.

4.6.4 In the unlikely event of the protest of these rulings, the issue may be appealed to the Advisory Council, which will have jurisdiction on the basis of a majority vote.

5. Proposals and Initiatives

5.1 Proposals by ARC As-A-Whole

Proposals submitted by ARC as-a-whole to Federal or philanthropic sources to secure funds to support the construction, operation or scientific exploitation of the SDSS require approval by the Board following a recommendation by the Advisory Council. Such Proposals take precedence over other SDSS-related Proposals by anyone, and the Board may take appropriate steps to protect them, with proper notification to the Collaboration.

Under the leadership of the Director, joint efforts by the Collaboration to raise funds to support scientific research with the SDSS data are encouraged. These Collaboration Science Proposals will be most appropriately used to help fund the Core Program. They will generally be of a larger scale than can be funded from the typical Federal grants programs, and will most likely involve either philanthropic sources or special Federal programs. The Key Project teams defined in Section 3.2 are expected to assist the Director in the preparation of Collaboration Science Proposals. The allocation of the resources generated by these Proposals will be the responsibility of the Director, with the advice and consent of the Advisory Council and the Board.

5.2 Other Proposals to Fund Scientific Research

The following policies, procedures, and guidelines apply to Proposals by anyone that seeks substantial (more than $30K total) funding for the primary purpose of supporting research using SDSS data. The purposes of such strictures are to:

  • Protect the scientific integrity of the SDSS;
  • Ensure that SDSS data are described in a technically-responsible manner;
  • Foster equity and collegiality within the Collaboration;
  • Present an organized, rational funding plan to financial sponsors and the scientific community;
  • Effectively manage Proposals that might otherwise compete for the same funds;
  • Ensure that Proposals do not contain items or describe arrangements that conflict with the PoO, MOU's, or agreements already in place with major SDSS funding sources;
  • Ensure that the Proposals do not increase the cost of the Primary Survey to Participating Institutions or require additional fund-raising by the Collaboration.

5.2.1 A Proposals List shall be maintained by the Spokesperson in an easily accessible format which lists, for each Proposal, the title, brief reseach summary, list of team members, estimated total budget, and final disposition. It is the responsibility of the PI to provide this information to the Spokesperson. The first four items must be posted on the Proposals List at least one month prior to Proposal submission.

5.2.2 Proposing institutions or individuals are responsible for all incremental costs deriving from the proposed research.

5.2.3 Proposals submitted by Participating Institutions shall be carefully vetted by that institution to ensure that they do not contain items or describe arrangements that conflict with the PoO, the MOU's, or the agreements already in place with major SDSS funding sources. The Director will develop a summary of such sensitive issues and distribute it to the relevant parties at the Participating Institutions.

5.2.4 Proposals submitted by non-Participating Institutions will be vetted by the Director for the purpose described in subsection 5.2.3. To this end, the PI must send a summary of the Proposal to the Director three weeks in advance of the deadline for submission. The summary must give the anticipated budget, describe the overall scope of the proposed work, list any proposed projects that rely on SDSS data, and detail any implicit or explicit commitments to use or publish SDSS data or analyses of them. The submitted Proposal must be consistent with this summary. The Director may request a copy of the full Proposal for review prior to submission if he/she deems it necessary.

5.2.5 It is the responsibility of the members of the Advisory Council to ensure that their Participants and the relevant institutional officers (e.g. Departmental Chair, Director of Sponsored Programs, etc.) are informed of the above procedures, as is implied by that institutions's acceptance of the PoO. This responsibility falls directly on the individual Participants if they are not at a Participating Institution. Such Participants are expected to enlist the advice of other relevant Collaboration members to ensure compliance with the above strictures.

5.2.6 Persons blatantly or repeatedly violating these policies may have their status as a Participant and other eligibility for access to the Science Archive revoked by the Director. In the unlikely event of an appeal, the issue will be settled by the Advisory Council on the basis of a majority vote.

5.2.7 The above policies and procedures apply only to the use of data that has not been released to the public.

5.3 Initiatives for Extension Beyond the Primary Survey

5.3.1 Initiatives to use or augment the SDSS hardware, operations, or data for purposes that are not part of the Primary Survey may be approved by the Director after review by the Project Scientist to assess scientific merit and then by the Director to ensure their technical appropriateness and assess their financial impact. Subsequent review by the Advisory Council and approval by the Board is required only if the Director determines there may be financial impact on the Collaboration or potential conflict with existing institutional arrangements. The proponents will be responsible for any resulting incremental costs.

5.3.2 The Director will determine any required modification of the PoO and will prepare a recommendation to the Advisory Council. The Chair of the Advisory Council will transmit the Initiative, the Director's recommendation, and the Advisory Council's own recommendations to the Board if necessary. Approval of the Initiative may be granted contingent upon the proponents securing the necessary financial resources.

5.3.3 The SDSS was undertaken on the premise that all ARC scientists would enjoy direct and indirect benefits from it. The non-ARC Participating Institutions have also invested heavily in the SDSS. To that end, evaluation of Initiatives will be based primarily on scientific merit and technical appropriateness, and secondarily on institutional affiliation.

5.4 Initiatives for Use of Intellectual Property

Initiatives to use the intellectual property of the SDSS Collaboration will be covered by the Intellectual Property Policy of ARC, Inc., a copy of which is available from the ARC Secretary.

6. The Observatory

6.1 The SDSS facilities will operate on ARC's Apache Point site and share infrastructure and administrative staff with the 3.5m telescope, affording both projects the benefits of a broader skill mix. Shared staff and other common operations support costs will be apportioned between the projects by mutual agreement of the directors.

6.2 The SDSS will provide its own dedicated observing staff.

6.3 Data from SDSS and 3.5m monitoring equipment will be available to users of both telescopes.

6.4 The SDSS project has repaid the 3.5m telescope project a pro rata share of the initial site infrastructure costs, under a rationale approved by the Board.

6.5 When the SDSS project is completed, operation and/or disposition of SDSS facilities will be determined by the Board, with advice from the Advisory Council. Proper consideration will be given to contributions to the capital value of the assets.



 
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