AURA/NOAO Data Rights Policy
XIII. AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION
B. Procedures for NOAO
2. Scientific Materials
a. Conditions of Use
Pursuant to its Cooperative Agreement with the National Science Foundation for the
management and operation of NOAO Facilities, AURA claims ownership over all
intellectual property arising from its performance of that Agreement, subject to a
comprehensive royalty-free license to the Federal Government. Such property includes
scientific images and data, including, but not limited to, images, databases, catalogs, and
scientific works (but not scientific papers produced by researchers using NOAO
facilities). It is normally AURA's policy, consistent with the Cooperative Agreement,
after the completion of the proprietary period described in subparagraph (b) below, to
make such scientific images and data products available for free use by the astronomical
community throughout the world. However, any use of such scientific images and data
products is subject to the NOAO Conditions of Use policy, which is available from the
NOAO Science Archive web site, including proper acknowledgement to NOAO, AURA,
b. Proprietary Period
To promote the maximum scientific impact of data collected at NOAO facilities, all data
will be retained and archived at NOAO, with the expectation that the data will be made
available electronically to the world-wide astronomical community following a nominal
period during which the proposing investigators have exclusive scientific rights. This
"proprietary period" is subject to the following provisions:
- The duration of the proprietary period is normally 18 months from the time the data
are collected at the telescope.
- Certain special programs (such as surveys) may be subject to shorter proprietary
periods; these cases will be identified in the Call for Proposals.
- The proprietary period for any program may be shortened at any time at the discretion
of the Principal Investigator for that program. PIs so inclined must notify the NOAO
director or designee in writing.
- The proprietary period may be extended for certain programs at the discretion of the
NOAO Director upon receipt of a well justified request from the PI. Normally this
request should accompany the original proposal for the observing program, and such
requests will be considered by the Telescope Allocation Committee during the
proposal review process. Proposers will be informed of the approved proprietary
period when they are told that their proposal has been granted telescope time.
- Meta-data that describe the individual exposures, including location and extent of the
aperture, instrument configuration, time and duration of the exposure, etc., will be
stored in a database that will be searchable by the community immediately upon
ingest of the exposure in the NOAO Archive.
- All internal calibration data, such as darks, flat-fields, and arc-lamps, will not be
considered proprietary, and will be made available to the public immediately upon
ingest in the NOAO Archive.
- All data will be available to NOAO science and technical staff for the purposes of:
For any other use, such as educational applications, NOAO will consult the PI.
- monitoring the health and safety of the instruments
- trending the calibration and performance of the instruments
- developing and maintaining calibration software for the instruments
- Data taken with an instrument for engineering or test purposes may have scientific
value. These data are not considered proprietary, and will be made available to the
public immediately upon ingest in the NOAO Archive.
This policy applies to all data obtained with NOAO facilities, and to all data obtained at
partner facilities through NOAO-facilitated community access.