Progam Officers FAQ for Data Sharing for NOAA Grants PD

From NGDC Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Return to the home page for this PD
Return to the general version of the FAQ

Question: What is meant by "environmental data"?

Answer: Environmental data are recorded and derived observations and measurements of the physical, chemical, biological, geological, and geophysical properties and conditions of the oceans, atmosphere, space environment, sun, and solid earth, as well as correlative data, such as socio-economic data, related documentation, and metadata. Media, including voice recordings and photographs, may be included.

Question: Who benefits from data sharing?

Answer: Everyone benefits, including investigators, funding agencies, the scientific community, and, most importantly, the public. Data sharing provides more effective use of NOAA resources by avoiding unnecessary duplication of data collection. It also conserves research funds to support more investigators. The initial investigator benefits, because as the data are used and published more broadly, the initial investigator's reputation grows.

Question: How do I set up the Federal Funding Opportunity to include this requirement?

Answer: We are currently working with the DoC Federal Assistance Law Division to approve the standard language for both the FFO and the Special Award Condition contained in the data sharing policy. We expect this approval in time for July 2012 FFOs. If you produce an FFO prior to this language being approved than the resultant grants will not be under this new grants policy.

Question: How will I know if my grantee intends to comply with the new sharing policy?

Answer: Unless otherwise indicated in the FFO, the grantee will supply a 2-page Data Sharing Plan as part of the project narrative. The Data Sharing Plan should convince you and other reviewers that the grantee will share their data successfully. A typical plan may include descriptions of the types of environmental data created during the course of the project; the standards to be used for data format and content; policies addressing data stewardship and preservation; and procedures for providing access, sharing, and security.

Question: How should I determine if my grantee is complying with the new sharing policy?

Answer: The Grantee should be doing what was outlined in their Data Sharing Plan and reporting on it in their progress reports. People who have asked for the data from the grantee should be able to obtain and understand it prior to the project end date.

Question: What do I do if my grantee is not complying with the new sharing policy?

Answer: You may initiate enforcement actions such as freezing drawdown of funds, similar to when a progress report is late. The grantee may submit a formal request for an exemption from the sharing policy for NOAA consideration at any time.

Question: What about the Information Quality Act?

Answer: In order to comply with the IQA, a special award condition will indicate that environmental data and information made available to the public must include the following statement: This environmental data has not been formally disseminated by NOAA, and does not represent and should not be construed to represent any agency determination, view, or policy.

Question: What is considered "timely" data sharing?

Answer: In general, data that have potential usefulness to others are expected to be made available as soon as possible consistent with logistical considerations. Unless otherwise indicated in the FFO, data must be shared no later than 2-years after the date of observation. Documentation and metadata should clearly indicate the status of the dataset (initial raw data, draft data with only rudimentary quality controls, partial dataset, final data, etc).

Question: Can I get additional funding for my grantees to share the data?

Answer: Funding to address data sharing must be requested as part of the proposal to collect/create data. Indicate the priority of data sharing for your program in the solicitation to ensure the data sharing methods proposed are appropriate for the funds your program has available.

Do my grantees have to share the data after the funded project period?

Answer: The grantee should follow their data sharing plan.

Question: I already require an extensive Data Management Plan. Do I still need to require a Data Sharing Plan?

Answer: No, just indicate that a Data Sharing Plan is not required in the federal funding announcement.

Question: I am the manager of a large [Cooperative Institute|Sea Grant/similar] program funded by an omnibus grant which in turn manages a number of individual research projects. Must every individual project have its own data sharing plan?

Answer: Not necessarily, the omnibus grant recipient may comply with the policy using a single Program-wide data sharing plan or requiring individual plans for individual projects (or something in between) as long as all the relevant data generated is covered under some data sharing plan.

Question: My question wasn’t on this list, is there a person I can call or email?

Answer: Questions about specific sharing plans, grants, or RFPs should go to your Federal Program Officer or the contact listed in the specific Federal Funding Opportunity announcement of interest. More general questions can go to members of the NOAA Environmental Data Management Committee. Specifically the chair or deputy chair will take your general questions and work to answer them and add them to this list.