Chief Scientist Data Reporting Requirements

Chief Scientists on U.S. GLOBEC Georges Bank cruise have several reporting obligations with respect to data collected on their cruises. This document summarizes these obligations.

Cruise Report

The cruise report is due in the Data Management Office (DMO) as soon as possible after the end of the cruise. The sooner it can be printed and distributed the better. The DMO will take care of duplication and distribution to the U.S. GLOBEC Georges Bank distribution list. Let the office know if you require extra copies. In addition to the paper copy of the report, please supply a Word Perfect version (on 3.5" or 5.25" diskette) of your report for posting on the on-line database. Other word processing formats are acceptable such as Word, RTF, HTML and ASCII. Contact the office if you would prefer to submit your report in another format. If you prefer, the DMO will ftp your file from your site. Contact the DMO letting them know the name of the system and the file name to transfer. Figures and tables can be scanned in from your paper version if necessary although a ".gif" ,".tiff" or postscript file is preferred.

A sample cruise report is available in the Chief Scientist Package.

Event Log

The Event Log provides an overall summary of the activities during your cruise. There exists a Quattro Pro spreadsheet program (events.wb2) that you can use to help prepare the event log in the required format. However, you are free to generate the log in any way you choose. A sample event log is available in the Chief Scientist Package.

A version of the event log should be included in your cruise report, but the original event log is also made available via the database. The event log should be prepared daily while at sea and carefully verified. The final version of the event log should be sent to the DMO in ASCII or Quattro Pro format immediately after the end of the cruise for posting on the on-line database.

The breaking off and resumption of operations on cruises both must be logged as events in the event log, using the s/e (i.e. start/end flag) column. It is now required that all operations, even CTD and Pump casts, be logged with both a start and end entries in the log. Also, aborted tows (that is, tows that result in no data) should not be logged. Rather, indicate in the comment field in the entry for the successful tow, that the previous attempt was aborted.

Cruise and Station Data

All data collected by the ship and the scientific investigators should be made available "as soon as data might be useful to other researchers." (See U.S. GLOBEC Data Policy, Report Number 10, February 1994, p 2. Some material is taken from this reference verbatim.) Principal investigators are responsible for the selection of methods, equipment, and calibration procedures. If new measurement techniques are used, methods relating the new data to existing data should be developed, documented and provided to the DMO.

Data collected for U.S. GLOBEC field programs will be made available whenever it is of general use. In some cases, this may require multiple submission of the data to the DMO. This will be necessary when a portion of the data are not available promptly or if calibrations need to be changed after the original submission of the data. Data sets consist of both the actual measurements and also descriptive data, sometimes referred to as metadata. Metadata consists of location, time, units, accuracy, precision, method of measurement or sampling, investigator, reference to publications describing the data set, a description of the processing of the data, etc. Data are the intellectual property of the collecting scientists and any scientist making substantial use of a data set should communicate with the investigators who acquired the data prior to publication and anticipate that the data collectors will be co-authors of published results. (See Ibid. p6, 7)

Because the program uses the JGOFS distributed database software to provide access to data, your data can be made available to others by either "serving" the data yourself or my sending it the DMO for serving by the GLOBEC server. However, because of the amount and diversity of data sets, it is hoped that scientific investigators will serve the data from their own machines. There is additional documentation about how to serve data accessible via the GLOBEC home page. The URL is

The U.S. GLOBEC Data Policy has the following additional requirements: (See Ibid. p7, 8)

Within three (3) months after collection, a detailed inventory of measurements made during the cruise or field season must be submitted to the DMO by the chief scientist of the experiment in cooperation with the participating principal investigators. This inventory will include the time and location of each measurement and a schedule for submission of full or partial data sets. Of special concern is the inventory of biological samples; all information necessary to retrieve a specific sample must be recorded in the database. Also, any anticipated problems with the data should be reported at this time.

Measurements which do not involve manual analysis and which would be useful to the scientific community must be submitted by the principal investigator within six (6) months after collection. Metadata should include any procedures that were followed to correct errors, remove noise, or otherwise modify the collected data.

The data submission in the case of readily producible statistics, such as displacement volume, and easily producible data, such as silhouette photographs, may be available within the time frame above. The longer time frame associated with sorting plankton and other experiments requires a more flexible policy which is tied to the completion of a significant portion of the sample suite from a cruise. That is, when an investigator completes the analysis of a set of samples to the degree they form a useful measure of conditions observed during a cruise, the data should be submitted. A data set becomes useful to the community at the same time that the investigator begins to use the data for ocean science. Investigators must plan resources and technician time to accomplish these primary data reduction tasks within one year from the end of the cruise during which the samples were collected.

All other measurements and any standard analyses of these measurements must be available to the community within one year after collection.

When measurements are taken in foreign waters, the DMO will be responsible for communicating data reports to the State Department as required.

Data will be transferred to NODC for permanent archiving. Investigators are responsible for maintaining biological samples for at least twenty years. As the Smithsonian is the official repository of biological samples in the United States, samples from the U.S. GLOBEC funded field programs should be offered to the Smithsonian before disposal. (See Ibid. p. 10.) See the report for additional sample preservation requirements.


Each ship collects so called along track data, e.g. date, time, latitude, longitude, and data from each of the ship's sensors such as wind velocity, water depth, air temperature, sea surface temperature, etc. Make sure to get a copy of these data and send a copy to the Data Management Office immediately after the cruise.

Last modified: September 14, 1998