Data publications are made freely available to the public under our data use agreement outlining conditions of use such as redistribution, citation, notification, and distribution liability. The Open Access - Data Use Agreement is implicitly agreed to by anyone acquiring data from this repository. Formally, Archive-published datasets are released under the Creative Commons CC-BY license structure. This allows for broad use and re-use, while preserving the expectation of citation of the data publication to document that use and credit the intellectual work of the author(s).
Forest Service Research Data Archive-published data publications have publicly available metadata documents and data that are readily accessible via download or online database. The metadata and other documentation have undergone thorough review by the archive team to ensure the information provided is complete and coherent. This is usually an iterative process with the data publication authors. To facilitate broadest possible re-use and re-purposing of our published scientific data, one special objective is for the documentation to be intelligible to non-subject matter specialists.
External () data publications have publicly available metadata documents through our catalog. Datasets are accessible via links to the relevant external repository. The metadata provided are obtained directly from the external repository. While the actual dataset is likely to be of high quality (being, in most cases, from a Forest Service science team), we offer no assurances regarding the quality of the metadata or the quality of dataset presentation.
It is routine professional ethics to acknowledge the work of other researchers. Thus, the data user must properly cite the data publication in any other publications or in the metadata of any derived products developed using the data. Citations should take the following general form: Data Publication Creator, Year of Data Publication, Title of Data Publication, Publisher, Data Publication Identifier (DOI). For example:
Glasgow, Lance S.; Wright, David K.; Sutherland, Elaine K. 2011. Coram Experimental Forest 15 minute streamflow data. Fort Collins, CO: Forest Service Research Data Archive. https://doi.org/10.2737/RDS-2011-0019
If minor additions to the data publication are made (e.g., another year of data added) on a later date, say for example on February 3, 2015, the citation would be:
Glasgow, Lance S.; Wright, David K.; Sutherland, Elaine K. 2011. Coram Experimental Forest 15 minute streamflow data. Fort Collins, CO: Forest Service Research Data Archive. Updated 03 February 2015. https://doi.org/10.2737/RDS-2011-0019
If there are substantial changes, additions, or correcting of errors on a later date, say for example in 2015, then the updated citation would be:
Glasgow, Lance S.; Wright, David K.; Sutherland, Elaine K. 2015. Coram Experimental Forest 15 minute streamflow data. 2nd Edition. Fort Collins, CO: Forest Service Research Data Archive. https://doi.org/10.2737/RDS-2011-0019-2
(Note the publication year has changed, edition number added, new DOI assigned to reflect the new edition, and metadata updated to explicitly note what was changed and why - or an additional column of data denoting observations corrected. In addition, the information page for the original data publication would provide a link to the new edition.)
The main download page for each data publication, in addition to the metadata Use Constraints element, will provide the proper citation.
Metadata documents have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness. Unless otherwise stated, all data and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. However, neither the author, the Archive, nor any part of the federal government can assure the reliability or suitability of these data for a particular purpose. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed for a user's application of these data or related materials.
The metadata, data, or related materials may be updated without notification. If a user believes errors are present in the metadata, data or related materials, please use the information in (1) Identification Information: Point of Contact, (2) Metadata Reference: Metadata Contact, or (3) Distribution Information: Distributor to notify the author or the Archive of the issues.