The data policy white paper is now available for discussion. When making posts please remember to follow the house rules. Please also take time to read the full pdf before commenting and where possible refer to one or more of section titles, pages and line numbers to make it easy to cross-reference your comment with the document.
The recommendations are reproduced below:
1. Enhance data availability
a. Build a central databank in which both the original temperature observations as well as multiple versions of the value-added datasets, i.e., quality controlled, homogenized and gridded products, are stored and documented together (including version control). The opportunity to repeat any enhanced analysis should exist. Not only will the methods used for adding value change over time and between scientists, but the data policy will change as well.
b. Provide support for digitization of paper archives wherever they may exist with the proviso that any data (and metadata) digitized under this program be made available to the central databank.
c. Enhance the international exchange of climate data by linking this activity to joint projects of global and regional climate system monitoring and by promoting the free and open access of existing databanks in accordance with set principles, e.g., those of the GEO.
2. Enhance derived product availability
a. Accept that there is a trade off between transparency and data quantity used for derived products. Transparency and openness, which scientists (including the authors) advocate, are hampered by the data policies of national governments and their respective NMHSs. Data policy issues are persistent and unlikely to change in the near future.
b. Hold a series of workshops to homogenize data and produce a gridded dataset. The original and adjusted data might not be able to be released but the gridded dataset and information on the stations that contributed to each grid box value would be released. These gridded datasets could be used by NMHSs to monitor their climate and fit together seamlessly into a global gridded dataset.
c. Ensure that the datasets are correctly credited to their creators and that related rights issues on the original data and the value-added products are observed and made clear to potential users. The conditions will be different for bona fide research and commercial use of data.
3. Involve NMHSs from all countries
a. Acknowledge that involvement of data providers (mainly NMHSs) from countries throughout the world is essential for success, and involves more than simply sending the data to an international data centre. For all nations contributing station records to benefit from this exercise, the scientific community needs to also deliver derived climate change information which can be used to support local climate services by the NMHSs. This return of investment is of particular importance for developing countries.
b. Adopt an end-to-end approach in which data providers are engaged in the construction and use of value-added products, not only because it is at the local level where the necessary knowledge resides on the procedures and circumstances under which the observations have been made, but also because this will make it easier to overcome access restrictions to the original data.
c. Increase the pressure on those countries not inclined to follow a more open data policy by engaging with institutions widely beyond the community of research scientists, including funding bodies, the general public, policy makers and international organisations.