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OOI Data Usage Policy

Data Usage

All OOI data are publically available for usage in proposals and the scholarly record.  There are no additional costs required in a proposal to use OOI data. Please refer to the OOI User Terms and Conditions (available below, or on the Data Portal) for more information.

OOI User Terms and Conditions (Expand)

1 Purpose

The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) program, funded by the National Science Foundation, is an interactive, distributed, and integrated network of ocean infrastructure supporting science-driven sensor systems to enable long-term, complex, interdisciplinary ocean investigations. This OOI User Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) pertain to the definition, collection, distribution, and use of all data and materials collected and produced by the OOI. It was established in accordance with accepted domestic and international best practices in marine and atmospheric science. The purpose of this document is to present the OOI User T&Cs.

2 Definitions

“OOI data” is defined as data or product(s) produced by or resulting from instruments connected to the OOI system, the OOI infrastructure, associated metadata, and any additional observations made for the purpose of quality control and assurance. A product is defined as an item or information that is derived from observational data through any kind of computation or processing. This includes aggregation, analysis, modeling, or visualization processes. An OOI data “User” is defined as an individual, group or organization that receives or uses OOI data for any reason.

3 Data Sources

OOI data emanate primarily from three sources: – Core – instruments that are part of the OOI infrastructure construction – Ship-based – calibration and validation data collected during installation/recovery/maintenance cruises to the sites of OOI infrastructure – Project Specific – instruments that are attached to or use the OOI infrastructure and are owned and operated by persons/organizations other than the OOI Program Office. Regardless of source, all data produced as a consequence of the OOI infrastructure are considered OOI data and are governed by this data policy and T&Cs.

4 User Terms and Conditions

This User Agreement (“Agreement”) is entered into by and between the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL), program director of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (“OOI”), having a mailing address of 1201 New York Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 and the OOI Data User (User). This Document and OOI Web site(s) (“Site(s)”) were developed by COL. By using the Web site(s) and/or downloading materials, you agree to the Terms and Conditions set forth in this document (the Agreement). If you do not agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions, please promptly exit the Site. COL reserves the right to modify the Terms and Conditions at its discretion at any time. Such modifications will be effective when posted. COL provides and the User hereby accepts the OOI Data subject to the following terms and conditions:

1. Attribution. The OOI Program requires an acknowledgement (in publications, conference papers, etc.) from those who use data from OOI, its tools or software. Users are required to specifically acknowledge the National Science Foundation and the COL OOI Program Office when core data/infrastructure is used and individual researchers, groups, or organizations when project specific data is used.

2. Data Use. The COL OOI Program is not responsible for the use of the data it provides.

3. Dependability. The reliability, quality and completeness of data obtained through OOI are intended to be used in an education or research context. It is assumed that outages and errors can occur and are dealt with by the users of the data. These data and software are not for use in operational or decision-making settings.

4. Accuracy and Quality. COL makes reasonable efforts to ensure that the data provided are accurate. However, there may be no Quality Control (QC) performed on data acquired and provided through the OOI program, and there may be no Quality Assurance (QA) provided on information on those data sets. If QC/QA is performed, it is described in the metadata.

5. Provision of Data. The OOI program both produces and through collaborations within the geosciences community, gains access to data sets which may be redistributed either directly or indirectly at no cost. With regard to data distribution, all Users must comply with any applicable U.S. export laws and regulations.

6. Provision of Software. Software supported and distributed by OOI are available by downloading from the OOI web site.

7. Limitations and Exceptions. COL will (on a limited basis) consider exceptions to policies for individuals or organizations who fall outside of the current stated policy and desire access to certain data or tools, if: 1) a collaboration can be formed which will enhance and strengthen our community as a whole, 2) no violations of other agreements occur and, 3) the effort fits within available resources and workload.

8. Breach. In the event of Agreement breach by the User, COL may suspend or immediately terminate User access to OOI Sites and data and pursue any and all legal and equitable remedies available to it, although COL is under no legal obligation to do so.

9. Copyright. Any copyright notice contained in this Agreement or in any other part of OOI Sites shall remain intact and unaltered and shall be affixed to any use or copy thereof. The User must include an appropriate citation crediting the source of all or any portion of this material.

10. Links. OOI Sites may contain links to other websites that do not belong to COL or the OOI program or COL’s affiliates (“third-party sites”). Any third-party site is outside the domain of and is not under the control of COL or the OOI program. The links are provided only as a convenience. COL is not responsible for the content or use of any third-party site or any linked site contained within the third-party site, or any changes or updates thereto. No sponsorship, approval or endorsement of any product, service or information provided by the third-party site, the content of the site, or the site itself is intended or implied by COL or the OOI program.

11. Privacy. The only information obtained about a User to OOI’s Site(s) is information supplied voluntarily by the User. This means that Users can visit the OOI Site(s) without providing identification or revealing any identifying information. In order to provide the highest quality service, meet OOI’s goals and reporting requirements, and gauge the effectiveness of the Site(s), OOI collects some general information about its users which does not individually identify anyone by email address or otherwise. Therefore, information about which pages a User visits, where and how a User links to the Web page(s), how much time is spent on each page, how many times a new User accesses the Web page, and the date and time of the visit, is automatically tracked in the aggregate. Some OOI programs or services may request specific User information, such as name and email address, and the User may decide whether to voluntarily supply that information.

12. Prohibited Uses. The following categories of use are inappropriate and prohibited:
– Use that is unlawful, harassing or threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, or that would violate any law or the rights of others, including without limitation, laws against copyright infringement.
– Use that impedes, interferes with, impairs, or otherwise causes harm to the activities of others, including but not limited to spamming and distribution of computer viruses.
– Use that is damaging to the integrity of the Site(s), the Materials or other OOI systems, including but not limited to, attempts to defeat system security, unauthorized access or use, distribution of computer viruses, and modification or removal of data.
– Use for the purpose of lobbying that connotes COL involvement.
– Use that may expose COL to criminal or civil liability.
– The names, logos or abbreviations of COL or OOI (or any combination thereof) may not be used in any advertising or publicity to endorse or promote any products or commercial entity unless specific written permission is obtained from COL.

13. Support. COL does not provide User consulting services for the OOI Data unless otherwise agreed to by the parties in a separate writing. The OOI program will have a customer service “desk” where Users can ask basic questions about data and access difficulties.

14. Term and Termination. This Agreement shall remain in effect for as long as the User uses the OOI Data. COL may terminate this Agreement if the User breaches any term or condition of the Agreement.

15. Limitation of Liability and Disclaimer. COL WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES IN CONNECTION WITH OR ARISING FROM THE PROVISION OF, PERFORMANCE OF OR USE OF THE OOI DATA BY THE USER OR ANY THIRD PARTY. THE OOI DATA, INCLUDING ANY SOFTWARE, ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” AND THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. The parties expressly disclaim that the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) applies to or governs this Agreement. COL makes no warranties as to the adequacy of the OOI Data or associated documentation, or to its suitability for any applications. No written or oral information or advice given by COL, its agents or employees shall create any warranty.

16. Indemnification. The User shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless COL and any of its associates or affiliates (including directors and officers) from and against any and all claims, losses, costs, damages and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising from or related to any claims or allegations of any nature whatsoever made against COL and any of its associates or affiliates (including directors and officers) as a result of the User’s use, integration, operation, commercialization, and performance of the OOI Data.

17. Fees. There is no fee for the Data or Data Products transferred to the User electronically. Data delivery via physical media may be possible in special situations, as determined by COL. If the User wishes to receive the Data or Data Products on media, there may be a charge for the media and for shipping, handling, and any and all applicable taxes.

18. Miscellaneous.
a. No Third Party Beneficiary. This Agreement is expressly between the parties hereto, and no benefit, right or remedy to any third party is explicitly or implicitly intended by the parties to this Agreement.
b. Assignment. Any transfer, assignment or other conveyance, or attempt thereof, of the rights, duties and/or privileges under this Agreement by User shall immediately terminate this Agreement.
c. Survival of Terms. The obligations and rights set forth in items #15 and #16 shall survive the expiration and/or termination of this Agreement.
d. Governing Law. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the District of Columbia and of the United States, and shall be adjudicated by competent courts in the District of Columbia or in the United States, notwithstanding any conflicts of laws provisions. The interpretation of this Agreement specifically excludes international acts and treaties governing the sale and/or transfer of goods, such as the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.
e. Order of Precedence. Any conflict between the terms of this Agreement regarding the OOI Data and any other terms or agreement shall be resolved in favor of the terms of this Agreement.

5 Complete Agreement

This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the use of the Data or Data Products and supersedes all prior or contemporaneous understandings regarding such subject matter. The Agreement is subject to change as circumstances may require and as deemed necessary by COL. COL reserves the right to modify the Agreement at its discretion at any time. Such modifications will be effective when posted.

Citing OOI Data

The “Ocean Observatories Initiative” should be cited as the source for any data used in research projects or papers that are derived from OOI instrumentation.

When citing OOI as the general data source, we encourage authors to use the following format:

NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative Data Portal, Downloaded on (date_accessed).

When citing data from a specific instrument and time range, we suggest the following format:

NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative Data Portal,, (data_type, reference_designator) data from (start_date) to (end_date). Downloaded on (date_accessed).

For example:

NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative Data Portal,, Bottom Pressure Tilt (RS03CCAL-MJ03F-05-BOTPTA301) data from 25 January 2015 to 25 May 2016. Downloaded on 17 June 2016.

The OOI program is currently developing Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to assist researchers in referencing specific instruments and datasets in their work. When these become available, we will provide additional guidance on how to include them in your citations.

Describing the Data Used

When you include OOI data in your publications, we encourage you to include the following information in your data description section. This will help readers identify exactly which datasets you used.

  • The site name and ID, e.g. Axial Seamount Central Caldera Medium-Power JBox (RS03CCAL)
  • The instrument name and ID, e.g. Bottom Pressure Tilt (RS03CCAL-MJ03F-05-BOTPTA301)
  • The downloaded file format
  • The time period of data used
  • The date the data was accessed/downloaded

Share Your Work

We love hearing about your work! If you have used Ocean Observatories Initiative data in your publications, please send us a citable reference or electronic reprint. We are currently developing an OOI reference list and would like to include relevant references from the community. Please send your submissions to