Data may be acquired from routine ARM-supported efforts or from collaborating or cooperating programs. An individual data policy will be prepared for a given collaborative or cooperative effort when required and where the general policy requires specific modifications.
Data acquired during field measurement programs are designed to satisfy specific research objectives. But they are often valuable for other purposes. Early intercomparison of related data leads to improved understanding of instrument performance and improvements in the observational datastream. Scientists not directly involved in the acquisition of the primary data benefit by timely access to recently acquired data to accelerate their own research programs and can benefit the field program by providing feedback on data quality or improved observational strategies.
Advanced instruments, particularly remote-sensing instruments, often require frequent intercomparison to related data to ensure the highest-quality data are acquired and distributed. Early sharing of all available data helps ensure that the full benefit from extensive field programs involving many new or improved instruments can be realized.
The ARM Facility is intended to address many of these requirements by providing ready access to a continuously acquired research quality data set.
The ARM data policy is designed to achieve several objectives:
- Establish a data policy in full compliance with the spirit of the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
- Accelerate the research process by providing timely access to data to facilitate early publication of results.
- Validate high accuracy measurements through timely intercomparison and/or the establishment of quality measurement experiments.
- With respect to publishing data, ARM’s electronic technical report series is an appropriate mechanism to publish “data” and “analytical results” not being published in a journal.