Data Policy Definitions


ARM Climate Research Facility:

The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility is a national user facility that includes field measurement sites, instruments, and data systems.


A scheduled, collaborative field research effort whereby an outside agency or program provides substantive resources toward the acquisition of a data set to meet a defined need.

Collaborating Program:

A program joining with ARM to pursue a specific set of objectives.

Cooperating Program:

A program or agency supporting a specific ARM effort, such as an intensive operational period (IOP), for which ARM provides the resources.

Intensive Operational Period (IOP):

A scheduled period of time when the frequency of observations is changed to augment ARM routine observations or to satisfy a particular data requirement.

Near-Real Time:

When referred to in textual references, the ARM conception of “near-real time” is “with a few hours’ delay.”

Preliminary Data:

Data that have not necessarily been subjected to review, quality control, and/or documentation by a responsible investigator. Preliminary data are not considered publishable without the coordination and concurrence of the responsible investigator. Generally applicable only to IOP or campaign efforts in which data sources beyond routine ARM data are being acquired.

Quality Assured Data:

Typically the final form of data to be submitted to the ARM data system. This includes datastream description documentation, fully calibrated data in commonly used geophysical units, quality-flagged data files, and all ancillary data (metadata) needed by a future user of the datastream to make full sense of it.

Quality Measurement Experiment (QME):

The regular intercomparison of two or more data sets intended to understand the individual datastreams either as functions of the performance of an instrument or the accuracy of a model prediction.