Terms of Reference for Data Providers

This page describes the Terms of Reference for individuals and organizations that contribute data to OBIS-SEAMAP / SWOT. SWOT’s top priority is to protect the integrity of your data and your rights as a data owner and provider. Please read carefully the terms below, and be sure to indicate how you would like us to manage your data in cases of external requests (see #6). If you have any suggestions about possible changes or clarifications to the data provider Terms of Reference, please contact Dr. Bryan Wallace, SWOT Scientific Advisory Board Chair and Connie Kot, SWOT Database Manager.

By contributing data to SWOT, the data providers and SWOT agree to the following terms:

  1. Data providers will always have their data explicitly attributed to them in all online maps and printed SWOT reports. All data received, whether raw counts or binned values for nesting data, or raw locations or binned locations for telemetry data, will be viewable online at the OBIS-SEAMAP/SWOT site and on the SWOT website, and will be subject to the SWOT Terms of Use and OBIS-SEAMAP Terms of Use (see #7) to protect against use without permission from the original data provider.

  2. In printed SWOT Reports/Publications, contributed nesting data provided as exact count data will be displayed as binned values, and contributed telemetry data provided as raw locations will be displayed as binned locations.

  3. Data contributed to SWOT will be used to fulfill SWOT’s long-term scientific goals, including estimates of population abundance and trends (long-term) at global and regional management unit levels for nesting data, and identification of globally important areas for sea turtles based on telemetry data. SWOT anticipates that these analyses will be performed numerous years in the future, and that data providers will be notified at that time.  See below for a brief explanation of SWOT’s long term science goals and minimum data standards.

  4. SWOT has implemented Minimum Data Standards for nesting beach monitoring, as developed by the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), which will be applied to all nesting data provided to SWOT. Data providers must include the SWOT data level (1 or 2) of the count data provided to SWOT as well as basic information on monitoring effort to allow SWOT to standardize data contributed to the database. Records with insufficient information about monitoring effort provided to SWOT will be assigned to MDS Level 2 pending further information from data providers. Instructions for assessing data levels and other information about Minimum Data Standards are available here.

  5. Data providers are responsible for keeping their contact information current with the SWOT database manager. By keeping your information current, you will help SWOT to garner permissions for data use from original data providers and to pursue additional uses of the database under the advisement of the SWOT SAB.

  6. When 3rd party researchers request SWOT nesting site locations, distribution of data will be contingent upon SAB approval (i.e., proposed use of the data will advance sea turtle research and conservation in support of SWOT’s scientific long-term goals). However, when nesting count and telemetry data are needed for 3rd party research projects, providers can indicate the level of protection for all of their contributed data, as follows:

    • STANDARD (default): After SAB approval, permission will be requested from the current primary data contact on file. If the current primary data contact information is no longer valid, or there is a lack of response within a reasonable time period after permission is requested (minimum two weeks), SWOT has permission to release the data. This approach ensures that data contributed to SWOT do not become unusable at a future date.

    • PROTECTED: After SAB approval, permission will be requested from the current primary data contact on file. Data provided to SWOT will not be released to a 3rd party without explicit written consent from the current primary data contact (i.e., lack of response does not give consent).

    In summary, the Standard option (a) will be applied to all SWOT data by default and providers have the option to indicate data as “protected” as needed. Any uses for SWOT nesting numbers data will require attempts to acquire permission. All users need to adhere to SWOT/OBIS-SEAMAP terms of use for proper use and citations (see #7).

    All contributed data will be protected under the SWOT Terms of Use and OBIS-SEAMAP Terms of Use, as follows:

SWOT Terms of Use:

  1. Prior to delivery of data from SWOT, the Researcher will provide to the SWOT SAB a detailed prospectus of the planned methodology and analyses in which the SWOT data will be used. Included in the prospectus should be an outline of anticipated products (e.g., journal articles, tools, models) or other public presentation of results. Pending approval from the SAB of the Project’s scientific justification and methodological approach, the SWOT database manager will release the described data to the Researcher.

    • Individual nesting beach locations will be not be shown in any figures relating to the Project whether in online or printed format, unless permission is requested and granted from the SAB.

    • No attempt will be made by the Researcher to include associated count data from SWOT maps into any analyses or products of the Project, unless permission to do so is obtained from the current primary data contact. (While the beach locations belong to SWOT as a whole, count and effort data belong to the individuals and organizations that provided them and individual permissions would need to be acquired for each record.) If count data are also required for the Project, SWOT will be notified.

    • Any significant changes in the methodology of the Project MUST be reported to the SAB and could prompt another review as to whether data use will be permitted.

  2. SWOT gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of these data. The researcher understands that the nesting locations do not always represent accurate GPS locations of nesting beach center points and in some cases can be considered to be qualitative approximations of nesting beach locations where more accurate information was unavailable.

  3. Data provided for this Project may not be modified, copied, or distributed to individuals outside of the Project described in the prospectus, or to be used for any purposes other than what was described here without prior consent of the SWOT SAB.

  4. In all products of the Project in which SWOT data was used explicitly or peripherally, SWOT Reports I – X and the OBIS-SEAMAP/SWOT website must be explicitly cited. These, along with an OBIS-SEAMAP citation, satisfy #2 of the OBIS-SEAMAP Terms of Use.

  5. Required citation format: SWOT Report — The State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. I (2006); SWOT Report — The State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. II (2006); SWOT Report — The State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. III (2008); SWOT Report — The State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. IV (2009); SWOT Report — The State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. V (2010); SWOT Report — The State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. VI (2011); SWOT Report — The State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. VII (2012); SWOT Report — The State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. VIII (2013); SWOT Report — The State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. IX (2014); SWOT Report — The State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. X (2015); SWOT Report — The State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. XI (2016); SWOT Report — The State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. XII (2017); SWOT Report — The State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. XIII (2018); Kot, C.Y., E. Fujioka, A. DiMatteo, B.P. Wallace, B.J. Hutchinson, J. Cleary, P.N. Halpin, and R.B. Mast. 2018. The State of the World's Sea Turtles Online Database: Data provided by the SWOT Team and hosted on OBIS-SEAMAP. Oceanic Society, IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG), and Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Duke University. http://seamap.env.duke.edu/swot.

  6. Citations and electronic or hard copies of any final products from the Project will be provided to SWOT (e-mail swotdata@gmail.com).


OBIS-SEAMAP Terms of Use

  1. Not to use data contained in OBIS-SEAMAP in any publication, product, or commercial application without prior written consent of the original data provider.

  2. To cite both the data provider and OBIS-SEAMAP appropriately after approval of use is obtained.

    • Example citation for a dataset: Read, A.J. and A.J. Westgate. 1997. Monitoring the movements of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) with satellite telemetry. Marine Biology 130: 315-322.

    • Additional citation for any telemetry dataset originally from seaturtle.org/STAT:Coyne, M.S. and B.J. Godley. 2005. Satellite Tracking and Analysis Tool (STAT): An integrated system for archiving, analyzing and mapping animal tracking data. Marine Ecology Progress Series 301: 1-7.

    • Suggested citation for OBIS-SEAMAP: Halpin, P.N., A.J. Read, E. Fujioka, B.D. Best, B. Donnelly, L.J. Hazen, C. Kot, K. Urian, E. LaBrecque, A. Dimatteo, J. Cleary, C. Good, L.B. Crowder, and K.D. Hyrenbach. 2009. OBIS-SEAMAP: The world data center for marine mammal, sea bird, and sea turtle distributions. Oceanography 22(2): 104-115.

  3. To forward the citation of any publication / report that made use of the data / tools provided by OBIS-SEAMAP for inclusion in our list of references.

  4. Not to hold to OBIS-SEAMAP or the original data providers liable for errors in the data. While we have made every effort to ensure the quality of the database, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of these datasets.

(Updated July 2015)