Data and Software Guidelines Background

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) is committed to promoting full, open, and timely access to the environmental data, associated metadata, and derived data products that underlie scientific findings and are reported in our Publications (see the updated 2019 AMS policy statement “Full, Open, and Timely Access to Data”). These data and metadata must be properly cited and readily available to the scientific community and the general public as much as possible. Social science data may need to be handled differently, as described in section 2b of the guidelines. Embargoes on data sharing are generally discouraged and must be approved by the Editor when applicable and included in the Availability Statement.

AMS, as a member of the Coalition on Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Sciences (COPDESS), actively supports the goals of the Enabling FAIR Data initiative (Stall et al. 2018), which is committed to aligning publishers, repositories, and other organizations in the Earth, space, and environmental sciences to enable scientific data to be FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (Wilkinson et al. 2016). As part of the FAIR initiative, COPDESS recommends best practices around data and identifiers. These best practices are the basis for these AMS guidelines.

In addition to the data policy guidelines supporting AMS’s commitment to full, open, and timely access to the environmental data, associated metadata, and derived data products, another part of the research enterprise that also underlies the scientific findings reported in our journals is the software and computer models used in the reported work.

As stated in the AMS professional guidance statement “Software Preservation, Stewardship, and Reuse”, stewardship of software resulting from research is increasingly important in modern research and fully compatible with the move toward open science. Accordingly, the research community is now expected to produce and curate software that is equitably accessible and easier to be reused by others.

To that end, the general guidance on effective strategies to support software preservation, stewardship, reuse, and credit, including use cases where it is impractical to preserve and share large volumes of model output, is expanded upon in the updated, more specific Data and Software Policy Guidelines for AMS Publications. These guidelines are also augmented by recommendations about best practices for data management found in the AMS statement on Best Practices for Data Management.

Also, authors should also consider other relevant ethical principles concerning data, such as the CARE principles (Collective benefit, Authority to control, Responsibility, Ethics) for indigenous data governance (Carroll et al. 2020).

In general, data and software should be as open as possible, and as closed as necessary.