A working group under the IASC-SAON Arctic Data Committee (ADC) and three other polar data committees has recently published a report on “Alignment of Polar Data Policies - Recommended Principles“ (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5734900). The report recommends ten fundamental principles for polar data management, based on a review of the state and recent developments of global and important regional data policies, as well as technological and institutional developments that may impact polar data management.pThe new report concludes a process that started at the third Polar Data Forum in Helsinki in 2019, and identifies principles that can be regarded as essential to the management of polar research data and can be incorporated in all polar data policies in such a way that they are aligned with each other and with overarching global and regional data policies.
A starting point for the work was the recognition that many researchers and institutions have research interests and activities spanning both polar regions, so their work may come under different regional data policies in addition to national, programmatic, and global data policies. While the involved committees - the ADC, SCAR's Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management (SCADM), the Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure (ASDI), and the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) - already had similar data policies, a need for further alignment was acknowledged. Work is already underway to implement the principles in the respective data policies. It is hoped that nations and institutions will also use the recommendations to guide the updating of their policies, as part of efforts to reduce confusion and contradiction in the rules that govern how scientists and data managers should care for the data that comes out of polar research programs.