The following data access policy is designed to cover all types of data contributed to the Global Charcoal Database (GCD). The Global Charcoal Database is a relational database containing sedimentary records of fire.

We assume all contributors and users have read and understand the data access policy. All data available through the Global Charcoal Database are free to use for non-commercial purposes under CC BY-NC-ND (see Creative Commons license at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

  1. The aim of the Global Charcoal Database is to provide a platform for sharing paleofire data (charcoal, black carbon, levoglucosan or other fire proxy) for research and educational purposes within the science and education communities.
  2. Researchers contributing fire data to the Global Charcoal Database are co-authors of the updated version of the database. All new data contributed to the Global Charcoal Database are considered public-access following the publication of the new version of the database (when a manuscript has been officially accepted as “in press”).
  3. The data held in the Global Charcoal Database may be used by members and/or collaborators of the Global Paleofire Working Group (GPWG) for analyses. All planned research with the database that incorporates regional and global-scale data should be described in the planned analysis section of the website.
  4. Normal ethics apply to co-authorship of scientific publications. Data contributor should be invited to be a co-author if a user makes significant use of any individual contributor’s data, if any individual contributor’s data comprise a substantial portion of a larger dataset analyzed, or if a contributor makes a significant contribution to the analysis of the data or to the interpretation of the results. For synoptic studies using numerous datasets, contacting all contributors or making them co-authors may not be practical, possible, or reasonable. In no circumstances should authorship be attributed to data contributors, individually or collectively, without their explicit consent.
  5. When a version of the database is used for further analyses after a publication co-authorship of these subsequent analyses will be determined by lead scientists and based on the intellectual input by members toward these analyses, not by contribution of data.
  6. A current version of the Global Charcoal Database is available to all project members throughout the course of a project via the project website or through the project contact. Members who wish to use the data for new analyses should contact the Steering committee of the Global Palaeofire Working Group and provide a description of their planned analyses.
  7. On publication, the most current version of the database will be accessible by the community through the paleofire.org web page and archived at NOAA-NGDC WDC-A. Dumps of previous versions of the database will be also available through the Global Charcoal Database web page. Additional products (e.g. time series outputs, animated maps) developed during analyses from the database may also be accessible upon publication through the oldgpwg.paleofire.org website.

In all cases, any use of the Global Charcoal Database data should include the following or similar text in their acknowledgments:

Data were obtained from the Global Charcoal Database (http://www.paleofire.org), and the work of the data contributors and the Global Palaeofire Working Group is gratefully acknowledged.

Please also send a copy of the published work or a link to the electronic resource to the Steering committee of the Global Palaeofire Working Group (paleofire@gmail.com). Your assistance helps document the usage of the database.