The International Whaling Commission agreed on June 2016, new and improved "Terms of Reference and Sharing Agreement" for the SHBWC:
SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE BLUE WHALE CATALOGUE TERMS OF REFERENCE AND SHARING AGREEMENT
The Southern Hemisphere Blue Whale Catalogue (SHBWC) is an international collaborative effort to improve knowledge on Southern Hemisphere blue whales by comparing photo-identification catalogues among different researchers and institutions.
Any researcher or institution working on photo-identification of blue whales in the Southern Hemisphere is welcome to contribute to the SHBWC.
Once the user agrees to contribute photographs with the SHBWC, basic information regarding contact details and research area will be requested by the catalogue curator (Centro de Conservacion Cetacea). In addition, two agreements will need to be signed and dated:
• SHBWC sharing agreement and;
• International Whaling Commission data availability agreement under Procedure B (the process for obtaining access to data for analyses the Committee believes would be valuable in providing other advice to the Commission).
After procedures are accepted, researchers will receive a user ID and password. Before photo-ID submission, researchers belong to a restricted access user category and cannot see other contributed photo-IDs.
• Each photo-ID should be uploaded with associated location (e.g. latitude/longitude) and date information, with optional categories to associate additional information (e.g. genetic data). The location/date and other associated photo-ID information is only visible to regional catalogue managers.
• Photographs from each region (see ‘Protocols and Procedures’) should be uploaded into the geographic area corresponding to the source of the photo.
• Once photo-IDs have been uploaded, user access is upgraded so that it is possible to see photo-IDs contributed by other groups and suggest possible matches. No location or date information is disclosed on the photo-ID database.
• Your name and contact information will be released to those requesting further information.
When a match is found, catalogue owners will be contacted and informed of the finding. If approved by both parties, the information will be used for publication. For IWC assessment purposes, this information can also be disclosed in unpublished papers, co-authored by contributors, which contribute to the Committee work (IWC Data availability agreement).
By accepting to contribute and use the SHBWC, the user agrees to the following SHBWC sharing agreement:
1. Photographs will only be used for the purposes of comparing blue whale identification catalogues.
2. All photographs and data are copyrighted to the contributing organizations and individuals, and may not be used or reproduced without permission.
3. Any individual matches found as a result of comparing catalogues will be reported immediately to the contributor.
4. Any announcements of a match or matches between catalogues, including publications of any sort, should include names representing both/all catalogues as authors of the match.
5. Data providers will communicate beforehand with each other and come to agreement to determine co-authorship of announcements or publications. After approval of use if obtained, any use of the photographs and matches should include acknowledgement of both the data provider and the SHBWC as appropriate.
6. Prior written consent of the original data providers is required to use data contained in SHBWC in any publication, product, or commercial application (press releases, scientific or popular publications, web sites, funding or reporting documents, advertisements, etc.).
7. Users will not hold the SHBWC 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 the data.
In addition, the IWC Data Availability Conditions for use of Data is considered a fundamental part of this sharing agreement and includes the following rules and conditions:
(1) Data shall not be transmitted to third parties.
(2) Papers may only be submitted to a Committee meeting in accordance with the following time restrictions:
• Novel methods – 3 months before the Scientific Committee
• Standard methods - 2 months before
• Alternative analyses submitted in response to earlier papers - 1 month before
Such papers must not include the raw data or the data in a form in more detail than is necessary to understand the analysis.
(3) Papers must carry a restriction on citation except in the context of IWC meetings.
(4) Data owners are offered co-authorship.
(5) Publication rights remain strictly with the data owner.
(6) Data shall be returned, to the data owner immediately after the meeting at which the paper is submitted and any copies destroyed, unless an extension is granted.
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