SAPFLUXNET data policy and intellectual property guidelines.

Version 1.2, CREAF, November 2018

  • This document updates the guidelines regarding data ownership and intellectual property issues within the SAPFLUXNET project. SAPFLUXNET is an iniative to compile a global database of sap flow measured in plants coordinated by CREAF and initially funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through grant Nº CGL2014-55883-JIN. Please visit for updated information on project acknowledgements and funding.

  • The SAPFLUXNET core team (SCT) is formed by researchers at CREAF (Rafael Poyatos, Víctor Granda, Víctor Flo, Roberto Molowny-Horas, Maurizio Mencuccini, and Jordi Martínez-Vilalta).

  • SAPFLUXNET has also been initially supported by Kathy Steppe (Ghent University), Ram Oren and Gabriel Katul (Duke University) and Miguel Mahecha (MPI-BGC Jena).

  • The main conditions of the data policy in previous versions have not been changed. This is just an update of the data policy document, to regulate how SAPFLUXNET data are used during the embargo period.


  • Data collection stage: period during which datasets will be received, quality-controlled and incorporated to the database. It ended in June 2017.
  • Data contributor: individual researcher that contributes data to SAPFLUXNET.
  • Database managers: members of the SAPFLUXNET core team plus researchers and technicians who contribute intellectually or technically to the development of the database.
  • Embargo stage: period during which the SAPFLUXNET database will be available to all data contributors to perform data analyses on the entire database or any subset of it.
  • Internal release date: projected date to release the internal version of the database, only to data contributors. It marks the start of the embargo stage.
  • Public release date: projected date to release the first open version of the database to the public domain. It marks the start of the public stage.

SAPFLUXNET database release and data paper

  • A fully-operative first version of the SAPFLUXNET database will be made available to all data contributors by March 2019. The database will be under embargo during 1 year more, and it will be made available to the entire scientific community (March 2020).

  • Before the public release of the database, the SAPFLUXNET core team will ask the data contributors to confirm that they release their data under an appropriate public domain license. If any data contributor chooses not to release their data under these terms, he/she will automatically be removed from the data paper author’s list.

  • We do not encourage withdrawal of datasets from the database, as this would mean a suboptimal use of time and resources in processing and standardising datasets that cannot be fully used by SAPFLUXNET contribuors, and eventually, the entire scientific community.

  • According to the guiding principles of SAPFLUXNET data policy, All data contributors will be included as co-authors in a data paper describing the database to be submitted during 2019.

SAPFLUXNET data synthesis activities

  • Also following the original SAPFLUXNET data policy, the SAPFLUXNET core team will start a data synthesis of transpiration patterns across the globe. All data contributors whose data are used in this analysis will be offerred co-authorship.

  • The SAPFLUXNET database will be hosted in a Zenodo repository, under restricted access. Data requests will be made via Zenodo and we will grant access only to data contributors. This embargo period will end one year after the database was released to contributors.

  • We will request that all contributors using SAPFLUXNET data for any data synthesis activity leading to an eventual publication send us information on:

    • Tentative title of the study
    • Researcher(s) and institution(s) leading the study
    • Short description of the study

  • This information will be posted in the SAPFLUXNET website, so that contributors are aware of ongoing data synthesis and overlap in eventual activities can be minimised. The SCT will promote synergies between different research groups when activities with similar objectives are proposed.

  • When any of the SCT members significantly contributes to any data syntheses, he/she will be invited as co-author.

  • Other ongoing data syntheses by SCT members will also be listed in the SAPFLUXNET website.