ArcticNet Data


Your registration for or attendance at any ArcticNet event or online event indicates your agreement to abide by this policy and its terms.

The central objective of ArcticNet is to contribute to the development and dissemination of knowledge needed to formulate adaptation strategies and national policies to help Canadians face the impacts and opportunities of the transformation of the Arctic. As such, ArcticNet is committed to managing the wealth of knowledge generated by its research projects in order to facilitate and maximize the exchange of information, provide accessibility to data for all stakeholders, including the public, and ensure the long-term legacy of data collected under its multidisciplinary projects since 2004.

The ArcticNet Data Management Committee (ADMC) was formed by the Research Management Committee (RMC) on 1 March 2006, and was tasked with developing the ArcticNet Data Management Plan that included the ArcticNet Data Policy (ADP), first published 18 January 2008 and updated 10 January 2011. ArcticNet commissioned a fulsome update of the ADP in November 2020, resulting in the ArcticNet Data Management Policy (ADMP) presented here.

The function of this policy is to provide a network-wide data management policy that outlines the objectives, principles, and guidelines for the management, retention, use, and dissemination of data generated and collected by ArcticNet-funded projects. The ADMP was created based on current best practices in research data management and in consultation with the Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management and Research Data Management Policy.


The central goal of the ADMP is to facilitate exchange of information about the Arctic regions in Canada among researchers and other user groups, including northern communities and international programs. Specific objectives include implementing data management best practices, maximizing value of ArcticNet data through enhanced FAIRness of data (that is, data which is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable), encouraging collaboration, responsible data sharing and actively supporting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation data sovereignty and governance through adherence to community-generated research requirements, practices, and principles. For a full list of objectives, see the full text of the policy.


The overall principle guiding the ADMP is a view of publicly-funded research data as a public good that should be as open as possible to facilitate reuse, while also respecting privacy, security, ethical considerations and appropriate intellectual property protection. Sub-principles further guiding the responsible, effective and ethical management of ArcticNet data including ensuring data and metadata are as open as possible and as closed as necessary, recognizing specialised data management and privacy considerations where applicable, ensuring ArcticNet data are citable, publishable, and preserved, and supporting researchers in their efforts to establish and implement data management best practices. For a full list of principles, see the full text of the policy.


The ADMP applies to all data that is derived from research that is funded entirely or in part by ArcticNet. In situations where research is co-funded and data management policies differ between funders, ArcticNet reserves the right to consider how the ADMP is applied. This document will be reviewed periodically by ArcticNet and its stakeholders to ensure the principles and guidelines herein remain relevant. ArcticNet retains authority to revise this document as deemed necessary. In the event of revisions, consultations will be made with affected stakeholders.



ArcticNet Data (hereafter, “data”) are any and all data that have been collected and/or generated by ArcticNet researchers and collaborators in the performance of research initiatives funded by ArcticNet (see full text of the policy for further examples of data).

ArcticNet Metadata (hereafter, “metadata”) is the documentation providing information about the data, specifically the what, where, when, by whom it was collected, its current location, and any access information.

ArcticNet Researchers (hereafter, “researchers”) are all Network Investigators (NIs) and highly qualified personnel (HQP; including students, research assistants [RAs], Indigenous researchers and knowledge holders, technicians, and postdocs) working on projects funded in whole or in part by ArcticNet.

Indigenous and Local Knowledge, encompassing Indigenous Knowledge (IK), Traditional and Local Knowledge (TLK), and Local Knowledge (LK), refers to the understandings, skills and philosophies developed by societies with long histories of interaction with their natural surroundings. For rural and Indigenous peoples, local knowledge informs decision-making about fundamental aspects of day-to-day life (UNESCO, 2017, Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems).

Data Management Plans (DMPs)


ArcticNet requires all projects to complete and maintain a data management plan (DMP) that describes how the data will be managed throughout the lifecycle of the project, including collection, documentation and metadata, storage and backup, long-term preservation, sharing and reuse, responsibilities and resources, and ethics and legal compliance. DMPs assist researchers in determining the costs, benefits and challenges of managing data, and should be consulted and updated throughout the research project.

For more information, see the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy DMP requirement, as well as Appendix A of the full text of this policy here. Researchers may also consider the use of a standardized tool, such as the Portage Network’s DMP Assistant, to assist in developing DMPs.

Data Quality and Metadata Standards


Metadata standards are diverse and will vary across disciplines, but when possible, common and generally accepted disciplinary standards are preferred (such as ISO 19115, FGDC, or Dublin Core). At minimum, data must include clear supporting documentation and metadata sufficient for reuse and replication of results by other researchers. Researchers may consult existing resources and guidance on achieving more detailed metadata and documentation, and additional support may be offered by repositories. For further guidance, consult the UK Data Service or Cornell University.

Standardized metadata records consist of a defined set of fields that generally include, at minimum, who created the data and when, information on how the data were created, their quality, accuracy and precision, as well as other features necessary to enable understanding and reuse. Metadata records should be submitted to the data repository of choice as early as possible to indicate the presence of the data and project, and may be updated regularly as the project progresses. For more on metadata standards and records, see the full text of this policy.

Data Storage, Retention and Preservation


Researchers are not expected to deposit their data with a centralized ArcticNet repository.
NCEs are not structured for the long-term preservation of data. Individual projects are responsible for the identification of appropriate long-term repositories. For further guidance, consult the Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data) or the Portage Network Guide to Repository Options in Canada. The choice of repository will vary across disciplines and data types, ranging from national or international, to institutional or discipline-specific repositories, however preference should be given to certified repositories that support open access where possible (such as Polar Data Catalogue, Nordicana D, GBIF, OBIS, or other domain-specific repositories supporting long-term preservation, DOI attribution and open access).

Plans for data storage (short-term), retention and preservation (long-term) should be considered during the early stages of project planning and be implemented through all stages of the project lifecycle. Data should be retained for as long as they are of continuing value to the stakeholder community, and as long as specified by the research funder, legislative, and other regulatory requirements. See the full text of this policy for more information about preservation, or the following resources:

Data Access and Sharing


ArcticNet data should be easily discoverable or findable and ultimately accessible, in addition to interoperable and reusable. While interoperability and reusability are enabled in part by use of rich metadata and domain-relevant community standards, discoverability or findability is enabled by ensuring metadata are published in an appropriate international, national, institutional, or subject-specific catalogue during the early stages of a project’s life cycle, or listed in a central, publicly accessible index. Accessibility is enabled by making the data publicly available through an international, national, institutional, or subject-specific repository, or by documenting in an appropriate index a mechanism for access.

The use of persistent identifiers (PIDs), such as digital object identifiers (DOIs), also supports discoverability or findability and accessibility. Researchers have the right to benefit from the data they collect and generate, and as such all data users must provide appropriate citation, acknowledgement, or other attribution (when applicable, adhering to the request of the data originator) in any publications, presentations, or products arising from the use of the data. See the full text of this policy for more information about data access and sharing, or the following resources:

Special Considerations for Data Access and Sharing


While data should be as open as possible, where ethical and legal considerations are present, it should also be as closed as necessary. The following exceptions to open access and sharing apply (adopted from the Data Management Principles for Polar Research and Monitoring in Canada):

  • Where human subjects are involved or in situations where small sample sizes may compromise anonymity, confidentiality may be protected as appropriate and guided by the principles of informed consent and the legal rights of affected individuals;
  • Where Indigenous research and data is concerned, involving Indigenous and Local Knowledge, the rights of the knowledge holders shall not be compromised;
  • Where data release may cause harm or compromise security or safety, specific aspects of the data may need to be protected (for example, locations of nests of endangered birds or locations of sacred sites); and
  • Where pre-existing data are subject to access restrictions, access to data or information using this pre-existing data may be partially or completely restricted.

In cases where open public access may impede the researcher’s right to benefit from the data they collect and generate, or where special considerations regarding data are present, data may be stored privately for a time period of limited duration to allow for publication (i.e. an embargo), or may be stored privately indefinitely with access granted on an individual and limited basis. Read more about exceptions to open access and sharing, and access requests, in the full text of this policy.

Sensitive Data

Certain types of data (e.g., data containing personally identifiable information [PII], Indigenous and Local Knowledge, or data related to commercially valuable or endangered species) may be considered sensitive, with the release of such data resulting in potential harms. The rights and privacy of individuals must be protected at all times. Any data made publicly available must therefore be free of PII and other variables that could lead to the deductive disclosure of the identity of individual subjects. See the full text of this policy for more information about sensitive data, or the following resources:

Indigenous Research


Indigenous data, or those collected by governments and institutions about Indigenous Peoples and their languages, knowledge, practices, technologies, natural resources, and territories, are essential for Indigenous Peoples to exercise their individual and collective rights to self-determination and self-governance. Indigenous data sovereignty reinforces the rights to engage in decision-making in accordance with Indigenous values and collective interests. Research involving Indigenous data should adhere to community-generated research requirements, practices, and principles, such as the pan-Indigenous CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance, ensuring Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, and Ethics are thoroughly considered in collaboration with the Indigenous community involved in the research at hand.

Supporting Indigenous data sovereignty and governance inherently includes support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation researchers, further brokering access, ownership and control over their research and their data. This support extends to building capacity for community-based data management practices, systems, and infrastructure where needed. First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation are best positioned to determine what information should be collected, how this information should be stored, analysed, monitored, used, shared, and preserved in ways that maximize benefits to communities while minimizing harm (ITK, 2018, National Inuit Strategy on Research).

For non-Indigenous researchers, Indigenous research must begin first and foremost with appropriate engagement of Indigenous peoples, communities or organizations throughout the entire data lifecycle, formal attribution of contributed knowledge, establishment of informed consent for use of knowledge and derived products, and the maintenance of contributor control of data. This kind of engagement and consultation must occur first before any research is formally proposed, and, like the building of any meaningful relationship, will take time.

In accordance with Article 8(j) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) concerning Traditional knowledge, innovations and practices, researchers shall respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of Indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. In the context of Canada specifically, Chapter 9 of the TCPS 2, Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada defines Indigenous Research as referring to primary research including:

  • research conducted on First Nations, Inuit or Métis Nation lands in Canada and Indigenous lands worldwide;
  • recruitment criteria that include Indigenous identity as a factor for the entire study or for a subgroup in the study;
  • research that seeks input from participants regarding a community’s cultural heritage, artefacts, knowledge or unique characteristics;
  • research in which Indigenous identity or membership in an Indigenous community is used as a variable for the purpose of analysis of the research data or in the creation of survey tools; and
  • interpretation of research results that will refer to Indigenous Peoples, lands, language, history and/or culture.

The diversity and distinctions between First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation in Canada must be recognized and respected. Additional resources and guidance must be consulted based on the specific Indigenous Peoples, community, or organization the research concerns or will involve. For example, the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) Principles of OCAP®, standing for Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession, clearly establish how First Nations data should be collected, protected, used, or shared. The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) National Inuit Strategy on Research (NISR) similarly offers specific context and guidance on conducting research in Inuit Nunangat, identifying priority areas for advancing Inuit governance in research in support of self-determination.

Required institutional ethics review processes will guide data management in these contexts, however Indigenous Peoples, governments, communities or organizations may have specific practices or requirements in place, and it is the responsibility of researchers to familiarize themselves with and adhere to these. These requirements may include storing and preserving data within the community, in which case researchers must opt for community-based repositories where possible, or writing data management, storage and long-term preservation capacity into funding applications to accommodate. Ongoing community consultation, engagement, and adherence to requirements builds respectful and meaningful partnerships that enhance the efficacy, impact, and usefulness of research for all involved or those it concerns.

See the full text of this policy for more information about Indigenous research, or the following resources:

Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property refers to all materials, concepts, know-how, formulae, inventions, improvements, industrial designs, processes, patterns, machines, manufactures, compositions of matter, compilations of information, patents and patent applications, copyrights, trade secrets, technology, technical information, software, prototypes and specifications, including any rights to apply for protections under statutory proceedings available for those purposes, provided they are capable of protection at law. Ownership shall be determined by the applicable Canadian Law. Data made available to researchers by third parties is not subject to data sharing requirements. Researchers shall not enter agreements with a third party that would restrict the use or sharing of data collected or generated by ArcticNet researchers. Data pertaining to Indigenous knowledge and data may be subject to additional sharing restrictions (See Indigenous Research).

Ownership and Confidentiality

The researchers shall ensure that the appropriate agreements concerning the disclosure of Confidential Information and the transfer of biological and other materials are entered into prior to any disclosure of Confidential Information or transfer of material. Where such information is disclosed or material is transferred, it shall be in accordance with the form of the Confidentiality Agreement or the Material Transfer Agreement available within the NCE Network Agreement. The data (or “Content”) is provided by the researchers. ArcticNet does not warrant that such Content does not infringe the rights of any other person or entity. Furthermore, the researchers acknowledge that information or material which they provide electronically through their access to or usage of repositories or databases is not confidential or proprietary, except as may be required under applicable law, and acknowledge that unprotected e-mail communication over the Internet is subject to possible interception, alteration or loss. See the full text of this policy for more information about ownership and confidentiality.

Exclusion of Warranties

ArcticNet makes no representation or warranty regarding the functionality or condition of databases chosen by researchers, their suitability for use, or that their use will be uninterrupted or error-free. The databases and all their content are provided to the researchers “as is” without warranties of any kind. ArcticNet disclaims all warranties or conditions, written or oral, statutory, express or implied, including without limitation, no representation or warranty that (i) the content contained in or made available through the database will be of merchantable quality and fit for a particular purpose, (ii) the databases or their content will be accurate, complete, current, reliable, secure, or timely, (iii) that the operation of the databases will be uninterrupted or error-free, (iv) that defects or errors in the databases or the content, be it human or computer errors, will be corrected, (v) that the databases will be free from viruses and/or harmful components, and (vi) that communications to or from the databases will be secure and/or not intercepted. See the full text of this policy for more information about exclusion of warranties.

Limitation of Liability

ArcticNet assumes no legal responsibility for the use of data provided by or held by ArcticNet NIs and expects all NIs to strive for the highest quality of data and metadata in their research. ArcticNet will not be liable for any damages, either direct or indirect, incidental, special or consequential, for use of or inability to use products or services of any kind, delay of or partial delivery, termination of rights or loss of profits, data, business or goodwill, whether on a contractual or extra-contractual basis, or to provide indemnification or any other remedy to the researchers or any third party. The foregoing limitation shall apply even if ArcticNet knew of or ought to have known of the possibility of such damages. The researchers’ sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue using and accessing the repositories or databases. To the extent that the jurisdiction to which the researchers are subject does not allow any part of such limitation, such part does not apply.


Links and references to other Internet websites are provided to the researchers as a convenience only. ArcticNet has not reviewed and does not expressly or impliedly endorse other Internet websites or any information or material, or the accessibility thereof, via such links, and does not assume any responsibility for any such other Internet websites, information or material posted thereon, or products or services offered thereon.

For More Information

Other policies consulted when authoring this document:


For any questions or concerns about the ADMP, please contact ArcticNet:

By Phone at: 1-418-656-5830
By Email at:
By Mail at:

ArcticNet Inc.
Pavillon Alexandre-Vachon, Room 4081
1045, avenue de la Médecine,
Université Laval
Québec, QC Canada
G1V 0A6


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