Research in Archaeological Science at The Cyprus Institute concerns a non-renewable and rapidly diminishing resource: the archaeology and cultural heritage of Cyprus and beyond, being part of the common heritage of all of humankind. Our research is almost exclusively funded from public and charitable sources, and conducted on a not-for-profit basis. Researchers and project staff are privileged to work in archaeology and cultural heritage, and we all are custodians of the data generated in the course of our work.
This Data Management Policy covers the entire life cycle of data, including scientific / structured data, text / unstructured data, and visualization / simplified data. It defines the principles of ownership of, responsibilities for, storage of and access to all data generated during our research, and serves to underpin any project-specific Data Management Plans (DMPs) for our research.
The DM Policy aims to protect the long-term meaningful availability of data generated or collected by the Archaeological Science group at CyI. It recognizes that often this data is all that is left after an excavation or analysis of an archaeological or cultural heritage asset, or serves as a virtual backup for irreplaceable and often vulnerable objects. As such this data deserves and requires special protection. This policy therefore differs from the approach appropriate for data from many other domains, and shares instead significant elements with policies governing museum collections and archives.
The DM Policy is to be seen in conjunction with more specific Data Management Plans.
The Data Management Policy is based on a number of fundamental premises, including:
- All data generated by our faculty, staff and students is part of our common heritage; formally, it is property of The Cyprus Institute, and falls under the remit of this policy, unless explicitly excluded from it.
- Our data is by default Open and should be administered following the FAIR data principles as mandated by the prevailing EU regulations for H2020 / Horizon Europe projects, including the timely provision of essential and meaningful metadata by the project lead.
- Intellectual Property rights of faculty, staff and students are protected and governed through the relevant CyI IP Policy.
- Additional protection of legitimate interests, including embargo periods of restricted access to data, is provided in line with established academic practice.
- Data generated in the course of collaborative and / or externally funded projects can fall under shared ownership, as individually determined by Grant Agreements, among researchers, within Scientific Cooperation Agreements, Memoranda of Understanding, Consortium Agreements and similar documents. The legally mandated interests of the Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus and equivalent national bodies elsewhere are in all cases to be protected.
- The responsibility for quality control and assurance, and for the curation of all research data under the remit of this policy rests primarily with the project PI or (in cases where the PI is not CyI faculty or staff) the CyI-based lead scientist of the project. This responsibility is shared with (but not devolved to) the staff (research or technical support) and research students actively involved in generating the data, or overseeing the relevant equipment.
- Individual arrangements will be made concerning research visitors working on their own projects whilst at the Archaeological Science Laboratories.
- The Cyprus Institute encourages innovation and commercialisation of its activities; any financial or commercial interests arising from such activity within the Archaeological Science Laboratories have to be balanced against the Open Data and FAIR principles prevailing within the context of archaeological and cultural heritage research, and enshrined within this policy.
The following text elaborates on the key points listed above.
1. All data of the Archaeological Science Laboratories (ASL) is property of The Cyprus Institute
All data generated by our faculty, staff and students is part of our common heritage; formally, it is property of The Cyprus Institute and falls under the remit of this policy, unless explicitly excluded from it.
This policy concerns all digitally-born and digitised physico-chemical analytical, structural, spatial, computational, 2D and 3D image and other data generated in the course of the employment of faculty and staff in the Archaeological Science Laboratories, whether using CyI infrastructures and equipment or that of other laboratories, excavation sites, museums, collections or individuals etc.
Exclusions may apply to privately-funded or consultancy work where data ownership is individually agreed and may rest exclusively with the funder and /or is governed by the funder’s policies and principles.
As CyI property this data has to be stored at CyI-managed data servers or cloud services. Any data not held on centrally managed storage facilities, e.g. data held instead on laptops or free-standing computers, needs to be regularly (weekly) backed up on CyI managed servers.
2. All Archaeological Science Laboratories data is Open
ASL data is by default Open and should be administered following the FAIR data principles as mandated by the prevailing EU regulations for H2020 / Horizon Europe projects, including the timely provision of essential and meaningful metadata by the project lead.
The Archaeological Science Laboratories subscribe to the Open Research, Open Access, Open Data and FAIR data principles, as defined by e.g. OpenAIRE and within the constraints of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) concerning the protection of personal data.
In addition to the default ‘passive’ storage of ASL data on CyI servers and repositories we encourage the active submission of all post-embargo data as part of scientific publications and / or in a disciplinary repository, and proactive provision of links to those repositories.
3. CyI Intellectual Property policy prevails
Intellectual Property rights of faculty, staff and students are protected and governed through the relevant CyI IP Policy.
See the CyI IP Policy document. All publications and data should use where possible a Creative Commons licence, such as CC0 or CC-BY to facilitate further use of the data.
4. Additional protection of legitimate interests
Additional protection of legitimate interests, including embargo periods of restricted access to data, is provided in line with established academic practice.
Academic members of the Archaeological Science Laboratories may have legitimate interests to limit access to their data. For data generated by Masters’ and doctoral students in the course of and for the purpose of their degree, a default embargo period covers the duration of their enrolment (whether at the CyI or another degree-awarding institution) and a subsequent period of 2 years.
Data of specific (funded) projects can be protected for the duration of the project period and a subsequent period of 2 years, unless different regulations are stipulated within the project governance documents.
All other data not covered by the above, including that relating to long-term research projects or activities of CyI members, are expected to be publicly available at the latest after 3 years of their generation, through appropriate publication and / or as fully documented primary data via recognized subject area repository.
Appropriate acknowledgements should be provided in all publications and data repositories (where possible), including the funder(s) of the project, all personnel and institutions (incl. CyI and STARC) involved in generating the data, and relevant custodians of archaeological and cultural heritage assets described by the data.
5. Collaborative project data
Data generated in the course of collaborative and / or externally funded projects can fall under shared ownership, as individually determined among researchers, within Scientific Cooperation Agreements (SCAs), Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), Consortium Agreements (CAs) and similar documents. The legally mandated interests of the Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus and equivalent national bodies elsewhere are in all cases to be protected.
A large proportion of STARC research is done within collaborative frameworks, necessitating the consideration of the collaborative partners’ legitimate interests in the data generated by STARC members. These interests should be discussed and clearly defined and agreed in writing within the relevant SCAs, MoUs, CAs etc., prior to the start of each project or collaboration, to prevent future disputes. The relevant CyI templates for SCAs and MoUs should be used wherever possible, and their completion done in close consultation with the Institute’s International Relations office. As a matter of principle, MoUs can only be signed by the President of the Cyprus Institute, while SCAs can be signed by individual CyI faculty as well as by Group and Center Directors on behalf of their Groups and Centers, respectively.
Particular attention should always be paid to protect the IP and other rights of CyI students, including the relevant embargo periods. It is essential to reach a clear understanding with all collaborative partners of the provision of this policy to make all data Open as set out above in clauses 2 and 4. It is strongly recommended that any discussion also includes an early agreement, in writing, on publication plans and authorship details, including defining lead authors and sequence of authorships for expected publications.
The responsibility for curation of all research data under the remit of this policy rests primarily with the project PI or (in cases where the PI is not CyI faculty or staff) the CyI-based lead scientist of the project. This responsibility is shared with (but not devolved to) the staff (research or technical support) and research students actively involved in generating the data, or overseeing the relevant equipment.
The Cultural Heritage nature of ASL data, and its formal ownership by the Cyprus Institute, places a significant responsibility on all Archaeological Science Laboratories members requesting, generating and handling this data. This concerns both the physical preservation and the proper annotation of the data; both are the primary responsibility of the PI or lead scientist in charge of the project. This responsibility can be discharged by ASL members involved in the generation of the data, but the responsibility for this remains with the PI or lead scientist.
Physical preservation is primarily done by the timely and regular backup of any data that is not originally held on CyI-managed data storage facilities, onto one or several of the provided CyI facilities (see CyI’s Data Backup Policy [draft] and the Technical Appendix).
Proper annotation refers to the timely provision of all necessary metadata related to the generation and content of the data, to ensure that it can always be linked back to the original feature, object or other primary source, preserving the long-term utility and value of this data. As a general rule, the data provided should be both contextual and technical, and sufficient for an outside scholar who was not involved in the research design and data generation to bring this data to a meaningful publication, without additional input from either the primary generator of the data or the PI of the project under which the data was generated.
Archaeology and Cultural Heritage are cumulative sciences, and old data does not out-date. Therefore, this policy does not envisage a time limit on the preservation of data. The long-term costs and responsibilities for this persistent data storage policy need to be factored in into any budget considerations and project planning, including the use of established long-term public data repositories in addition to the CyI data storage facilities.
7. Academic visitors
Individual arrangements will be made concerning research visitors working on their own projects while at the Archaeological Science Laboratories.
CyI and ASL offer various ‘visitor’ opportunities for external scholars, from summer internships and Erasmus students, postgraduate students in CyI degree programmes and joint and dual degree doctoral students, to ad hoc or structured (APAC Labs; Leventis Chair) visits by emerging and established scholars. These visits are governed by a number of existing protocols and agreements, including the CyI Visitor Policy. Where a visit foresees the use of CyI equipment and facilities leading to meaningful data generation beyond pure training or demonstration purposes, it is expected that all relevant aspects of data generation, retention and ownership arising from such visits are dealt with in advance in the relevant Visitor Forms. The overarching principle should be that any data relating to CyI-based projects, including Masters’ and PhD projects, remains full and often exclusive property of CyI, and that this policy applies accordingly. All data relating to research done by visitors on their own (non-CyI) projects will normally fall outside this policy and remains the responsibility and property of the visitor. For joint research between a visitor and ASL Member the provisions in clause 5 above apply accordingly.
8. Innovation and Commercialisation
The Cyprus Institute encourages innovation and commercialisation of its activities; any financial or commercial interests arising from such activity within ASL have to be balanced against the Open Data and FAIR principles prevailing within the context of archaeological and cultural heritage research, and enshrined within this policy.
See also the CyI Innovation Policy document.
The Archaeological Science Laboratories subscribe fully to the relevant Conventions for the Protection of Cultural Heritage and their associated Protocols in the most recent versions. ASL members will not work on any features, objects and other aspects that would contravene these Conventions and Protocols, and will not allow its equipment, facilities and expertise to be used for either research or consultancy work that would contravene these Conventions and Protocols. If in doubt, the burden of proof of legal access to and ownership of any such features, objects etc. rests with the party requesting any such work etc. to be done. A notable exception from this rule concerns the possible involvement as an expert witness in the course of law enforcement activities, either on behalf of a relevant national agency or as appointed by a Court of Law.
Th. Rehren, web-version June 2023