Version 1.2 of the SeedArc management rules was approved by the SeedArc coordination team in March 2023.
Objectives. SeedArc is a research initiative for establishing and analyzing a global repository of primary data from seed germination experiments. This document describes the rules adopted for the coordination, management and final use of the data contained in the database.
Coordination team. SeedArc is coordinated by an international team of seed scientists. The initial members of the coordination team are those who started the initiative, voted for these rules and co-author this publication. New coordination team members are welcome and can be accepted by election with a simple majority of votes within the coordination team. The main tasks of the coordination team are (1) to establish a coordinated global network of seed scientists interested in data-driven seed ecological research; (2) to maintain and manage the database according to the present rules; and (3) to promote the development of the database through specific projects and third-party funding.
Data contributors. Data contributors can be individual researchers, working groups or institutions who are willing to join the database by contributing experimental seed germination data. Each data contributor should be represented by one contact person (but naming a deputy is encouraged) with authoritative decision capabilities and responsibility for the data provided. Data contributors must be accepted by the coordination team according to the requirements of data submission content.
Terms of data ownership, data use and co-authorship. The data contributed to SeedArc remains the property of the data contributors and can be withdrawn by them at any time upon their request. The use of the data contained in the database will be organized into projects. Project proposals can be submitted by data contributors or members of the coordination team at any time. Researchers not involved in SeedArc can submit project proposals if they are supported by at least one data contributor or a member of the coordination team. In all cases, the coordination team will approve or decline project proposals by a simple majority. Any project proposal is expected to be accepted if (a) it declares the willingness to follow the (last version of) data management rules, and (b) it does not overlap scientifically with another project previously submitted. Approved projects will be led by one project leader among the applicants of the proposal. Project leaders are obliged to offer co-authorship to all data contributors whose data are finally used in the project. Project proposals should clearly indicate how co-authorship invitations will be managed. The coordination team may counter-propose co-authorship of researchers involved in data management as a pre-condition for project approvals. SeedArc is not responsible for decisions on co-authorship on specific projects, so the project leader should negotiate final arrangements about the inclusion of one or more co-authors from a single data contribution. Project leaders may set up minimum thresholds of data contribution for authorship offers. Following ethical rules of scientific publishing, all co-authors of SeedArc papers must contribute intellectually and agree to the final work. All SeedArc projects are obliged to produce open-science research, including open-access publication of analyzed datasets, for which an explicit consent of data contributors is mandatory.
Validity of these rules. All data contributed to SeedArc will be managed under these rules. Any change of the rules will need the approval of data contributors to be effective and make their data available for SeedArc projects. Any data withdrawn from the database will be deleted and therefore not subjected to these rules.