Data policy

The ESSD data policy is fully compliant with the Copernicus data policy. In the following, "must" means that the stated actions are required, and the paper cannot be published without them; "should" means that the action is strongly encouraged, and consultation with ESSD editors is advised if these conditions are not met.

Core principles

ESSD adheres to its goal to promote access, documentation, (re-)usability, and transparency of original data related to Earth system science. Please also see the section manuscript types to understand what types of data are acceptable.

Fundamentally, ESSD seeks to stimulate and facilitate an easy, free, and open exchange between researcher A who describes and provides a fresh, useful Earth system data product and researcher X who uses that product unhindered. Researcher A gains publication and distribution credit through citation and permanent identifiers. Researcher X gains confidence from ESSD-assured availability and quality. "Easy" applies to providing, archiving, downloading, and using. "Free" means without fees or other forms of payment, for providers or users. "Open" means without registration steps, password requests, access agreements, or other log-in barriers or tracking mechanisms. An ESSD "product" consists of a detailed description published in ESSD, linked to a dataset archived in a reliable data repository.

Before submitting a regular data description paper to ESSD, please consider the following:

  • upon submission, all data must possess either a functional digital object identifier (DOI) or some form of preliminary access (review links) at the chosen repository; a data citation is mandatory in both cases;
  • upon submission, all data must directly be accessible through link(s) in the manuscript;
  • upon submission, authors must certify some form of fully anonymous review access, directly at the chosen repository (i.e. no registration, name, email or other information is required of reviewers as they access the data);
  • upon submission, all data should be stored in non-proprietary community-established formats and include at least basic usage information;
  • upon publication, all data must possess a functional DOI and citation;
  • data should be available under a non-restrictive license such as CC0 or CC BY;
  • data must not be tied to any additional coercive/unethical usage agreements (e.g. co-authorship requirements upon usage).

Individuals, institutions, or nations may impose a variety of overarching open-access standards and licenses; ESSD intends its processes and products to meet or exceed expectations of those mandates or guidelines.

Data availability statement

ESSD adheres to the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles initiated by FORCE11, as well as DataCite recommendations.

Authors are required to provide a statement on how their underlying research data can be accessed. This must be placed in a "Data availability" section at the end of the manuscript. Please see the manuscript preparation guidelines for the correct sequence.

The following is a blueprint of the data availability statement:

Data described in this manuscript can be accessed at repository under data doi (data citation).

A data citation resembles a bibliographic citation. Like any bibliographic citation, the full reference must be located in the publication's list of references following this style:

creators: title, publisher/repository, identifier, publication year.


Loew, A., Bennartz, R., Fell, F., Lattanzio, A., Doutriaux-Boucher, M., and Schulz, J.: Surface Albedo Validation Sites, EUMETSAT [data set],, 2015.

This is also the section that holds review links or other access tokens to your data set if necessary for the review. Optionally, overarching project URLs or other meta-information can be included. The reader must gain direct access to the data by the means described in this section.

Useful notes from Copernicus Publications

The output of research is not only journal articles but also data sets, model code, samples, etc. Only the entire network of interconnected information can guarantee integrity, transparency, reuse, and reproducibility of scientific findings. Moreover, all of these resources provide great additional value in their own right. Hence, it is particularly important that data and other information underpinning research findings are "findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable" (FAIR), not only for humans but also for machines.

Video supplements, video abstracts, International Geo Sample Numbers, and other digital assets should be linked to the article through DOIs in the assets tab.

In addition to the above, Copernicus Publications is a signatory of the Coalition on Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Sciences (COPDESS) commitment statement and the Enabling FAIR Data Commitment Statement in the Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences.