PROTOCOLS FOR THE
EUROPEAN POLLEN DATABASE
As revised 3 February 1996 - Cracow
The following protocols for the database were discussed and agreed by
the Advisory Board at its meeting in Cracow. In the event that additional
changes are necessary in the future, all database contributors and users
will be notified and the changes will be published in the Newsletter. The
current protocol will also be distributed with any data transferred from
the EPD to a user.
1. Data must consist of the original counts, not percentages
or digitized data.
2. The database must contain the original taxonomic identifications,
with exceptions of exact nomenclatural synonymy. As primary entries, taxa
will not be lumped into higher taxonomic groups in the database. For practical
reasons, higher-level hierarchies will exist within the database in two
ways; the first will be according to pollen morphology, the second according
to plant taxonomy.
3. Data will be classified as restricted or unrestricted. All
data will be available in the EPD, although restricted data can be used
only as provided below.
4. Unrestricted data are available for all uses, and are included
in the EPD portion of the World Data Center- A (Paleoclimatology) and the
EPD portion of the Global Pollen Database, which are distributed from various
electronic sites globally.
5. Restricted data may be used only by permission of the data
originator. Appropriate and ethical use of restricted data is the responsibility
of the data user.
6. Restrictions on data will expire three years after they are
submitted to the EPD. Just prior to the time of expiration, the data originator
will be contacted by staff of the EPD with a reminder of the pending change.
The originator may extend restricted status for further periods of three
years by so informing the EPD each time a three-year period expires.
1. Can declare data unrestricted or restricted, but are strongly
encouraged to provide data in unrestricted form so as to allow widespread
2. Can ask to verify that data in the database are correct.
As a matter of general policy, the central database should routinely return
to the data originator a hardcopy printout of the data as they are entered
in the database for optional verification by the originator.
3. May use any unrestricted data.
4. Can obtain copies of application software and the database
itself for use on his/her own computer.
5. Should receive a periodic newsletter or report concerning
6. Can ask at any time that his/her data be withdrawn from the
database or that their status (unrestricted or restricted) be changed.
7. May, by so informing the EPD, extend the restricted status
of a data set after the standard three years.
8. In the case of a dispute regarding inappropriate use of restricted
data, the Advisory Board will serve as arbitrator.
1. Must ask permission from the data originator for use of restricted
2. Should, as a matter of courtesy, inform data originators
of the uses being made of their data.
3. If the contributor wishes, should show the contributor results
of analyses and manuscripts for publication for critical comment.
4. Should cite, in any publication using data from the database,
the contributors' original publications describing their data.
5. Should send contributors reprints of publications that use
6. Should acknowledge contributors for use of unpublished data
and for any advice they may have provided.
7. No user can pass data on to another party. All users must
obtain data from the central database.
8. Normal ethics apply to co-authorship of publications. The
contributor should be invited to be a co-author if a user makes significant
use of a single contributor's data, or a single contributor's data comprise
a substantial portion of a larger dataset analyzed, or a contributor makes
a significant contribution to the analysis of the data or to the interpretation
of the results. This guideline applies to unrestricted as well as to restricted
9. The data are available only to non-profit-making organizations
and for research. Profit-making organizations may use the data, even for
legitimate uses, only with the written consent of the Advisory Board, who
will determine or negotiate the payment of any fee required.