NESP MaC project submissions to the eAtlas

The National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Marine and Coastal hub (MaC) provides the eAtlas Data Wranglers to assist with Northern Node projects in the NESP MaC, for all issues associated with their data management and data publication. The data generated by the projects provide an important foundation for future research and are an important legacy of the NESP.

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NESP projects are expected to publish all data they generate, including raw and derived data products (e.g. modelled or aggregated data). By default, data should be published to an approved public, enduring data repository. The Hub requires data to meet the FAIR data principles, including sensitive data which should be prepared as if for publication and lodged in an approved secure data repository with suitable access controls.

Projects should actively plan their data products, thinking about how others can use them to solve new research questions.

Data discussions with the hub Data Wranglers can help develop this plan and strategies for maximising reuse.

The goal of the Hub Data Wranglers is to help projects meet their NESP data management obligations by providing advice on data management issues, planning for data delivery to maximise discoverability and reuse, and where to publish the data. To do this we will organise data discussions with the project team at various stages of the project. These discussions are an opportunity to receive help from the Data Wranglers on data issues within your project and an opportunity for the Data Wranglers to better understand your project data and track progress.

Overview of NESP MaC Data Management Workflow

Data Management Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the NESP research teams to properly manage the data they collect and produce during the life of the projects, ensuring generated data is appropriately stored and managed.

Each NESP TWQ MaC project has a schedule of milestones relating to submissions to the eAtlas. These consist of:

  1. Submitting photos and images.
  2. Data discussion – declaring dataset outputs for the project.
  3. Submitting completed datasets and documentation for publication on the eAtlas or other suitable enduring data repository.

1.Milestone: Photo submission

Each project should provide images that help to communicate the activities of the project and include any of the following types:

  • Photos of experiments
  • Photos of the environments, habitats or organisms being investigated
  • Photos of study sites
  • Images that are suggestive of the work being undertaken (useful for preview images)

Information for the caption, attribution and licences should be documented in the eAtlas Image Submission Spreadsheet and submitted along with the photos. The NESP preference is to provide images under the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY). Where images of people (especially close ups) are being submitted, we ask that the project team also ensure the people in the image have given their permission for the image to be used. See below for information on ‘How the image will be used.’

How the images will be used: Images submitted to the eAtlas for the photo milestones will be uploaded to the project metadata record. The eAtlas will add the caption including photo credit, description and licence information to the image and ensure this is embedded in the image properties. On occasion, we will reduce the size of large images or convert the image to a jpeg to allow the upload to the metadata infrastructure. Uploading the image to the metadata under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) enables others to download, use and build on the work as long as the licence is retained and the source is credited.


All images submitted to the eAtlas should be made available under a Creative Commons Attribution licence.

This licence allows others to copy and enhance (adapt or modify) the source material and make their own version available to others (redistribute) as long as they attribute the creator of the original material.

For more information about creative commons licensing see “Creative Commons: A Quick Guide”, or see the “Creative Commons Attribution License”.

2. Milestone: Data Discussions

The Data Wranglers will organise data discussions with the project team throughout each research project to:

  1. Identify and plan what datasets, if any, will be created by the project.
  2. How those data will be managed during the project lifecycle, including methods of sharing data with project collaborators prior to publication.
  3. How sensitive datasets will be managed and curated.
  4. Where relevant, determine whether discussions regarding data ownership and custodianship have taken place (including Indigenous groups where appropriate).
  5. What record-keeping of third-party data and implications of its licensing is needed.
  6. Where required, establish a reasonable data publication embargo period.
  7. Where the data should be published and what supporting documentation needs to be prepared.

Typically, data discussions will occur multiple times throughout the project; one early in the project, one near the end of the project, and throughout the project as required. This is the minimum expectation, but more frequent data discussions can be arranged with the Data Wranglers if your project requires them. Data discussions can be conducted face-to-face, via video / phone meetings, or email exchanges.

3. Milestone: Data Submission

The project team should work with the Data Wranglers to determine the most suitable data repository for the datasets. Datasets can be published on the eAtlas enduring repository, or other enduring public data repositories that comply with Hub's standards described in the NESP Data and Information Guidelines (publication of data).

Each dataset must have comprehensive metadata to describe the data. The metadata should provide an overview of what the data contains, how it was produced, a description of the attributes and codes in the data, licensing conditions, links to associated documents that provide additional information, and an assessment of the limitations of the data. A metadata record should contain all contextual information that a third party would need to discover, understand, and re-use the data. The eAtlas has a submission template which can be used for metadata submissions, see Submitting data to the eAtlas | eAtlas for further information. The Hub Data Management Guide for Researchers also contains a useful metadata checklist.

All metadata records, regardless of where they are published, must be crosslinked with the metadata records representing each NESP MaC project. This ensures that a complete catalogue of all NESP MaC data can be compiled and accessed from a central Hub-level record. The project team should notify the Data Wranglers upon publication of any metadata to allow them to make this crosslinking.