LXCat policy on redistribution of data by third parties

LXCat (www.lxcat.net) is an open-access, web-based platform for storing, exchanging and manipulating data needed for modeling the electron and ion components in cold, non-equilibrium plasmas. Over 40 people from institutions around the world have so far contributed to this project, and the data are widely used by researchers in the scientific community. The database contributors retain ownership and are responsible for the contents and maintenance of the individual databases.

It has come to our attention that certain commercial interests may have incorporated data downloaded from the LXCat site directly into their commercial products. Consequently, it appears necessary to elaborate a policy statement about redistribution of data by third parties. The purposes of the policy are to ensure the integrity of data circulating through the community, to give LXCat contributors and people who generate data proper credit for their work, and to maintain the visibility of LXCat as an open-access source of data needed for modeling plasmas.

LXCat does not authorize third parties (commercial interests, in particular) to redistribute data from the LXCat site. The following guidelines are prescribed for use of data on LXCat by third parties:

1) Third parties should direct their users to the LXCat website to obtain data. Before downloading data, visitors to the site are asked to click to confirm that “Yes. I understand the LXCat policy and I agree to properly reference these data”. The header in downloaded files contains reference information that should be included in all publications making use of LXCat data.

2) The LXCat team can provide customized interfaces to institutional members of the non-profit association "Data for Modeling Plasmas" (assoc.lxcat.net). This option is useful for code developers who recommend specific LXCat datasets for use in their software; that is, users who access the LXCat through such a customized interface are directed to the specific data chosen by the code developers.

3) In cases where neither of the above options is practical, commercial interests can include data from LXCat in their commercial packages under the following conditions:

a. Explicit written permission must be obtained from the owner of the database (the contributor) whose data is being included in the commercial code.

b. LXCat must be notified in advance and provided with a copy of the permission agreement.

c. A statement must be clearly visible in the commercial packages saying that the "data were downloaded from [database name], www.lxcat.net, [retrieved data]. LXCat is an open-access website with databases contributed by members of the scientific community."

d. All output files generated by the commercial software must include in the header the reference "[database name], www.lxcat.net, [retrieved data]" and all other references supplied by the contributors as included in the headers of files downloaded from LXCat.

The LXCat team will acknowledge commercial entities that adhere to these good practice guidelines (download).