Cooperating Network Protocol

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The Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC) recognizes the importance of new measurement capabilities and of existing capabilities whose heritage was developed external to NDACC. In many cases, the NDACC Steering Committee has encouraged proposals for formal affiliation of such measurements, and often has designated the existing measurement location as an NDACC Site. To achieve NDACC measurement status, the proposing investigators must affiliate with a specific NDACC Instrument Working Group and agree to comply with the various NDACC protocols (Measurements, Intercomparisons, Validation, and Data). These protocols specify the documentation required in a proposal seeking designation as an NDACC measurement capability. In general, details about the measurement capability and operational scope, the instrument validation, and the data quality must be provided and an appropriate NDACC Instrument Working Group will evaluate the proposal and recommend a course of action to the Steering Committee. 

However, in some cases, there are regional, hemispheric, or even global networks of instruments that operate independently of NDACC, but where strong measurement and scientific collaboration would be mutually beneficial. Such networks often have set up their own quality assurance guidelines, operational requirements, and data archiving policies, and they have national or international recognition in their own right. In such cases, bringing the complete network under the NDACC umbrella is neither practical nor desirable. Rather, designation of an interested external network as a “Cooperating Network” may be more appropriate for fostering collaborative measurement and analysis activities. For such designation to occur, the relevant NDACC Working Group(s) must assess the benefits of mutual data access. The Working Group(s) should further ascertain that the various protocols of the external network are compatible with those of NDACC, and are followed in a consistent and effective manner. The possible effects of protocol differences on the final data products should be evaluated, quantified, and corrected (in so far as possible). 

Following the positive outcome of such assessment, a Memorandum of Understanding (referred to as an NDACC Cooperating Network Agreement) will be drafted and signed by the Co-Chairs of the NDACC Steering Committee and the appropriate representative(s) of the external network. The Cooperating Network may then request Ex Officio representation on the NDACC Steering Committee to provide information about collaborative activities at the annual NDACC Steering Committee meetings. Where appropriate, NDACC may request representation on the corresponding oversight group of the Cooperating Network.

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