For Chief Scientists

Congratulations on your cruise. This page will inform you about R2R’s role in managing research vessel data, and the data-related responsibilities you have as chief scientist.

Rolling Deck to Repository

While underway, it is usual for the vessel to collect a suite of sensor data that does not interfere with, and frequently contributes to, the main science program(s). The specific sensors will vary by vessel, but can include ADCP, CTD, expendable probe, fluoro/transmissometer, geocam, gravimeter, magnetometer, meteorological station, multibeam, pCO2, singlebeam/subbottom, TSG, and wave radar.

A copy of the underway data collected on the cruise, called the cruise distribution, will typically be provided to the chief scientist as the cruise ends. A second copy of the cruise distribution will be transferred to the Rolling Deck to Repository Program (R2R; The exception is that cruises with classified data or other special circumstances are not  provided to R2R. R2R works with the US academic research fleet community to routinely document, assess, and preserve the underway sensor data from oceanographic research vessels. This ensures the data are properly archived, and assists investigators in fulfilling agency reporting requirements. R2R also performs quality assessment and post-processing for certain data types.

After the cruise, R2R will contact the chief scientist to request permission to release the underway cruise data. Once the release is granted, the data will be submitted to long-term public archives such as the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI:, and made available online at Every dataset will include a Public Domain Mark (PDM), which indicates the data are free of known copyright restrictions and may be extracted, disseminated, and reused. R2R will not release data without the permission of the chief scientist, with the exception of navigation/operations data such as GNSS/INS, gyrocompass, speedlog, and winch logs, which are released immediately.

Chief Scientist Data Management Role and Responsibilities

While R2R manages the original underway sensor data from the vessel’s resident sensors, it is the responsibility of the Chief Scientist and your co-PIs to ensure that any/all other data acquired on your expedition are submitted to appropriate repositories. Data acquired during the cruise by specialized facilities such as the Oceanographic Data Facility (ODF), National Deep Submergence Facility (NDSF), Ocean Bottom Seismograph Instrument Pool (OBSIP), or National Marine Seismic Facility (NMSF) are archived through arrangements with the NSF-supported CCHDO, MGDS(@IEDA), and/or IRIS Data Centers. For all other data acquired on your expedition it is the responsibility of the Chief Scientist and your co-PIs to ensure that these data are submitted to appropriate repositories. This includes data acquired by towed platforms (e.g. camera and sonar sleds, biological nets etc), other special platforms (e.g., drones, gliders), and science party-owned instrumentation, as well as any final derived products from your cruise (e.g., processed sonar or other geophysical data, processed CTD data etc).

Before the Cruise: We recommend that you review the data policy of the organization funding your cruise to understand your full responsibilities and identify the repositories to use. The NSF Division of Ocean Sciences Sample and Data Policy is here (this is updated periodically, so check to see if it is current). As a courtesy, R2R has developed a list of federally funded disciplinary repositories that are known to accept cruise-related data.

The R2R program has developed Event Log software, to help researchers capture accurate information about the science party sampling events while at sea. Please see the Event Log page for further information. If you would like to request the use of an Event Log on your cruise contact Event Logs are provided to R2R as part of the cruise data, and are preserved and served publicly by R2R.

During the Cruise: Discuss with the shipboard technical staff how the data for each instrument will be captured, which group will be responsible for each data type (e.g. which data are managed by the vessel technicians, and which considered science party data that you and your collaborators are responsible for managing), and how the data will be moved off the vessel at the end of the cruise.

After the Cruise: You are responsible for submitting your science party and post-processed data to the appropriate repository/repositories. The data release request email R2R will send you will give a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for your cruise. This cruise DOI provides a persistent link to basic information about the cruise. Please include your cruise DOI when submitting data from this cruise to other data repositories to help promote the linking of your datasets to the originating cruise. We also suggest you cite the cruise DOI in your report to your funding agency, and in journal publications where appropriate.