Data and information stored on the website of Variable Stars South, or which have been contributed to VSS but not stored on the website; have been largely developed by people working for VSS and in VSS research projects, programmes, campaigns, etc. (hereafter “research groups”). Some is accessible to the public, some more to people who have registered on the website, and the rest is accessible only to particular VSS research groups.
It is the policy of VSS to be as open with its data, information, articles and research (hereafter “materials” for brevity) as it can, consistent with the expectation of researchers involved in VSS research groups to publish their project work. For this reason, much material will not be made available to third parties until published by the VSS researchers involved. It may be preferable in some cases for third parties to join the VSS research group and work on the data “from the inside.”
The various research groups in VSS have different policies for third-party access to their materials – and the policy may be different for different types of material. These policies are determined by the Director in consultation with the group leader and relevant group members. It may be, for example, that all data are publicly available (even if not directly accessible by the public), or that your photometric data are publicly available but analyses of it are not. Or you may be asked not to submit your data to other data-collecting organisations. Or that an embargo is placed on materials you submit for a certain period.
In line with the first section of this document, materials you submit to VSS, and its research groups may have certain access restrictions placed on them.
When you contribute material to VSS or one of its research groups, you are expected to accept the access restrictions placed on materials you supply; and to grant VSS-RASNZ the right to hold and use the data as it sees fit. If you are not happy with this, you should not submit materials or join the research group.
You can find out the materials access policies of a research group by contacting its leader.
Bona fide researchers wishing to obtain VSS material to which they do not have access should contact the Director of VSS, who will decide in consultation with the VSS researchers or group leader involved what can be released and under what conditions, and what sort of acknowledgements are required. General acknowledgement requirements for VSS materials follow.
Material that is publicly accessible on the VSS website, or accessible to registered website users, may be copied and extracted for legitimate scientific and educational purposes, without making request to the Director. However, an email informing of the use would be appreciated. Examples are Newsletter articles, text tables and diagrams on web pages, and the Eclipsing Binary Database.
Copies or extracts of content of publicly accessible articles (except for short quotes) must contain the title and author, and full reference should be made to the article in a standard bibliographic format including URL. A copyright notice should also appear with the copied or extracted text: “Copyright ©
Citations of publicly accessible materials, including short quotes, should also have a reference in a standard bibliographic format including URL. If the materials make reference to contributing VSS researchers, their names should be included appropriately. Where such material is tabular or to be entered into a table, it should have its source tabulated as “VSS-RASNZ”.
For material that is not publicly accessible on the VSS website but supplied by the Director on request, the Director may require types of acknowledgements in addition to or instead of those set out above for publicly accessible material. For example, it may be required that the names of the VSS researchers involved should appear with the material; and in cases where the material forms a substantial part of the requester’s research, co-authorship may be required.