ASTROPHYSICAL RESEARCH CONSORTIUM
Principles of Operation
for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
as approved 21 November 2000
Table of Contents
- Scientific Goals
- Data Access and Publication Policies
- Proposals and Initiatives
- The Observatory
This document presents the Principles of Operation (PoO) of the Sloan
Digital Sky Survey, which have been agreed upon by the Participating
Institutions. They may be revised as needed by future agreements.
Changes to the PoO must be approved by the Board and will generally be
based on recommendations from the Advisory Council, acting either at its
own initiative or in response to a request from the Board.
The initial Principles of Operation (PoO) for the Sloan Digital Sky
Survey (SDSS) were drafted during 1989 and approved by the Astrophysical
Research Consortium (ARC) Board of Governors (Board) in February 1990.
They were revised in 1995 to reflect both the addition of four more
Participating Institutions to the original Collaboration and a change in
the model through which the ARC Board managed the SDSS project (with the
SDSS Advisory Council replacing the SDSS Subcommittee of the Board).
This revision was subsequently approved by the ARC Board in November
A new management organization was approved by the ARC Board at its
November 1997 meeting. This reorganization was implemented to reflect
results of internal and external reviews of the management of the SDSS
project during 1997, and to respond to the guidelines established in a
Memorandum to ARC from the Presidents of the four Participating
Universities. The structure of this organization was further refined
and modified through extensive discussions at the August and September
1998 Advisory Council meetings. The resulting structure was then
approved by the Advisory Council at its November 1998 meeting.
This document describes the management structure currently in place
for the SDSS, a structure expected to serve the project well during the
commissioning and operations phases of the project. This document
supersedes the 1990 and 1996 versions of the PoO, but does not
invalidate any actions taken under those documents.
This document provides the basis for the governance of the SDSS. The
Director of the SDSS will develop and put in place the specific
procedures and rules to run the SDSS smoothly in a manner consistent
with the PoO. The Director should keep the Advisory Council informed
about such procedures and rules, and ensure that the Spokesperson keeps
the Collaboration informed through public postings (e.g. on the SDSS
Certain key terms, when capitalized, will have the following meanings
throughout this document:
- the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
- Astrophysical Research Consortium, a nonprofit
Washington corporation for research and education in astronomy with
seven member organizations, six of which are participating in the SDSS.
- the ARC Board of Governors.
- Principles of Operation, the document setting forth
the operating principles for the SDSS as initially adopted by the ARC
Board of Governors in 1990 and the superseding versions adopted in 1996
- Participating Institutions
- the six ARC institutions and
five non-ARC institutions participating in the SDSS. There are three
types of Participating Institutions:
- Full Members
- the five ARC Participating Institutions,
currently including The University of Chicago, the Institute for
Advanced Study, The Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University,
and the University of Washington, with ultimate responsibility for
completing the Primary Survey and Science Archive, each with two
voting members of the Advisory Council and an unlimited number of
- MOU Partners
- the three non-ARC Participating
Institutions participating through Memoranda of Understanding (MOU),
currently including Fermilab, the Japan Participation Group (JPG),
and the US Naval Observatory (USNO), with shared but MOU-limited
responsibility for completing the Primary Survey and Science
Archive, each with two voting members of the Advisory Council, and a
number of Participants defined by the MOU.
- Affiliate MOU Partners
- the three Participating
Institutions participating through MOU, currently including the Max
Planck Institute for Astronomy, the Max Planck Institute for
Astrophysics, and New Mexico State University, with no
responsibility for completing the Primary Survey and Science Archive
beyond the cash and/or in-kind contributions specified in the MOU,
each with one non-voting member of the Advisory Council, and an
MOU-limited number of Participants, postdocs, and students.
- Advisory Council
- the body which represents the
Participating Institutions and advises the Board on matters relating to
the SDSS through a simple majority of voting members for a quorum and a
simple majority method of decision-making both in the Advisory Council
as-a-whole and in its Executive Committee.
- the Director of the SDSS.
- persons having access to the Science Archive
prior to public release.
- collectively, all Participating Institutions
- Working Groups
- groups of SDSS scientists who will focus on
particular fields or categories of astronomy as they pertain to the
- Primary Survey
- the photometric and spectroscopic surveys
of the North Galactic Cap and selected portions of the South Galactic
- Core Program
- the collective of the core science defined by
the Working Groups in the form of Key Projects.
- Science Archive
- the reduced survey data, data products,
software interfaces, and supporting scientific and technical information
created by the SDSS to enable scientific analyses of the survey data.
- a formal proposal in the name of ARC or
a Participating Institution to an outside funding source requesting
financial support for the SDSS or its scientific exploitation.
- an activity to extend the SDSS beyond the
Primary Survey; an activity proposed by a non-Participant or
non-Participating Institution involving access to the SDSS data,
hardware, or software.
1.1 The goal of the Sloan Digital Sky
Survey (SDSS) is to conduct wide-angle surveys of the sky to enable
science designed to address critical issues in extra-galactic astronomy,
especially in the field of large-scale structure: specifically, to
conduct a digital multiband photometric survey at high northern Galactic
latitudes (b > 30 degrees) and in the same area a multifiber
spectroscopic survey of galaxies and quasars. These will be
supplemented by a deeper survey with more restricted sky coverage in the
Southern Galactic hemisphere. These three surveys constitute the
Primary Survey of the SDSS. The photometric surveys will serve both to
select the galaxies, quasars, and other targets for the spectroscopic
survey, and as scientifically significant data sets in their own right.
The spectroscopic survey will be primarily designed to yield accurate
redshifts. The Primary Survey is expected to take five years to
complete, after a suitable commissioning phase.
1.2 The top priority will be to ensure
the highest possible scientific integrity of the Primary Survey.
Calibrations must be extensive and trustworthy. Moreover, the intent is
that the survey be well enough designed and the data of sufficient
quality that it will have a long and productive lifetime.
1.3 The main product of the SDSS is the
Science Archive, consisting of reliable and easily utilized data sets,
data products, and software interfaces. The Science Archive is designed
to support scientific analyses that will provide insight into the nature
and origin of large-scale structure and other fundamental topics.
1.4 Work aimed at extracting scientific
results as the survey progresses has been, and will continue to be,
encouraged. Indeed, such work is an essential part of this effort.
Participants may carry out whatever scientific projects they choose,
subject to the policy guidelines discussed in Section
4 and Section 5. However, Participants engaged
in this work should help in the overall quality control effort and must
provide their own resources as needed above and beyond the data and the
software tools provided by the project.
1.5 Consistent with plans to maintain the
integrity and usability of the Science Archive, the Participating
Institutions intend to make data public within 18 months of data
collection initially, reducing to approximately one year as the survey
progresses. Details of the data and publication policies are presented
in Section 4. The public data distribution products
and schedule are described in a separate agreement with the National
1.6 In addition to the Primary Survey,
Initiatives for other separately funded projects to use available
telescope time or data in new ways will be entertained provided they do
not interfere with or delay the Primary Survey, and do not require those
Participating Institutions that are not direct beneficiaries of the
Initiative to increase their financial contributions. These may include
a photometric survey and spectroscopic work in the Galactic plane,
imaging at other wavebands, or analyses of the raw SDSS data (which are
not included in the Science Archive).
The ultimate responsibility for all aspects of the SDSS project rests
with the Board, including approval of annual budgets and requests for
outside funding. The Board is assisted by the Advisory Council on
matters concerning the SDSS project. The Board must approve entry of all
Participating Institutions into the SDSS project. One criterion for
entry will be the written acceptance of these PoO.
2.2 Advisory Council
The Advisory Council advises the Board on matters relating to the
SDSS project. Advisory Council members represent the Participating
Institutions and are therefore the primary channel through which
information flows between the Board and Participating Institutions. A
majority consensus of the Advisory Council is required before a
recommendation to admit a new Participating Institution is made to the
Advisory Council members will be appointed by the Board from among
nominations by the Participating Institutions. Each Participating
Institution will be represented by at least one and not more than two
members. The Chair of the Board will be an ex officio member
of the Advisory Council. The Chair of the Advisory Council will be
appointed by the Board for a specified term.
The Advisory Council will meet as deemed necessary, but generally at
least three times per year. Meetings may be conducted in-person or via
teleconferencing. Meeting dates will be set and announced well in
advance to assure good attendance. The agenda will be distributed at
least five days in advance of the meeting to Advisory Council members,
the Chair and Secretary of the Board, and the Director. The Advisory
Council Chair is responsible for timely filing of approved meeting
minutes with the ARC Secretary.
It is the responsibility of Advisory Council members to ensure that
their Participants and relevant institutional officers
(e.g. Departmental Chair, Director of Sponsored Programs, etc.) are
informed of the SDSS data access, publication, and proposal policies as
is implied by that institution's acceptance of these PoO.
The Board has approved the establishment of an Executive Committee of
the Advisory Council. It is chaired by the Chair of the Advisory
Council and consists of the ARC Officers and members appointed by the
Advisory Council. Its purpose is to provide advice and guidance through
communications with the Director that are more expedient than is
practical with the entire Advisory Council. The Executive Committee has
the authority to act for the Advisory Council when deemed appropriate by
the Chairs of the Advisory Council and the Board. The Executive
Committee will act as a readily available sounding board for the Chair
of the Advisory Council and the Director, thereby helping to frame
significant management decisions and policy issues for eventual action
by the Advisory Council as a whole. The Chair keeps the rest of the
Advisory Council informed of the activities of the Executive Committee.
Where the Executive Committee acts for the Advisory Council,
ratification of the action will be sought at the next meeting of the
The Board has delegated to the Director the executive authority for
construction of the telescope, related hardware, and software; and for
operation of the survey. To those ends, the Director is responsible
The Director leads the preparation of Proposals to fund the construction
and operations of the SDSS (Section 5.1), and
assists the Board and Advisory Council in other relevant fund-raising
activities as requested.
- defining and appointing key personnel;
- keeping the Advisory Council informed on the status of the project,
including any major problems and plans for resolving them;
- working with ARC officers in conducting the project so as to comply
with the terms of funding awards received by ARC from federal agencies
and private entities;
- drafting for concurrence by the Advisory Council
and approval by the Board the Memorandum of Understanding with any
new Participating Institution.
The Director will be appointed for a fixed term by the Board taking
into consideration the recommendation of the Advisory Council. The
Advisory Council will identify and evaluate candidates for the position
of Director when the incumbent's term is coming to an end, or when the
position is vacated unexpectedly.
The Director will be assisted by the ARC corporate office under the
general supervision of the ARC Treasurer in preparing annual budgets and
monthly financial summaries. The Director will submit annual budgets to
the Advisory Council. These budgets will include funds and in-kind
services needed for construction, maintenance, and use of the SDSS
telescope and instruments, and for the acquisition, processing,
archiving, and distribution of the data. The Advisory Council will
transmit the Director's budget along with its recommendations to the
Board for approval. Monthly financial summaries will be provided to the
Advisory Council to show expenditures and obligations compared to the
major line item budget.
2.4 Project Scientist
The Director has delegated to the Project Scientist the
responsibility for providing the overall quality assurance for the
project and ensuring its scientific integrity. From this perspective,
he/she monitors the systems aspect of the project in all its phases and
evaluates the scientific impact of changes or compromises made in the
course of constructing the hardware, preparing the software, and
developing the plans for commissioning and operations. The Project
Scientist plays a leadership role in organizing and overseeing the
scientific effort of the Collaboration.
2.5 Management Committee
The Director has, following consultation with the Advisory Council,
defined a Management Committee, appointed its members for fixed terms,
and serves as its Chair. The Director may delegate specific areas of
responsibility to Management Committee members. The Management
Committee presently consists of the Director, Technical Director, and
Spokesperson. This may be changed as deemed necessary by the
Informal communication between the Management Committee and members
of the Board and Advisory Council is encouraged. These communications
will include regularly inviting the Management Committee members to
Advisory Council meetings. Formal communications of the Management
Committee with the Board or Advisory Council is through the
2.6 Technical Director
The Director has delegated to the Technical Director the authority
and responsibility to manage all aspects of the operations and
maintenance of the SDSS at the Apache Point Observatory and Fermilab.
He/she will have responsibility for the end-to-end process of scientific
and technical operations planning, data acquisition, and data
processing. The goal of the Technical Director is to obtain, process,
and store survey-quality data on schedule and within the budgeted
resources. To that end, the Technical Director will coordinate the
relevant efforts of personnel throughout the SDSS project.
The Director has delegated to the Spokesperson the primary
responsibility for representing the SDSS to the outside world, raising
the visibility of the SDSS within the astronomy and physics communities,
and fostering good morale in the Collaboration. He/she is charged with
formulating and implementing guidelines for project publications and for
coordinating public presentations. It is anticipated that once the SDSS
is well into a period of routine operation, the Director will appoint a
Spokesperson nominated by the Collaboration.
2.8 Collaboration Council
The Collaboration Council (CoCo) was formed to advise and support the
Spokesperson. It consists of one member from each Participating
Institution (appointed by that Institution) plus one member who
represents, and is elected by, the External Participants. The Chair of
the CoCo is appointed by the Project Spokesperson from its members.
2.9 Working Groups
Working Groups (WG) have been formed to address the following
specific topics: large scale structure, clusters, galaxies, quasars,
stars, serendipity, southern survey, reddening, and solar system. One
function of these Working Groups is to define Key Projects which
together define the Core Program of the SDSS.
The WG's are to consider the complete flow of data
relevant to each WG from the CCD's through calibration to final
publication. The WG's will assist the Director in defining scientific
requirements for equipment, observing time, calibration and analysis
software, and data storage and distribution. These requirements will be
considered by the Project Scientist in formulating recommendations to
the Director in the same categories.
Each WG Chair is appointed by the Director for a fixed term.
New WG's may be formed and existing WG's may be disbanded only after
approval of a written plan by the Director.
3. Scientific Goals
3.1 Primary Survey
3.1.1 The Northern survey
In the approximately pi steradians of the North Galactic Cap region
(defined approximately by b > 30 degrees) and a much smaller region in
the South Galactic Cap, conduct surveys in the following manner:
- A photometric survey in five filters to about 23rd
magnitude (r', five sigma) for stellar objects;
- Obtain redshifts for a complete sample of galaxies with a density of
roughly 100 per square degree;
- Obtain redshifts for a complete sample of quasars with a density of
roughly 15 per square degree, identifiable by photometric indices.
3.1.2 The Southern survey
In the available South Galactic Cap region in a strip 2.5 degrees
wide and approximately 90, conduct surveys in the following manner:
- A photometric survey in five filters to about 25th
magnitude (r', 5 sigma) for stellar objects by co-addition of
- Investigate motion and variability in this region over the
duration of the survey;
- Obtain spectra to suitably defined limits somewhat fainter than
defined in the Northern Survey in a substantial fraction of the survey
3.1.3 The Primary Survey
The Primary Survey is defined as the combination of the Northern
survey, Southern survey, and the following:
- Spectra obtained of a limited number of other targets of high
scientific importance, as defined by the Project Scientist based upon
recommendations from the WG's;
- Other spectroscopic investigations deemed appropriate to refine the
spectroscopic target selection criteria;
- Science activities conducted to the extent necessary to develop,
test, refine, and document survey planning; imaging; calibration; target
selection; spectroscopy; and the data reduction, storage, and retrieval
The velocity precision for galaxies should in all cases be limited by
photon noise and should be better than 60 km/s for normal galaxies at
the survey limit. The data should be retained as a full data set of all
pixels on the sky as well as in reduced data sets for later analysis and
distribution. Such reduced data sets include atlas images of all
objects; catalogs of image parameters for all detected objects; and
one-dimensional spectra, catalogs of redshifts, and catalogs of spectral
properties of all objects for which spectra have been obtained.
Prioritization of resources -- financial, human, and telescope
availability -- is indicated by the ordering of subsections 3.1.1 and
3.1.2 above. Primary Survey funds will be dedicated and restricted to
3.2 Core Program
3.2.1 It is the responsibility of the
Working Groups (WG's) to define a set of Key Projects that constitute
the Core Program of the SDSS, and to define and appoint members and
leaders to the science team for each Key Project.
3.2.2 The specific criteria and
procedures used by the WG's to select Key Projects, team members, and
leaders will be developed by the individual WG. However, these criteria
should be based primarily on maximizing scientific return. Due
recognition should also be given to those who have made major
contributions to the SDSS, and the balance between the junior and senior
members of the WG should be equitably reflected.
3.2.3 The Spokesperson will collect and
organize the Key Projects, ensure that the guidelines described above
have been followed, and adjudicate disputes. If he/she judges that a WG
has not developed an adequate set of Key Projects, he/she may recommend
that the Director augment the list of Key Projects and solicit interest
from Participants in the formation of additional teams.
3.2.4 The Director will address any
institutional issues that may arise, such as adequate representation of
the ARC and MOU Participating Institutions.
3.3 Additional Projects
3.3.1 The data from the Primary Survey
will be used for many scientific projects that are distinct from the
Core Program. Indeed the Science Archive is designed to facilitate the
broad and far-ranging exploitation of the data produced by the Primary
3.3.2 The policies and procedures
governing Initiatives to use or augment the SDSS hardware, software, or
operations for purposes that are not part of the Primary Survey are
discussed in Section 5.3 below. These will be
performed on a basis that is strictly non-interfering with the Primary
Survey, and must be done without adding to the cost of the Primary
3.3.3 Examples of such possible
Initiatives include a photometric survey of the Galactic disk,
spectroscopic study of objects in the Galactic disk, spectroscopic study
of objects identified but not studied in the Primary Survey, and imaging
of selected regions of the Primary Survey in additional wavebands.
4. Data Access and Publication Policies
4.1.1 Participants have unlimited access
Participants have unlimited access to the Science Archive and may use
this access to pursue any scientific project, subject to the policies
and procedures specified below. Participants must read and abide by the
PoO, and are responsible for protecting the scientific integrity of the
SDSS and the data rights of other Participants.
4.1.2 At ARC Participating Institutions
At ARC Participating Institutions, Participants are defined to be
full-time PhD-level scientific staff that receive at least 50% of their
annual salary from that institution. They must also either have
Principal Investigator status at that institution or have performed the
equivalent of two years service to the SDSS (as judged by the
4.1.3 At non-ARC Participating
At non-ARC Participating Institutions, Participants are defined via
the individual MOU's.
4.1.4 External Participants
The Director may designate other scientists at Participating and
non-Participating Institutions as Participants ("External
Participants"), based upon exceptional contributions to the SDSS.
At non-Participating Institutions where External Participants may be
designated, there must be a relevant institutional officer
(e.g. Departmental Chair, Directory of Sponsored Programs, Site
Operations Manager, etc.) that will accept accountability to become
informed of the survey Data Access, Publication, and Proposal Policies
and commit that institution's acceptance of the PoO.
4.1.5 Participant Portability
Persons whose Participant status is by virtue of their affiliation
with a Participating Institution who leave that Participating
Institution, or otherwise lose their Participant qualifying status, may
retain their Participant status only with designation by the Director as
an External Participant on a case-by-case basis. In the unlikely event
of protest of such rulings, the issue may be appealed to the Advisory
Council which will have jurisdiction on the basis of a majority
4.2 Non-Participants Early Collaborative Data
Prior to public release, non-Participants may be granted access to
limited portions of SDSS data to conduct specific research projects in
collaboration with Participants. The sponsoring Participant will be
responsible for protecting the scientific integrity of the SDSS and the
data rights of other Participants, for ensuring that the non-Participant
uses the data responsibly and abides by the Collaboration rules. The
sponsoring Participant may terminate the sponsorship at any time by
informing the Spokesperson. The Director may terminate access to SDSS
data by a non-Participant at any time for cause.
4.2.1 A postdoctoral fellow at a
A postdoctoral fellow at a Participating Institution will be granted
early access to SDSS data if more than 50% of his/her salary is paid by
that institution and if a Participant at that institution agrees to
grant and sponsor such access. The sponsoring Participant shall inform
the Spokesperson of his/her sponsorship of the fellow, the termination
of the sponsorship when the fellow's status changes, and the title and
place of publication of the fellow's work if it involves SDSS data.
4.2.2 A full-time student at a Participating
A full-time student at a Participating Institution will be granted
early access to SDSS data if a Participant at that institution agrees to
grant and sponsor such access. The sponsoring Participant shall inform
the Spokesperson of his/her sponsorship of the student, the termination
of the sponsorship when the student leaves or graduates, and the title
and place of publication of the student's work if it involves SDSS
4.2.3 External Collaborators
A non-Participant at a non-Participating Institution may be granted
early access to limited portions of SDSS data as an External
Collaborator in order to work on a specific project, if a Participant
will agree to sponsor such access. Such a collaboration should bring
value to the SDSS in the form of support, resources, observational or
computational facilities, or special expertise provided by the External
Collaborator. The Spokesperson will judge requests for such
collaboration by the above standards and shall make a recommendation to
the Management Committee. It will make the final decision and
communicate this to the prospective External Collaborator and his/her
Participant sponsor. If granted, data access shall be restricted to the
specific person for the specific project.
4.3 Projects and Publications
Any Participant may use the Science Archive to undertake any
scientific project, subject to the rules and procedures described in
this document. It is anticipated that the scientific results of the
Core Program will be published primarily and jointly by the Participants
belonging to the Key Project teams, with other Participants added by
mutual agreement. These policies and procedures apply only to data that
has not been released to the public.
4.3.1 Projects List
184.108.40.206 A Projects List shall be
maintained by the Spokesperson in an easily accessible format which
lists, for each project, the subject matter, known collaborators, a
contact person (with address), and the anticipated duration of the
220.127.116.11 Participants must notify the
Spokesperson -- for inclusion on the Projects List -- on initiation of
any scientific project utilizing SDSS data that is expected ultimately
to result in publication. Participants must regularly inform the
Spokesperson about the progress of the project. These policies apply to
Participants both for their own projects and for projects they
4.3.2 Publications List
18.104.22.168 A Publications List shall be
maintained by the Spokesperson in an easily accessible format which
lists for each paper, the title, authors, and journal of submission. By
submission here, we signify submission both to a scientific journal and
to any other public forum or medium.
22.214.171.124 Participants must submit to
the Spokesperson at least three weeks before submission for publication
any manuscript which utilizes SDSS data. By submission here, we signify
submission both to a scientific journal and to any other public forum.
This is required of Participants both for their own projects and for
projects they sponsor. The Spokesperson will promptly post these
submissions to the Publications List.
4.3.3 Thesis List
126.96.36.199 A Thesis List shall be
maintained by the Spokesperson in an easily accessible format that
lists Ph.D. thesis projects based on SDSS data. This will include the
names of the student and the sponsoring Participant, together with a
brief description of the thesis and an estimated schedule for
188.8.131.52 It is the responsibility of
the sponsoring Participant to ensure that the Spokesperson is provided
with the information needed to create and maintain an accurate and
up-to-date posting for his/her student.
4.4.1 Any Participant, at any stage of
a research project, may request that his/her name be added to the list
of authors with the presumption that permission will be granted if there
has been any significant contribution to that research project.
4.4.2 The Spokesperson shall maintain a
Builders List. Builders are individuals who have provided an
exceptional level of service to the SDSS during the construction and
commissioning phases of the project. They will be appointed to the
Builders List by the Director from among nominees provided by the
Participating Institutions. Builders will be automatically granted
authorship on any SDSS scientific publication they request.
4.4.3 If there are disputes among
Participants or collaborators on authorship, the Spokesperson will
recommend a resolution to the Director, who will rule on individual
cases. In the unlikely event of protest of such rulings, the issue may
be appealed to the Advisory Council, which will have jurisdiction on the
basis of a majority vote.
4.5 Additional Guidelines for
The Spokesperson may develop more detailed guidelines concerning the
implementation of the policies in Section 4, as
he/she deems appropriate. A copy of these guidelines will be available
from the Spokesperson, and must be read and agreed to by the
Participants, a relevant institutional officer at Participating
Institutions, and collaborators. These guidelines must be consistent
with and may not supersede the basic principles of the PoO.
4.6.1 If a project is added to the
Publications List without due notice on the Projects List, the Director
may rule for a delay in publication on the advice of the
4.6.2 If the Director, with advice from
the Project Scientist, deems a project not technically ready for
publication, the Director may rule for a delay in publication.
4.6.3 Anyone who submits for
publication results based on SDSS data prior to public release of that
data, without notifying the Collaboration by ensuring the project is
listed on the Projects List and Publications List may be barred from
further access to SDSS data by the Director, on the advice of the
4.6.4 In the unlikely event of the
protest of these rulings, the issue may be appealed to the Advisory
Council, which will have jurisdiction on the basis of a majority
5. Proposals and Initiatives
5.1 Proposals by ARC As-A-Whole
Proposals submitted by ARC as-a-whole to Federal or philanthropic
sources to secure funds to support the construction, operation or
scientific exploitation of the SDSS require approval by the Board
following a recommendation by the Advisory Council. Such Proposals take
precedence over other SDSS-related Proposals by anyone, and the
Board may take appropriate steps to protect them, with proper
notification to the Collaboration.
Under the leadership of the Director, joint efforts by the
Collaboration to raise funds to support scientific research with the
SDSS data are encouraged. These Collaboration Science Proposals will be
most appropriately used to help fund the Core Program. They will
generally be of a larger scale than can be funded from the typical
Federal grants programs, and will most likely involve either
philanthropic sources or special Federal programs. The Key Project
teams defined in Section 3.2 are expected to assist
the Director in the preparation of Collaboration Science Proposals. The
allocation of the resources generated by these Proposals will be the
responsibility of the Director, with the advice and consent of the
Advisory Council and the Board.
5.2 Other Proposals to Fund Scientific
The following policies, procedures, and guidelines apply to Proposals
by anyone that seeks substantial (more than $30K total) funding for the
primary purpose of supporting research using SDSS data. The purposes of
such strictures are to:
- Protect the scientific integrity of the SDSS;
- Ensure that SDSS data are described in a technically-responsible
- Foster equity and collegiality within the Collaboration;
- Present an organized, rational funding plan to financial sponsors
and the scientific community;
- Effectively manage Proposals that might otherwise compete for the
- Ensure that Proposals do not contain items or describe arrangements
that conflict with the PoO, MOU's, or agreements already in place with
major SDSS funding sources;
- Ensure that the Proposals do not increase the cost of the Primary
Survey to Participating Institutions or require additional fund-raising
by the Collaboration.
5.2.1 A Proposals List shall be
maintained by the Spokesperson in an easily accessible format which
lists, for each Proposal, the title, brief reseach summary, list of team
members, estimated total budget, and final disposition. It is the
responsibility of the PI to provide this information to the
Spokesperson. The first four items must be posted on the Proposals List
at least one month prior to Proposal submission.
5.2.2 Proposing institutions or
individuals are responsible for all incremental costs deriving from the
5.2.3 Proposals submitted by
Participating Institutions shall be carefully vetted by that institution
to ensure that they do not contain items or describe arrangements that
conflict with the PoO, the MOU's, or the agreements already in place
with major SDSS funding sources. The Director will develop a summary of
such sensitive issues and distribute it to the relevant parties at the
5.2.4 Proposals submitted by
non-Participating Institutions will be vetted by the Director for the
purpose described in subsection 5.2.3. To this end, the PI must send a
summary of the Proposal to the Director three weeks in advance of the
deadline for submission. The summary must give the anticipated budget,
describe the overall scope of the proposed work, list any proposed
projects that rely on SDSS data, and detail any implicit or explicit
commitments to use or publish SDSS data or analyses of them. The
submitted Proposal must be consistent with this summary. The Director
may request a copy of the full Proposal for review prior to submission
if he/she deems it necessary.
5.2.5 It is the responsibility of the
members of the Advisory Council to ensure that their Participants and
the relevant institutional officers (e.g. Departmental Chair, Director
of Sponsored Programs, etc.) are informed of the above procedures, as is
implied by that institutions's acceptance of the PoO. This
responsibility falls directly on the individual Participants if they are
not at a Participating Institution. Such Participants are expected to
enlist the advice of other relevant Collaboration members to ensure
compliance with the above strictures.
5.2.6 Persons blatantly or repeatedly
violating these policies may have their status as a Participant and
other eligibility for access to the Science Archive revoked by the
Director. In the unlikely event of an appeal, the issue will be settled
by the Advisory Council on the basis of a majority vote.
5.2.7 The above policies and procedures
apply only to the use of data that has not been released to the
5.3 Initiatives for Extension Beyond the
5.3.1 Initiatives to use or augment the
SDSS hardware, operations, or data for purposes that are not part of the
Primary Survey may be approved by the Director after review by the
Project Scientist to assess scientific merit and then by the Director to
ensure their technical appropriateness and assess their financial
impact. Subsequent review by the Advisory Council and approval by the
Board is required only if the Director determines there may be financial
impact on the Collaboration or potential conflict with existing
institutional arrangements. The proponents will be responsible for any
resulting incremental costs.
5.3.2 The Director will determine any
required modification of the PoO and will prepare a recommendation to
the Advisory Council. The Chair of the Advisory Council will transmit
the Initiative, the Director's recommendation, and the Advisory
Council's own recommendations to the Board if necessary. Approval of
the Initiative may be granted contingent upon the proponents securing
the necessary financial resources.
5.3.3 The SDSS was undertaken on the
premise that all ARC scientists would enjoy direct and indirect benefits
from it. The non-ARC Participating Institutions have also invested
heavily in the SDSS. To that end, evaluation of Initiatives will be
based primarily on scientific merit and technical appropriateness, and
secondarily on institutional affiliation.
5.4 Initiatives for Use of Intellectual
Initiatives to use the intellectual property of the SDSS
Collaboration will be covered by the Intellectual Property Policy of
ARC, Inc., a copy of which is available from the ARC Secretary.
6. The Observatory
6.1 The SDSS facilities will operate on
ARC's Apache Point site and share infrastructure and administrative
staff with the 3.5m telescope, affording both projects the benefits of a
broader skill mix. Shared staff and other common operations support
costs will be apportioned between the projects by mutual agreement of
6.2 The SDSS will provide its own
dedicated observing staff.
6.3 Data from SDSS and 3.5m monitoring
equipment will be available to users of both telescopes.
6.4 The SDSS project has repaid the 3.5m
telescope project a pro rata share of the initial site infrastructure
costs, under a rationale approved by the Board.
6.5 When the SDSS project is completed,
operation and/or disposition of SDSS facilities will be determined by
the Board, with advice from the Advisory Council. Proper consideration
will be given to contributions to the capital value of the assets.