Deposit Policies

Who Can Deposit: The AMRDC accepts data from a wide variety of sources within the meteorological research and academic communities. While we primarily collect data from established partners, we can accept unsolicited submissions on a case-by-case basis.

Submission Process: If you have a project that you would like to contribute to the AMRDC Data Repository, please contact us to discuss the scope and format of your data. Once we have approved your submission, we will create a repository account for your project, which will allow you to create records and upload your data. All records are subject to final approval by the AMRDC Repository project lead. Upon approval, we will generate a unique DOI and publish the records on the web for public use.

File Formats: The AMRDC Repository can accept almost any self-contained file format; however, it is preferred and suggested that the files be a standard, open-access, non-proprietary format.

Type of data
Preferred format
Tabular data records Comma-separated tables (.csv or .txt)
ASCII plain text tab-separated tables (.txt)
Multidimensional arrays, non-tabular data records NetCDF-CF files (.nc)
Metadata records Extensible Markup Language (.xml)
Plain text (.txt)
Spatial and geographic data McIDAS AREA (.area)
Geo-Referenced TIFF (.tiff)
Video MPEG-4 (.mp4)
Images TIFF (.tiff or .tif)
JPEG (.jpg)
Portable Network Graphics (.png)
Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg)
Audio WAVE (.wav)
FLAC (.flac)
MPEG-3 (.mp3)
Compressed archives ZIP

File Naming: The following issues commonly cause problems when downloading files, using files with certain programming languages or software, and working with files in command line. These common issues with file naming can cause files to become corrupted when downloaded from a repository or make them impossible to upload in the first place. By following these guidelines, your files will be ready for deposit and eventual access:

  • Avoid long file names, typically under 35 characters
  • Avoid using special characters in file names, which can cause files to become corrupted or unable to be opened: ! @ # $ % ^ & * , ( ) ‘ { } [ ] < > / ? “ ‘
  • File names should not include spaces. Instead of spaces, use: Underscores:; Dashes:; No separation:; Camel case:

Include documentation about your data with any files that you are submitting to describe any processes or practices for cleaning, analyzing, and otherwise working with your data so that it can be easily understood by others who wish to access it.

README: READMEs should be in a plain text file and include the following:

  • Names and contact information for the people associated with a project
  • Funding sources or institutional support
  • A list of files and folders, description of their contents, and how to use the files
  • Everything uploaded to the Repository should be accounted for in the manifest/list
  • Processes, analyses, or other important information about using the data
  • Any limitations of the data or the project
  • Copyright and licensing information
  • Citations for the dataset and any associated outputs, such as articles and conference presentations.

We recommend the Cornell University guidelines on README files, which include a general use template.

Data dictionary: Most commonly used for tabular data or when creating a database. A data dictionary should include field or attribute names, variable names and descriptions, and information about the data type for each variable or attribute. One helpful resource for creating a data dictionary is the Open Science Framework (OSF)’s How to Create a Data Dictionary.

Codebook: Provide key information about code, scripts, or commands being applied for analysis.

Metadata file: The AMRDC Repository automatically generates XML and JSON metadata files using the information contained in the dataset catalog record. This metadata file can be accessed by appending .xml or .jsonld to the dataset URL, e.g.: or Submissions are welcome to include an additional metadata file in any standardized format.

In order for the AMRDC Repository to reproduce, translate, and globally distribute your materials, you must agree to the terms of our standard non-exclusive distribution license. It asks you to verify that you hold the rights to the work (or have secured the appropriate permission from the rights holder). It is important that you understand your intellectual property rights, UW policy, and your publishing agreements when depositing to the AMRDC Repository, or any other open access repository. Think through the appropriate information to include in the metadata fields during deposit and make sure to include all authors, publishers, and identifiers. If you have previously published your materials, check your publishing agreement and review its terms.

Open access policy: Items deposited in the AMRDC Repository are made publicly available for immediate download. Deposited items should not contain any sensitive, restricted, or personally identifiable information.

Preservation Policy: the AMRDC Repository is committed to providing curation and long-term preservation to the items ingested into the collections it houses. Following best practices for curation and preservation, the UW-Madison Libraries and the AMRDC Repository staff use digital curation and digital preservation strategies that adapt to changes in standards, expectations, and technologies. We are able to preserve content submitted to the AMRDC Repository as it is submitted, but we currently do not offer migration or normalization services for files submitted tothe AMRDC Repository. For more information on selecting files that are suitable for preservation, refer to the table of recommended file formats.

Deposit Licenses: During deposit, users can select an appropriate license for their content at the collection or item level. Licenses define how others may interact with, reuse, modify, or redistribute your work. Creative Commons licenses allow the creator/author to give blanket permissions to end-users for certain uses of their creative works under certain conditions, without relinquishing their rights over the same work. These licenses are excellent for teachers and scholars, who can allow other teachers and scholars to reuse their work in limited and explicit ways without having to seek copyright permissions every time.
Creative Commons licenses are a stacking license with CC0 being the most permissive (retaining no rights) to CC-BY-NC-ND being the most restrictive. You can learn more and select a license here: The Creative Commons 0 license (CC0) is commonly used among scientists, artists, and educators who wish to waive copyright and database protection from their works, therefore dedicating their works to the public domain for others to reuse. You should only apply CC0 to your own work.

Data: For scientific or factual data, many researchers choose to apply a Creative Commons 0 license, so that the data is distributed freely. For data that may have copyrightable aspects or be considered creative works, there are varying levels of Creative Commons licenses that could be applied, see above.

Software or code: There are multiple choices. Creators will want to select a license they are comfortable with the permissions of from licenses such as the GNU licenses, MIT license, or Apache licenses.

Withdrawal Policy: The AMRDC Repository’s primary goal is to preserve its contents indefinitely, so under most circumstances, content should not be withdrawn from the AMRDC Repository. The AMRDC Repository is not meant for ephemeral content, or content that is in progress, so all deposits should be in their final formats.