Access & Authorship Policies

In order to discuss Access and Authorship Policies, we first distinguish between two sets of collaboration members:

  • Contributing members: Members that have lead a project and/or have made specific concrete contributions to a project/paper. They should be added to papers according to their contributions.
  • Core members: Caterpillar Core members who initiated the Caterpillar project. They should be invited to join papers in [alphabetical/predetermined/TBD] order.


If any or all Caterpillar data (includes any auxiliary data) is used for your own research, we request that “Contributors” notify “Core members” (or a spokesperson for the Core members) of the goals of the proposed project in advance of any work done (see Getting Access form). This ensures that no two groups will carry out similar/same type of work. We are moderating this process which should be in the best interest of all involved. While we have no intention of veto-ing projects, we reserve the right to respond to project notifications that a given project is already being worked on by someone else and should thus not be undertaken as proposed.


We welcome papers based on Caterpillar data by Contributors! To give credit where credit belongs, at the time data access is given, Contributors must agree to this Caterpillar authorship policy in writing to the Caterpillar spokesperson.

If a Contributor leads a project and produces a paper based on Caterpillar data, it is expected that the Contributor is carrying out this work mainly by themselves (as they would using any other data). Using Caterpillar data does not imply that Caterpillar Core members will automatically provide very significant assistance or other portions to papers by Contributors. Exceptions are if a Core Member is already involved in a Contributor’s project or specific science interest by a Core Member. In those cases, appropriate contributions to the paper can be worked out between the Contributor and the Core Member.

For any project by Contributors or Core members using private data, given their past contributions to producing the Caterpillar data set, all Core members should automatically be offered co-authorship. Near-ready versions of papers must be sent out to all Contributing authors and Core Members for comments before submission/publication, with a 3 week response time. Core members must actively accept being a co-author by communicating with the paper’s first author, and by providing some contribution to the paper via initial ideas and/or contributions to the project, comments on the draft, suggestions for improvement to text/figures etc, or others, within that time frame.

Core members reserve the right to be included as Contributing authors from the beginning, depending on their level of involvement (see above).