Research plan proposals (sample and data requests)

Shipboard and shore-based researchers should refer to the IODP Sample, Data, and Obligations Policy ( This documents the policy for distributing IODP samples and data and defines the obligations that sample and data recipients incur. A primary obligation is that all members of the scientific party must conduct expedition-related scientific research and publish their results by the determined deadline.

Scientists are required to submit their research plans using the Sample/Data Request form available at ~3 months prior to the expedition. Access to data and core samples for specific research purposes during the expedition and the subsequent 1 y moratorium must be approved by the Sample Allocation Committee (SAC). The moratorium for Expedition 318 will extend 12 months from the completion of the expedition or from the completion of a significant postcruise sampling party.

The SAC is composed of the Co-Chief Scientists, Staff Scientist, and IODP curator. Based on research requests (sample and data) submitted, the SAC will work with the scientific party to formulate a formal expedition-specific sampling and data-sharing plan for shipboard and postcruise activities. This plan will be subject to modification depending upon the actual material/data recovered and collaborations that may evolve between scientists before and during the expedition. Modifications to the sampling plan (i.e., new plans, research objectives, new collaborations, etc.), during the expedition and postcruise moratorium require the approval of the SAC.

All sample frequencies and sizes must be justified on a scientific basis and will depend on core recovery, the full spectrum of other requests, and the expedition objectives and priorities. Substantial degrees of collaboration will be required. When submitting their research plans (sample and data request), scientists must clearly document the exact role of any proposed co-investigators.

When critical intervals are recovered, there may be considerable demand for samples from a limited amount of cored material. These intervals may require special handling, a higher sampling density, reduced sample size, or continuous core sampling for a set of particular high-priority research objectives. The SAC may require an additional formal sampling plan before critical intervals are sampled.

Sampling to acquire essential ephemeral data types, to describe and characterize the recovered section, and to achieve essential sample preservation will be conducted during the expedition. Although some sampling for individual scientist's postcruise research may be conducted during the expedition, the majority of sampling may be deferred to a postcruise sampling party.

To ensure that the best quality samples are preserved for postcruise research from proposed Site ADEL-1B, our initial plan is to split and describe on the ship only the cores from the first of the three holes acquired at this site. Splitting of the cores from the other two holes and the majority of their description and characterization will likely be accomplished postcruise after the cores arrive at the IODP Gulf Coast Repository (College Station, Texas USA).