Sampling and data sharing strategy

Shipboard and shore-based researchers should refer to the IODP Sample, Data, and Obligations Policy ( This document outlines the policy for distributing IODP samples and data. It also defines the obligations incurred by sample and data recipients. All requests for data and core samples must be approved by the Sample Allocation Committee (SAC). The SAC is composed of the Co-Chief Scientists, Staff Scientist, and the IODP Curator on shore (on board the ship, the curatorial representative serves in place of the Curator).

Every member of the science party is obligated to carry out scientific research for the expedition and publish the results. For this purpose, shipboard and shore-based scientists are expected to submit sample requests (at detailing their science plan 3 months before the beginning of the expedition. Based on sample requests (shore-based and shipboard) and input from the scientific party, the SAC will prepare a tentative sampling plan, which will be revised on the ship as dictated by recovery and cruise objectives. The sampling plan will be subject to modification depending upon the actual material recovered and collaborations that may evolve between scientists during the expedition. Given the specific objectives of Expedition 346, great care will be taken to maximize shared sampling to promote integration of data sets and enhance scientific collaboration among members of the scientific party. This planning process is necessary to coordinate the research to be conducted and to ensure that the scientific objectives are achieved. Modifications to sample requests and access to samples and data during the expedition and the 1 y postexpedition moratorium period require approval of the SAC.

All sampling frequencies and sample sizes must be justified on a scientific basis and will depend on core recovery, the full spectrum of other requests, and the expedition objectives. Some redundancy of measurement is unavoidable, but minimizing the duplication of measurements among the shipboard party and identified shore-based collaborators will be a factor in evaluating sample requests. Success will require collaboration, integration of complementary data sets, and consistent methods of analysis. Substantial collaboration and cooperation are highly encouraged.

Shipboard sampling will be restricted to acquiring ephemeral data types and to limited low-resolution sampling (e.g., for stratigraphic purposes [biostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy, optically stimulated luminescence dating], physical properties, and geochemical and microbiological analyses). Shipboard biostratigraphic and paleomagnetostratigraphic sampling will also be restricted to rapidly produce age models that are critical to the overall objectives of the expedition and to the planning for higher resolution postcruise sampling. In addition, selected postexpedition-related sampling may be conducted during the cruise to minimize the effect of sediment oxidation and dissolution of certain sedimentary components (e.g., carbonate microfossils) caused by oxidation of pyrite in sediment. Additionally, because Quaternary sediments of the Japan Sea frequently alternate organic carbon– and pyrite-rich layers, half-split cores should be vacuum sealed in aluminum-coated plastic-pack and preserved cool until the sampling party.

Sampling for the majority of individual scientist’s personal research will be postponed until a shore-based sampling party implemented between 2 and 4 months after the expedition at the KCC at Kochi University, Kochi, Japan. The KCC repository houses cores from the Pacific Ocean (west of the western boundary of the Pacific plate), the Indian Ocean (north of 60°), Kerguelen Plateau, and the Bering Sea.

The KCC includes an XRF scanner as part of its facilities. Pending further discussion with shipboard and shore-based participants, we will develop an XRF scanning plan, whereby initial low-resolution scanning at the KCC may occur for all recovered material and for a select suite of chemical elements. These data would be considered as part of the data subject to the moratorium policy and be available to all participants. Individual scientists, as part of their sampling request, are encouraged to propose additional XRF scanning, either at the KCC or in their own laboratories.

There may be considerable demand for samples from a limited amount of cored material for some critical intervals at certain sites. Critical intervals may require special handling that includes a higher sampling density, reduced sample size, or continuous core sampling for a set of particular high-priority research objectives. The SAC may require a revision of the approved sampling plan before critical intervals are sampled, and a special sampling plan shall be developed to maximize scientific return and participation and to preserve some material for future studies. The SAC can decide at any stage during the expedition or during the one year moratorium period which recovered intervals should be considered as critical.

All collected data and samples will be protected by a 1 y postcruise moratorium, during which time data and samples are available only to the Expedition 346 science party and approved shore-based participants. This moratorium will extend 1 y following the completion of the postcruise sampling party (note, not 1 y from the end of the time at sea). We anticipate that specific shipboard and shore-based scientific party members may require specific sampling methods. For example, Rhizon sampling may be requested for high-resolution or trace metal clean pore water sampling; for optically stimulated luminescence dating sampling, appropriate storage mechanisms must be employed to minimize exposure to sunlight; and microbiological sampling often requires rapid sample processing. Additionally, as of this point in time, we plan to employ “LL-channel sampling” (Nakagawa et al., 2012; to assist in the generation of high-resolution data sets. Wherever possible, techniques and methodologies such as these (or others not listed here) will be used, and participants are encouraged to specifically identify their needs in their requests.