Sampling and data sharing strategy

All scientists requesting samples and data from the Bengal Fan expedition 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, Expedition Project Manager, and IODP Curator on shore and curatorial representative in place of the Curator onboard the ship.

Every member of the science party is obligated to carry out scientific research for the expedition and publish it. All scientists interested in obtaining samples/data must submit a detailed research plan at least 3 months before the beginning of the expedition (see Based on sample requests submitted by this deadline and input from the scientific party, the SAC will prepare a tentative sampling plan that will be revised on the ship as dictated by recovery and cruise objectives. The sampling plan will be subject to modification depending on the actual material recovered and collaborations that may evolve between scientists during the expedition. This planning process is necessary to coordinate the research to be conducted and to ensure that the scientific objectives are achieved.

Minimizing the overlap 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 is expected.

The cores will be sampled on the ship for shipboard analyses and—to the extent possible—for samples for individual research projects. Shipboard sampling will be prioritized for acquiring ephemeral data types and obtaining sufficient samples for individual scientists to begin their postcruise research. Because of limited time and information available on the ship, some sampling may be deferred postcruise.

All collected data and samples will be protected by a 1 y moratorium period following the completion of the expedition. During this time, data and samples are available only to the Expedition 354 shipboard party and any approved shore-based participants. Modifications to the sampling plan during the expedition and the moratorium period require the approval of the SAC.

There may be considerable demand for samples from a limited amount of cored material for some critical intervals. Critical 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 and a special sampling plan will be developed to maximize scientific participation and to preserve some material for future studies.

Immediately following the expedition, all Expedition 354 cores will be sent to the IODP Kochi Core Center in Kochi, Japan.