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 to research scientists, curators, and educators. The document also defines the obligations that sample and data recipients incur. The Sample Allocation Committee (SAC) must approve all requests for core samples and data. The SAC is composed of the Co-Chief Scientists, Expedition Project Manager, and the IODP Curator onshore or curatorial representative on board the ship. The SAC will work with the entire scientific party to formulate a formal expedition-specific sampling plan for shipboard and postexpedition sampling.

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 both a research plan and sample and/or data request using the Sample and Data Request system ( at least three months before the beginning of the expedition. Based on shipboard and shore-based research plans submitted by this deadline, 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. 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 so that our scientific objectives are met and each scientist has the opportunity to contribute.

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. Some redundancy of measurements 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. Substantial collaboration and cooperation are highly encouraged.

Shipboard sampling will be restricted to acquiring ephemeral data types and shipboard measurements, as well as limited low-resolution sampling for personal research at the discretion of the SAC. The data collected will be used to produce an age model that is critical to the overall objectives of the expedition and for planning for higher resolution sampling postcruise. Whole-round samples may be taken for interstitial water measurements, microbiology, and physical property measurements. High-resolution sampling for personal research will be postponed until a shore-based sampling party that will be implemented approximately four months after the end of the expedition at the Kochi Core Center in Kochi, Japan.

If some 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 the highest 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. The SAC can decide at any stage during the expedition or during the moratorium period which recovered intervals should be considered critical.

Following Expedition 355, cores will be delivered to the IODP Kochi Core Center in Kochi, Japan. All collected data and samples will be protected by a one year moratorium period following the completion of the postcruise sampling meeting, during which time data and samples will be available only to the Expedition 355 science party and approved shore-based participants. The SAC must approve modifications to the sampling strategy during the expedition and the one-year postexpedition moratorium period.