Home page
Catalogues of our GERB data holdings
Access to GERB data archives
Software and documentation for data products
Contact information for GGSPS staff
Links to GERB related sites
Register to access GGSPS catalogues and data

GERB Data Policy


The aims of the data policy are as follows:

  • To ensure the timely scientific exploitation of GERB data, once these data are judged by the Principal Investigator as fit for that purpose;
  • To ensure that users of the GERB data are kept informed about the appropriate use of the GERB products;
  • To ensure that all released Edition GERB data are adequately validated, and the characteristics well documented;
  • To ensure appropriate exploitation of the GERB near-real time products;
  • To ensure that only scientists closely concerned with, and therefore knowledgeable about, the validation of GERB data should use pre-release GERB data in publications;


Three categories of GERB data are discussed in this document, these are "Edition" GERB products, "Near-real time" ("NRT") GERB products and "pre-release" GERB products. Definitions are given below.

  • Data released to the public from the GERB archive will be labelled as "Edition" data: these will be validated products, with an assessment of quality and documentation to support their pedigree. Data is only considered part of the "Edition" data set if it is both included in the climate archive and bears the name Edition (denoted by "EDnn" in the product filename, e.g. "ED01" for Edition 1).
  • Products available from RMIB that are processed with the same version of the software as released products are considered Near Real Time (NRT) products until they have passed quality assurance and been included in the Edition archive as part of the Edition dataset.
  • All products processed with versions of the software for which there are no corresponding Edition products are considered pre-release GERB data.
  • Edition data may be used for scientific study, but users are required to first read the data quality summary and ensure the data is suitable for their purpose.
  • Near real time (NRT) and pre-release versions of GERB products should be treated as un-validated products provided without assurance of quality or consistency
  • NRT GERB products may be used with caution for scientific studies if no suitable Edition product is available, but the user should bear in mind that their validation is ongoing and they may be of reduced accuracy compared to the Edition GERB products.
  • Pre-release GERB products are not suitable for scientific exploitation and should only be used by GERB science team members and associated scientists in the context of validation studies.
  • Users should refer to the data distribution websites to determine which GERB product versions have corresponding Edition products and can therefore be considered NRT products.

Data Policy

Anyone wishing to use GERB data for any reason should first register for data access. This registration should be made even if data has been obtained from some other source, this will ensure that the use of the data are appropriate and enable the GERB project to keep all users informed of any relevant findings or changes to the data.

To register for access to the released Edition GERB data, users should contact gerb@imperial.ac.uk. For access to the near real time GERB products users should go to https://gerb.oma.be/mailman/listinfo/rolss/.

All GERB data may be used solely for the purpose for which they were supplied. They may not be used by any other projects or researchers unless these have obtained permission to do so by registering for data access. Please note that this applies even for other bona fide academic work.

Data sets must not be passed on to third parties under any circumstances. Any scientist requiring data that happens to have been supplied already to someone else, even within the same institute or program of research, must first register for data access. It is the responsibility of registered users to ensure that any subsequent use of the data downloaded for a specified project is registered.

All publications resulting from the use of any GERB data should clearly state the data product used and reference Harries et al. (2005). It is requested that authors acknowledge the GERB project in their publication and forward electronic copies of papers accepted for publication to the GERB project teams at Imperial and RMIB.

"Edition" GERB data products are released data that have undergone validation. Every attempt will have been made to ensure consistency of processing within a given edition. These data may be used quantitatively for approved scientific studies by scientists who have registered for access to the GERB data. It is the responsibility of users of released Edition GERB data to read the associated quality summary and determine if the products are suitable for the intended studies.

All GERB products not bearing Edition in their name or appearing in the Edition archive are near-real time or pre-release versions of the GERB data. These should be considered un-validated products provided without assurance of quality or consistency. However, once a near-real time product has passed quality assurance and been included as part of the Edition dataset it may be considered as Edition data.

Near-real time products may be used with caution for scientific studies if they are produced with a software version for which there are corresponding "Edition" GERB products. However, the user is advised that the validation of these products is ongoing, and that the quality indicators applied to the Edition products are not necessarily relevant to the near-real time products. Any work using these data should clearly state that 'near real time GERB products which may be of reduced accuracy compared to Edition GERB data' are being used and should note the version number and product type. These data may be presented in conference papers by any registered user of the GERB data if it is made clear that NRT GERB data are used. NRT data should only be included in peer-reviewed publication if the existing Edition data are not adequate for the study, and it must be clearly stated in the publication that near real time GERB data which may be of reduced accuracy compared to Edition GERB products are used. Users are advised to clarify with the GERB project team that their use of the near real time products is appropriate before submitting studies making use of these data for peer review.

All GERB products produced with versions of the software for which there are no Edition products are considered pre-release data. Such data are not approved for quantitative scientific study and are intended only, for example, for instrument monitoring and data validation. These data may be presented by GIST members and collaborating scientists in conference papers but it should be made clear in any presentation referring to these products that pre-release data were used. Studies involving pre-release data products should only be included in peer reviewed papers dealing with their validation, and approval for their inclusion should first be obtained from the GERB Principal Investigator. Such publications should make it clear that the data used were pre-release un-validated versions. Such studies should be carried out in collaboration with the GERB science team and proper acknowledgement should be given to the GERB project.

No warranty is given or implied regarding the suitability of these data for purposes intended by the recipient, and no liability is accepted for any loss, damage, claim, demand, cost or expense directly or indirectly arising from any use, receipt or supply of data under this agreement.

Referencing GERB data

The following paper should be referenced when referring to or using GERB data in publications:

The Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget Project.

Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2005, Volume 86, No. 7, pp 945-960.

Harries, J. E., J. E. Russell, J. A. Hanafin, H. Brindley, J. Futyan, J. Rufus, S. Kellock, G. Matthews, R. Wrigley, A. Last, J. Mueller, R. Mossavati, J. Ashmall, E. Sawyer, D. Parker, M. Caldwell, P. M. Allan, A. Smith, M. J. Bates, B. Coan, B. C. Stewart, D. R. Lepine, L. A. Cornwall, D. R. Corney, M. J. Ricketts, D. Drummond, D. Smart, R. Cutler, S. Dewitte, N. Clerbaux, L. Gonzalez, A. Ipe, C. Bertrand, A. Joukoff, D. Crommelynck, N. Nelms, D. T. Llewellyn-Johnes, G. Butcher, G. L. Smith, Z. P. Szewczyk, P. E. Mlynczak, A. Slingo, R. P. Allan and M. A. Ringer.

GERB project team contacts:

GERB project at Imperial College: gerb@imperial.ac.uk

GERB project at RMIB: gerb@oma.be

Last updated 31st July 2007