AEKOS implements TERN’s data policy for sensitive ecological data using a number of management approaches.
Our default position is to make ecological data and information freely available for biodiversity research and land management. Most data in AEKOS are integrated site data from government monitoring surveys (almost 100, 000 sites) and TERN’s research monitoring projects such as AusPlots.
In the early stages of the publishing process, TERN records sensitive data as part of data publishing agreements and also identifies the management approach. There are three broad data management approaches for securing sensitive data: (i) masked the sensitive information (0.01, 0.1, 1.0 decimal degrees for locality and/or high level, non-specific taxon names), (ii) make information available but data available only upon request to the authorised data custodians, or (iii) data are embargoed for a maximum of two years and then automatically released.
To ensure data trustworthiness, TERN data reviewers further check for any data sensitivities that may be overlooked during submission.