Department of Transportation - ITS DataHub | Public Access

Draft ITS JPO Data Access Center of Excellence Requirements


Table of Contents:


Background and Purpose

The mission of the ITS JPO is to support "the overall advancement of ITS through investments in major research initiatives, exploratory studies and a deployment support program including technology transfer and training." To further this mission, the ITS JPO Data Center of Excellence is committed to providing timely access to public research data to support third-party research, evaluation, and application development in order to maximize the ITS JPO’s investment in ITS research initiatives.

These requirements outline ITS JPO's standards for maximizing access to ITS research data while protecting data integrity, data security, data management best practices, copyright laws, privacy, confidentiality, and confidential business information.

These requirements build upon broader federal and United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) data policies, including but not limited to:


Scope [ Back To Top ]

These requirements apply to all research projects funded, either fully or partially, by the ITS JPO. Any ITS JPO-funded research project, including new awards and modifications and extensions to existing awards, is subject to its requirements. These requirements may be waived by the ITS JPO for research projects that do not involve the collection or creation of any data.


Definitions [ Back To Top ]


Requirements [ Back To Top ]

A. Data Management Plan

Applicants must include a draft Data Management Plan (DMP) in their proposal. The USDOT will use the information in the draft DMP as part of its evaluation criteria for award, and may ask for clarifications or changes from applicants prior to award to ensure the USDOT and/or public receives appropriate data access. The draft DMP must provide a preliminary overview of data that may be collected or created through the project, and include the following:

  1. DATA DESCRIPTION: Address the nature, scope, and scale of the data that will be collected or created. Define data elements within a detailed data dictionary.
  2. ACCESS POLICIES: Describe any access restrictions that may apply to your data.
  3. DATA STORAGE AND RETENTION: Describe where you intend to store your data and why you have chosen that particular option. Different systems may be designated for different types of data (e.g., public, non-public). Also describe how long you intend to retain your data in these systems.
  4. DATA RIGHTS: Describe who will hold the intellectual property rights for your data, and any other legal requirements that might need to be addressed.

Awardees must submit an updated DMP within 60 days after effective date of award and receive ITS JPO approval for the approach described. The updated DMP must include the following:

  1. DATA DESCRIPTION: Address the nature, scope, and scale of the data that will be collected. Define data elements within a detailed data dictionary.
  2. ACCESS POLICIES: Describe any access restrictions that may apply to your data.
  3. DATA STORAGE AND RETENTION: Describe where you intend to store your data and why you have chosen that particular option. Different systems may be designated for different types of data (e.g., public, non-public). Also describe how long you intend to retain your data in these systems.
  4. DATA RIGHTS: Describe who will hold the intellectual property rights for your data, and any other legal requirements that might need to be addressed.
  5. DATA STANDARDS: Describe the anticipated formats that your data will use.
  6. TIMING: Describe when your data will be shared, and how frequently it will be updated.

Awardees must then maintain the DMP throughout the period of performance with more detailed, updated information as it becomes available. At a minimum, the Awardee must update the DMP every six months and any time the Awardee shares a new dataset or changes data standards used. By the end of the project, the DMP must be a complete and accurate record of all data collected or created through the project.
The DMP must demonstrate the project's full compliance with these requirements and all applicable USDOT and federal policies and guidance.


B. Access Requirements[ Back To Top ]

Consistent with federal policy (OPEN Government Data Act), awardees must provide public access to data collected or created through the project unless a specific privacy, confidentiality, security, or other valid restriction is identified. This presumption in favor of openness must be reflected in the research project's DMP. Where valid restrictions to public access exist, awardees must provide controlled access to data that is necessary to achieve core research goals. For example, if the purpose of a project is to evaluate effectiveness of a new technology, the awardee must provide USDOT evaluators access to enough data to support a scientifically-sound evaluation. Furthermore, awardees must make final research results and, where possible, sanitized versions of primary data available to the public.

Final research results must satisfy the reporting and compliance requirements as set forth in the USDOT Public Access Plan, including, but not limited to, the use of Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) numbers, the creation and maintenance of a research project record in the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Research in Progress (RiP) database, and the timely and complete submission of all required publications and associated digital data sets as such terms are defined in the USDOT Public Access Plan. Additional information about how to comply with the requirements can be found at: https://ntl.bts.gov/public-access/how-comply. The ITS JPO will assist awardees in compliance with these broader USDOT requirements.


C. Data Storage and Retention [ Back To Top ]

Awardees must store their data in systems that provide an appropriate level of user access, functionality and data lifecycle management. Awardees must provide access to data for five years or until the data is no longer required for business purposes, whichever is later. This retention period begins when USDOT first receives access to a dataset.

Awardees may use different systems to store different types of data (e.g., public, non-public, primary, derived, streaming, static). The ITS JPO has designated several public and controlled access data systems that awardees can use to meet their data access and retention requirements, including registering metadata in the ITS DataHub. Applicants are encouraged to use these shared resources but can propose alternative systems for storing and providing access to data via their draft DMP and supplemental information. If ITS JPO determines that a proposed system does not provide an appropriate level of user access and functionality and data lifecycle management, the awardee must use the systems designated by the ITS JPO. Wherever possible, these determinations will be made prior to award.


D. Data Rights [ Back To Top ]

Consistent with federal policy (M-13-13), awardees must apply open licenses to data collected or created through the project so there are no restrictions on copying, publishing, distributing, transmitting, adapting, or otherwise using the information. The ITS JPO uses clauses in FAR 52.227-14 to acquire unlimited rights to data for the government, though applicants can claim exemptions and propose limited rights data as described in FAR 52.227-14. Applicants must describe their proposed approach to data rights in their draft DMP, including, where applicable, a detailed rationale for limiting the government's rights to data.


E. Data Standards [ Back To Top ]

Consistent with federal policy (M-13-13), awardees must use standards to promote data interoperability and openness. Where existing standards are insufficient, awardees must describe in their DMP how they will contribute to the development of new standards.


F. Timing [ Back To Top ]

Awardees must provide data in near-real-time, via streaming or batch uploads, throughout the period of data collection or creation. The ITS JPO encourages awardees to provide sample or test datasets early in a project to refine data dissemination processes and formats, and use automated processes to cut down on the time from data generation to dissemination.


G. Metadata and Documentation [ Back To Top ]

Awardees must provide metadata on all data described in their DMP. Awardees can provide additional metadata beyond the common core fields if desired, and reference more detailed documentation. Consistent with federal policy (M-13-13), ITS JPO will provide this metadata to the public via the ITS DataHub and other data catalogs to facilitate data discovery, unless a specific privacy, confidentiality, security, or other valid restriction is identified. Awardees can claim such restrictions when they submit their metadata.

The ITS JPO may request more detailed documentation and data dictionaries where necessary for users to understand and use the data.


Implementation Roles and Responsibilities [ Back To Top ]

There are several key roles for implementing these draft data access requirements. The roles are as follows:


Resources [ Back To Top ]

Information coming soon.

References [ Back To Top ]