This policy defines who may be given access to the ECOCEAN Library and how access may be requested.
The ECOCEAN Whale Shark Photo-identification Library (“ECOCEAN Library”) is privately funded and managed by ECOCEAN USA, a 501c3 non-profit organization in the United States. The ECOCEAN Library provides standardized research software and analytical techniques for the study of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus). Access to the ECOCEAN Library is provided free of charge to individuals or organizations selected according to the criteria of this policy. The number of new accounts that can be provided for the ECOCEAN Library each year is limited by:
- ECOCEAN's available resources to support existing users
- ECOCEAN's available resources for existing whale shark research efforts
Requests for access to the ECOCEAN Library should be sent via email to: webmaster at whaleshark dot org
In the request, please state:
- Your research objectives
- The organization you represent (if appropriate)
- The timeframe of your research
- How ECOCEAN Library tools and data could benefit your research
- How much data you have already collected for your research
- Your qualifications
Requests for access to the ECOCEAN Library are reviewed and voted upon by the Directors of ECOCEAN USA within 60 days. The Management Committee may also request outside assistance in reviewing your application.
The Management Committee weighs these and other criteria when reviewing a request for access:
- Your ability and willingness to contribute new whale shark data
- Your ability and willingness to follow the analytical techniques used in the ECOCEAN Library
- Your ability and willingness to develop new techniques for whale shark research
- Your ability and willingness to develop new science for other fields using whale shark data
- Your ability and willingness to use whale shark data collaboratively
- ECOCEAN's available resources to properly support you
The final decision for a request is made by a majority decision of the ECOCEAN Management Committee. Responses are provided via email. The Management Committee wishes to acknowledge in advance that not all valid requests for access can be approved due to limitations on available resources.
The Directors of ECOCEAN USA may choose to invite appropriate individuals to participate in the ECOCEAN Library without a formal request for access. Invitations for access require a majority decision by the Management Committee and are reviewed in accordance with the criteria defined above.