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Contributing Data

500 Frequent Contributors

You can contribute your data to the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology and NOAA will permanently archive it. Contributing your data will allow you to satisfy obligations to publishers and funding agencies, make your data freely and permanently available without restrictions, have your data discovered and used by colleagues and others, and increase the citation rate of your associated articles.

Evolving Standards and Expectations

Amidst a revolution in informatics, our goal is to help meet the evolving standards and expectations for archiving your data, while still achieving your data management plan. We are committed to documenting your data thoroughly so that it can be discovered and used by others, ensuring scientists are properly credited for data sharing, preserving and stewarding your data, and maximizing the value of your data in climate change science.

Instructions for Contributing Data

Data contributions should consist of one or more data tables including a chronology table, if available, as well as raw data and reconstructions. Additionally, metadata, or data about the data, should be placed either at the top of the data file or included as a separate file. Contact us at when preparing contributions with more than 10 sites, which can be supplied as matrices containing site and other information.

Please contact us at either 1 (303) 497-6280 or for any questions or further assistance.

General Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the descriptive metadata and save it as a file. Insert your information into one of the general templates below.

Step 2: Prepare the data files. Depth in the first column and assigned age in the second column is preferred for stratigraphic data. For each column, a row should be placed at the top of the file containing the attributes of the column. Attributes for each column are “shortname-tab” plus nine components: what, material, error, units, seasonality, archive, detail, method, and C or N for Character or Numeric data.

Step 3: Contribute your data and metadata files as email attachments to Please contact us to contribute unusually large or a high number of files that cannot be emailed.

Step 4: You will receive a link to your online data. Please review it and contact us with any corrections or additions.

Instructions for Raw Data

We welcome contributions of raw proxy data records as well as any computer code or other algorithmic information used in paleoclimatology reconstructions derived from proxy data.

To aid you in the process of contributing raw data, we have created several template formats to help you fill out relevant metadata information and provide the data along with precise definitions of any variables that were measured or reconstructed. We ask that you please check for the most recent version of the templates prior to submission.

Access Templates for Raw Data Contribution

For code submissions, please include a “read-me” file that explains the environment needed to run the code, how the code can be run, and any additional requirements to build the code if necessary. Data submissions consisting of many files can be “zipped” or “tarred” for convenience of emailing, but the contributed data should not contain zip or tar archives.

Instructions for Chronology Tables

Chronology refers to the ages assigned to a stratigraphic section or other paleoclimatology sample, and chronology tables often consist of these ages combined with measured depths. Please provide chronology tables and the preferred age assignments for all samples in your data contribution.

When providing a chronology table, please provide sufficient information so that the ages can be recalibrated, uncertainty of the age determinations can be assessed, and new age models can be constructed.

See this sample chronology table for radiocarbon measurements. Depth should be listed in the first column, and where appropriate, depth ranges should be provided in adjacent columns. Please also provide raw and calibrated ages as well as raw and calibrated uncertainty. To reduce conversion errors, use original units such as “years” or “thousands of years.”

For other age measurements such as Lead-210 and Uranium series, journal articles provide examples of commonly used table structures and variables to include. Ages determined from multiple sources are often combined in a single table, for example a table can combine ages such as a coretop age estimate of zero, a stratigraphic correlation tie-point, and radiocarbon ages on subsequent rows in a single table.

Rules for Excel Tables

Please send our Excel contribution template, or any other Excel file, as an email attachment to  Excel data files may be accepted if an export to .csv or .prn files would preserve all attributes of the data, including significant digits and notes. Format columns to reflect both the data type and the significant digits. Do not use formulas. Do not use color or fonts to identify attributes of the data.

Example Data and Metadata Files

Please send completed contribution templates as email attachments to