Terms and Conditions for VALUE Validation Portal


The VALUE validation framework (VF) and portal (VP) have been developed in the EU COST Action VALUE (ES1102) to provide a systematic and standardised validation for different downscaling models. It is open to all groups working on downscaling, a VALUE membership is not a requirement. By using the VP users agree to the terms and conditions specified in this document.

The central idea of the VP is to use subsets of the same predictand datasets for all downscaling models and to apply a set of common validation measures calculated (where applicable) in a cross-validation set-up. The predictors can be freely chosen, but the VP managing group will exclude downscaling models that use predictors that cannot be used in an actual climate change application, such as simple functions of the predictand. All the data needed for the validation experiments (including the predictands and a subset of commonly used predictors) can be downloaded from the VALUE data page.  


Logging and version control 

Each uploaded downscaled dataset will be logged. The logs are visible to the user and the VP managing group.

For each defined downscaling model, a contributor is free to decide whether a new version number should be assigned, or whether a new model is defined. The version counting will not be affected by changing from private to public mode. Validation results based on an old downscaling model version will automatically link to the validation results based on the most recent downscaling version.

Modes and ownership of downscaled data and validation results

The VP can be used in a private mode to use its functionality for own research, in a VALUE mode where the downscaled data and the validation data are visible only to the provider and to VALUE members, and in a public mode, where the downscaled data and validation results will be published for the whole scientific community and general public.

The user accepts the following statement:

To aid participating groups in understanding and improving upon their models’ behaviours, I will provide a contact e-mail address and respond to reasonable requests for information about my downscaling model (e.g., reporting model deficiencies, publications, etc.) from users who have access to the corresponding data sets (VALUE members in VALUE mode, whole community in public mode).


Private mode

The uploaded downscaled data (i.e. time series) and the validation results will only be visible to the user uploading the downscaled data. 


VALUE mode

The user accepts the following statement:

The downscaled data that I have uploaded and the associated validation results will be exclusively accessible to all VALUE members and to me.

Public mode

Providers can choose to publish validation results and validation data separately. Validation results are published under the liberal Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0) so it can be used with no restrictions apart from giving appropriate credit (specified below), providing a link to the license, and indicating if changes were made. Note that, under this license, authors retain the copyright to their work. 

Downscaled data can be published separately. The data can be downloaded freely, but may not be redistributed without permission of the data provider.  Derived products (that do not allow for an easy reconstruction of the original dataset) such as further analyses can be published and distributed with no restrictions, also for commercial use, as long as appropriate credit is given (specified below). All data that are used in the core scientific publications of the VALUE results have to be published.


Retraction of downscaled datasets and validation results

Downscaled datasets published in public mode cannot be withdrawn by the user. However, in case of substantial errors in the downscaling models, published downscaled data and validation results can be retracted by the VP managing group on request. These data and results will remain online for transparency reasons, but clearly marked as "RETRACTED". 


Terms for all users

Each user of accepts the following statements:


I will hold no individual(s), organization(s), or group(s) responsible for any errors in the downscaling models, the output data, or the validation results. It is entirely the responsibility of the providers of downscaled datasets to ensure that permission has been obtained to distribute the data freely. The VP managing group will take no responsibility for ensuring that such permission exists or for any errors or omissions in the data supplied.


I will not distribute or publish any work based on data or validation results provided in the VALUE mode without the consent of the corresponding provider. 



In publications that rely on the VALUE VP output, I will appropriately credit the data providers by i.) a statement similar to the following: We acknowledge the VALUE COST action Validation Portal, the providers of the predictand data (weblink) and the groups that provided their downscaling results to the VP as specified in the corresponding meta data; ii.) citing the reference publication given on the VP for each dataset that is used in my study (if such a reference is provided); and iii.) citing Maraun et al. 2014, ‘VALUE- a framework to validate downscaling approached for climate change studies’, Earth's Future, DOI: 10.1002/2014EF000259.


I declare that in the production of the downscaled data for the VP and in the use of downscaled data and validation results from the VP I have followed and will follow the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity.


Metadata and validation measures

For each uploaded dataset the user has to provide the full set of metadata as specified on the VP.

The validation measures evaluated will depend on the method. Measures that are not appropriate for a method will not be calculated. The selection of validation measures will depend on the metadata provided. Users will be informed about changes in the validation procedure. The user has the opportunity to give further information on the downscaling model, including comments on the appropriateness of specific measures in a comment section.


Misconduct, removal of data and blocking of accounts

The VP managing group reserves the right to remove uploaded data and/or block accounts of users that jeopardise the functionality of the VP. A warning and the opportunity to explain the situation will be given to such users before action is taken.


The VP managing group will elect an ombudsperson amongst its members. Under suspicion of scientific misconduct, the ombudsperson will commission three independent reviewers to decide whether scientific misconduct exists. In the latter case, the VP managing group reserves the right to remove uploaded data and/or block accounts of the corresponding users.



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