Illinois Speleological Survey, Inc.
Data Request Process Description

Data Request Committee Report
Data Request Process Description
(based on the Bylaws and Data Request Procedures)
May 2006

To obtain data from the Illinois Speleological Survey (ISS) and determine the appropriate channeling of your request, first consider the nature of your data request.

i) If a data request does not contain sensitive information, (e.g., cannot be used to locate a cave entrance or specific areas within a cave), your request should be sent directly to the Data Custodian.

ii) If the requested data are sensitive (e.g., cave entrance locations/cave maps), a formal request via the data request form should be submitted to the Data Request Committee (DRC).

iii) If the data request is for a substantial quantity of data (e.g., all caves in southern Illinois ), file a formal request via the data request form, which will be referred by the DRC to the Board of Directors for consideration.

If the Data Custodian deems a request via option i) to be sensitive, then the request will be referred to the DRC or the President as appropriate.

The Data Request Committee (DRC) is a three-person committee elected by the Board of Directors. For a data request submitted to the DRC, it will only consider the quantity of data requested, whether the request supports the goals of the ISS, and the history, if any, of the requestor with the ISS. If the DRC does not believe that you have provided sufficient information supporting your request, you may be asked for additional information.

A request for data will only be granted if it receives unanimous approval by the DRC. Upon approval, your request will be forwarded to the Data Custodian who will provide you with the requested data after a signed confidentiality agreement is received by the Data Custodian. If the request is denied by the DRC, you can appeal to the Board of Directors.

Examples of non-sensitive requests include inquiries such as whether the ISS has specific information on a given cave, such as a location or a map; the number of known caves within a given area; whether there is a faunal record for a cave, or the length of a given cave. We encourage such requests for those unfamiliar with ISS holdings prior to a request for sensitive data. Because the DRC does not have direct access to all data holdings, it is quickest to determine whether a request for sensitive data is necessary. Clearly a request for sensitive data not held by the ISS will be unproductive. However, we will attempt to direct you to other data sources if we do not have the data and believe they may exist.

Comments about the data request process or the outcome of a request may be directed to any Board member.

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TPlease email the webmaster with web page comments and corrections. All other correspondence should be addressed to the ISS via the president.
Page created on 28 June 2006.