UKIDSS Survey Data Policies

UKIDSS Survey Data Policies

I   Data, Transport & Storage

  1. Raw data will be dispatched to CASU for pipeline processing within approximately one week of being taken. 
  2. UKIRT will retain a local tape copy of all raw data. 
  3. JAC staff and (registered) visitors at JAC will obtain WFCAM data for scientific research from the WFCAM science archive at WFAU. 
  4. A copy of the raw data will made available to the ESO archive by CASU. 
  5. UKIRT will maintain a transients pipeline dedicated to producing results on moving and transient sources which require followup on a timescale shorter than will be possible through the science archive. Results from this pipeline will be made immediately world-public.

II   Access

  1. Access to processed UKIDSS data (catalogues and calibrated images) will be through the WFCAM science archive (at WFAU, Edinburgh).
  2. Raw data, where necessary, will be available from the Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit (CASU) and via the ESO archive as appropriate.
  3. In both cases, access will be granted to Registered Users only. 
  4. Processed data products via WFAU and raw data via CASU will be made available to all Registered Users immediately and simultaneously. Except where necessary to verify the quality of data and pipeline reduction, Individuals responsible for pre-processing and releasing the data will not undertake science analysis in advance of release to the science archive.
  5. Access to any data downloaded from WSA, or any local copies of data files that result from the pipeline process, are subject to the same proprietary period and access rules defined elsewhere in the document. 
  6. The first public access (for the unregistered world community) to processed data through WFAU and raw data through CASU will occur 18 months after the data are released to ESO.

Access to Deprecated Data

UKIDSS Quality Control procedures result in some incoming data being “Deprecated” and therefore not included in the UKIDSS source catalogues. Access to these frames is still possible through the flat-file system, so users can do an “archive listing” including deprecated files, and then download individual files. Deprecated detections of course are not propagated into merged sources and so detection tables of deprecated catalogue data cannot be accessed, though flat FITS binary tables are available. 

III   Data Sharing & Publication

  1. Registered Users will not export proprietary data or data products to persons other than Registered Users. Nor will they make the data public in digital form. UKIRT reserves the right to revoke registration from anyone found to have broken this fundamental rule.
  2. Scientific results from analyses of UKIDSS data are the property of the individuals responsible for the analyses and may be published in any form at any time in the usual way. 
  3. All users of UKIDSS data should include an acknowledgement in all publications as follows: This work is based in part on data obtained as part of the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey.
  4. Scientific collaborations that make use of UKIDSS data are encouraged. However, the export of UKIDSS proprietary data to external members of a scientific collaboration is permitted only under certain circumstances, as laid out in section IV. In case of uncertainty, users should seek explicit authorization from the UKIDSS Consortium Principal Investigator (CPI : A.Lawrence).

IV Collaborative Followup

  1. Within the ESO community, UKIDSS data may be freely shared and used to generate telescope time proposals without restriction.
  2. For collaborative followup involving non-ESO scientists, the following guideline should be adhered to: the followup project should result from analysis of UKIDSS data initiated and carried out by ESO scientist(s), and ESO scientists should have substantial involvement in all aspects of the followup project
  3. Some illustrative examples follow:


  • ESO scientist selects a colour-based subsample and decides to write a proposal for spectroscopy using a non-ESO facility. Non-ESO colleagues are invited on board to increase the chances of getting time.
  • ESO scientist receives contact from non-ESO source offering to collaborate on the basis of an unique sample of gamma-ray sources. ESO scientist takes this list and crossmatches with the UKIDSS survey, and the combined list is used to generate a paper and/or collaborative time proposal.

Probably not acceptable (See section VI – Appeals)

  • ESO scientist receives contact from non-ESO source asking for a catalogue to be generated from the UKIDSS survey to be followed up on Keck. Whether this is in fact acceptable depends on the degree of involvement of ESO scientists in the project.

Not acceptable

  • ESO scientist receives contact from non-ESO source offering to collaborate on the basis of an unique sample of gamma-ray sources. ESO scientist sends list of all UKIDSS sources in the relevant region of the sky and cross-matching is done by the non-ESO scientist.

V   Registration

Initial registration will be open to the following:

  1. Professional astronomers, students and postdoctoral staff currently engaged in astronomical research at Universities and Research Institutes in ESO-member countries. 
  2. Current members of the JAC scientific staff.
  3. UKIDSS members from the Japanese astronomical community.

In the medium term, these users will automatically be registered via organisation-based community servers within the AstroGrid infrastructure.

Change of status (e.g. a move out of the ESO countries) will normally result in UKIDSS data access being discontinued.

VI   Appeals

Requests in the following areas will be assessed by the UKIDSS PI, UKIDSS Survey scientist and Associate Director UKIRT. Their decision will be final.

  1. For access by a potential user not fitting the three Registration criteria above.
  2. For continued access following a change of status or location.
  3. For the right to copy data to a non-Registered User.

Some of the above policies are based on their equivalents in the CFHT Legacy Survey.