Critical Zone Data and Research Products

The CZ Hub Team is currently developing the CZNet Coordinating Hub to meet the needs of the CZ Collaborative Network. The Data Submission Portal will provide guidance regarding which data repositories into which products should be deposited and will also provide functionality that allows submission of data to the appropriate repository through the Portal. Once the Portal is operational, we recommend that all data and research products be submitted to the appropriate repository through the Portal. While the Portal is under development, we provide the following interim guidance for submitting data.

The EarthChem Library welcomes Critical Zone Research products and data submissions which focus primarily on geochemical, geochronological, and petrological data. These data can be derived from material samples such as soil, sediment, pore water, or rock specimens; cores; and other physical objects

General Guidance for all Data and Research Products to be Submitted

We offer the following general guidelines for submitting your data and other research products:


  1. Start assembling your data now: We recommend that you begin thinking about which products you will produce and assembling your datasets and other research products within one of the above repositories. You need not wait until your data are ready for formal publication. The EarthChem Library offers the ability to upload private content for up to two years, allowing you to capture and store your data safely while your research and publication process is ongoing. Then share and publish when you are ready. Register your samples online in SESAR.


  1. Tag your data with appropriate metadata: Use the repository’s submission form to enter descriptive metadata for your products. Metadata should include information needed to discover and cite your products, but also additional information required to interpret your content (e.g., procedures used to collect or analyze samples or observations). 


  1. Use common, open, and accepted data formats: We know that the data you are creating are diverse and that there is not always specific guidance for how to organize your data and which file formats to use. We have provided some links to general data management resources in the section at the end of this document. If you have questions about what to do, please contact us.

Include a “readme” file: A readme file can include detailed information about the structure or content of your data or research product. It can also be used to describe how to perform specific analyses to make your research results more reproducible.

EarthChem Library Submission Guidance

While EarthChem does have strongly recommended data submission templates, data can be contributed to the EarthChem Library in any format, but needs to be documented with relevant information regarding the analytical data quality.

Please review the Submission Guidelines and Policies before submitting your dataset. 

Specific Guidance for CZNet Data and Research Products

The CZ Hub Team will be working to provide a coordinated view of all CZNet data/research products submitted to a reputable data repository via cataloging and data discovery functionality. To accomplish this, we ask that you do the following, regardless of which repository you deposit your data in:

  1. Tag your dataset/product with a subject keyword of “CZNet”
  2.  If appropriate, tag your dataset/product with a subject keyword pertaining to your Collaboration Theme.
  3. Ensure that you enter funding agency information, including Funder (National Science Foundation), award number, and, if possible, award title.
  4. Make sure that your dataset is publicly available by leaving the release date blank. We will not be able to discover and catalog your datasets/products until you have made them publicly available.


We will be using this information to find and catalog resources submitted to the different repositories. If it is missing, we may not be able to find your submitted resource and include it in the CZNet metadata index and discovery tools. 


NOTE: When complete, the Data Submission Portal will require this information for all submitted datasets. However, we know that some may choose to submit directly to a repository without using the Data Submission Portal, so it is important to specify this information regardless of how or when you submit your data.

Linking Datasets with Publications

We strongly recommend creating formal linkages between the datasets you have deposited within the above mentioned repositories and any manuscripts that you submit for publication that use or are based on the data. This ensures that anyone who discovers the paper can link to and access the data used and anyone who discovers the data can link to and access publications that have used the data.


After depositing your datasets within one of the above repositories we recommend formally citing the data within any research manuscripts based on the data that you submit for publication. Recommendations in the Author Guide for the journal to which you submit may determine how datasets are cited in the text of the paper. In the absence of specific instructions from the journal, we recommend citing data within the text of the paper using the journal’s citation style (e.g., Author(s), Year) and including a full bibliographic citation to the dataset within the references section of the paper.

Once a paper has been accepted for publication and a digital object identifier (DOI) or citation has been issued for the the paper, you should modify the metadata for the dataset in the repository to include a link to the paper as a “related resource.”  

Collaboration Themes

Vegetation & Related Processes
CT-ARoot zone
Carbon loss/exchange from ecosystems
CT-CVegetation and remote sensing
Eddy covariance measurements
Reactive Transport
CT-GCoupled biogeochemical cycles (C,N,P, etc.)
CT-Hconcentration-discharge relationships
CT-IRedox and CO2 in soils
CT-JSoil and dissolved organic matter
Watershed Structure and function
CT-KCatchment hydrology
Snowpack Dynamics
Fracture/Stress/GW flow
Regolith / porosity / Deep CZ structure
Sediment source to sink dynamics
CZ Methods
Dust collection
Geophysics in the CZ
Drilling and core analysis
Data, Modeling & Complex Systems
Modeling (broadly interpreted)
Complex system analysis
Atmospheric transport modeling
Data Analytics, Processing & QA/QC Tools
Education & Outreach
Education, Outreach, Diversity*** more categories below
Collaboration with HBCUs
Secondary teacher education
Place based education (undergraduate)
Citizen Science