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OSSOS Collaborational Agreement

The collaborational agreement below outlines an individual member's commitments to both their OSSOS Topic Team and to the OSSOS project as a whole.


Each OSSOS collaborator is a member of either the Core Team (responsible for data collection and distribution, along with writing the overall 'project progress' papers), or a Topic Team (which works as a group to exploit a particular scientific aspect of the science potential of the OSSOS detections).

Non-core members may be involved in two Topic Teams, while core-team members will participate in at most one Topic Team. NEW: As the Core team ceases data acquisition work in summer 2017, they are permitted (but not required) to join a second Topic Team.

Each Topic Team has a Team Leader who will be the primary contact person with the Core Team, attending monthly OSSOS telecons. NEW: The PI will continue to run OSSOS telecons as needed after summer 2017.

For most OSSOS collaborators, correspondence will be inside the Topics Teams regarding their joint pursuit of the Team's science goals. The Team Leader is responsible for insuring that each member of their team has a clear role and set of responsibilities or tasks in the team. The Core Team's role is defined below, in section C.


A1. Team Membership

I agree to provide my Team Leader with a clear definition of my role within the Team, and thus what I am responsible for working on. (It may be that this work may need to wait until the survey has progressed to a certain level of precision before the OSSOS detections are sufficient to start the science).

A2. Collaboration and Observing Proposals

I will offer to work jointly with any of my Topic Team collaborators on the projects I or we define, most obviously for joint research, but also possibly joint observing proposals and joint analysis of data acquired as a result of OSSOS interactions. I will make the data I obtain elsewhere on OSSOS targets available to the Topic Team members who are jointly working with me. The title and co-Is for an observing proposal should be listed on the Observing Proposals list in the 'Publications and Proposals' section of the OSSOS wiki.

A3. Collaboration and Publications

When I later begin to write a paper as first author, using any information from the OSSOS project, I will inform my Topic Team Leader, as well as the core team (via email to, giving the title and co-author list. I will add the paper to the 'Publications and Proposals' section of the OSSOS wiki.

A4. Additional Research Projects

If I wish to extend the topics I wish to study as OSSOS evolves, I will seek the approval of my current Topic Team leader (and if necessary other Topic Team leaders) before undertaking research that is beyond the role I have previously defined.

A5. Additional Research Projects

My interests may evolve, but I understand that I should first satisfy the current OSSOS responsibilities (which I defined) before adding new ones, as per A4.

A6. Exceptional Objects

I understand that should an 'exceptional' object be found, (defined as an object which the Core Team decides is worth a paper by itself due to being unusual [eg. interstellar comet]) this will result in a first-author paper led by one of the postdocs or students pouring time into the data reduction inside the Core team. It is possible that no such object will be discovered by the survey; Topic Teams whose defined goals overlap with how the object could be exploited will have the opportunity to participate. NEW: As of June 1, 2017 the new object identification is long past and there appear to be no additional 'exceptional objects' that have not already been claimed.

A7. Publication Rules

I agree to all publication rules enumerated below.

A8. Proprietary Data

I will not communicate information regarding the OSSOS detections to anyone outside the OSSOS collaboration (listed on the OSSOS wiki), nor use the OSSOS detections on any work other than the ones I have previously defined in my role on a Topic Team, until the information is available in the MPC or in refereed final publications. Conference presentations at major meetings (thus, not colloquia that I may give) can be exempted from this by getting permission from the Core Team (at least 1 week advance notice required); at that time I will enter the title and details of the conference talk into the 'Conference Proceedings' list of the 'Publications and Proposals' section of the OSSOS wiki.

A9. Disputes

I agree that in case of a dispute not covered in this agreement, a majority vote of the Core Team members will be the dispute resolution mechanism. In a situation where an OSSOS member is viewed as not abiding by these agreements, a majority vote by the Core Team is the mechanism by which OSSOS collaboration membership can be revoked.

A10. Amendment process

This agreement can be modified by majority vote of the Core Team along with majority vote of the Leaders of the active Topic Teams.

Core Team Responsibilities

C1. Programming observations into CFHT Queue

C2. Interacting with CFHT Queued service operations

C3. Downloading and processing survey data

C4. Running detection pipelines

C5. Doing object linkages

C6. Hunting for 'missing' objects in the data (a LOT of work!)

C7. Reporting objects to the Topic teams

C8. Programming a small amount of CFHT time to hunt for 'lost' objects.

C9. Entry of these objects into OSSOS-team's database for distribution.

C10. Dynamical classifiction of objects (using SSBN 2008 algorithm)

C11. Reporting objects to MPC (as defined on the OSSOS wiki page)

C12. Providing an OSSOS Survey Simulator to Teams for modelling purposes

C13. Overview of Topic Team interactions/coordination

C14. Arbiter of disputes on collaborational agreement

C15. Twice-annual reports to CFHT on progress, changes in team membership

C16. A longer Midterm Review report to CFHT in 2015

Topic Team responsibilities

The duty to ensure Team Responsibilities are met falls on the Team Leader

T1. Each Topic Team must supply a clear (and quantitatively-defined) selection criteria by which Topic Teams select the portions of the data set that they work with.

T2. The team should report monthly progress (via Team Leaders, at the monthly OSSOS telecon) if their triggers have been met.

T3. Vetting the 'active collaborator' list for item P1 below.

T4. Encouraging at least one or more Topic Team member, including themselves, to be present at each OSSOS physical team meeting to present a status report to all OSSOS collaboration members. The intent is for one reunion per year; the Oct 2013 DPS meeting in Denver will be first full-day OSSOS meeting with Topic Team results presented. The 2014 meeting was in France. In 2015 and 2016 meetings occurred the day before the DPS meeting. In 2017 the collaboration meeting will be in Belfast in July.

T5. Process for new members: If a new member wishes to join a Topic Team, the new member must provide an outline of the work they propose to do. The Team Leader will distribute the proposal to all Topic Team members and obtain unanimous consent. After then updating the roles portion of the Team's wiki, the proposal will then be forwarded to the Core Team for final approval to join the OSSOS collaboration; the Core Team will only raise an issue if the newly proposed work might be seen to conflict with another Team.

T6. Creation of new Topic Teams is at the discretion of the Core Team. Proposals to do so would be submitted for consideration.

OSSOS Publications Policy

P1. The OSSOS project will publish 'survey progress' papers with the detections to date. All OSSOS Core and Topic

Team members will appear on each year's publication if their Team Leader deems that they have contributed to OSSOS during the operational period since the preceeding progress paper.

P2. The Core Team leaders are not intending to lead-author other publications, and so Bannister, Kavelaars, Gladman, Petit, Gwyn, Chen, Volk, and Alexandersen should be listed on the first topic-team paper based upon newly released data in a given data release. After that, inclusion of each (or any) Core Team member on publications will be at the discretion of each topic team for each paper, depending on how important the paper's authors feel the Core Team's contribution is.

P3. No paper shall be submitted (to a journal or preprint server) without the paper being first sent to the Topic Team members. The lead author must also inform the Core Team of the title and author list at the same time (via email to and the OSSOS wiki's Publication page), but the Core Team has no authority to impede unless the paper is considered to extend into the domain of another Topic Team. The Topic Team members should have at least one week to comment, but cannot demand (unless a mutual agreement is reached) a delay in submission by more than two weeks. It is expected that Topic Team members are in any case aware that a paper is underway (point A3 above). The first author has the right to refuse a proposed collaboration from someone outside their Topic Team, should they choose.

P4. Because of the requirement of progress reporting to the CFHT Science Advisory Council, the progress of all papers based on OSSOS should be communicated to the Core Team (from submitted to accepted to published), via editing the 'Publications' page on the OSSOS wiki.

P5. The first author considering a conference presentation that uses information from OSSOS project should inform all members of their Topic Team and at least 7 days before they submit the abstract, and update the 'Conference Presentations' section of the 'Publications' page on the wiki. After the presentation, all presentations should be linked to the Topic Team's wiki page.