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This agreement is for the owners of data that will participate in the Arctic Animal Movement Archive (AAMA), a collection of studies that contain animal movement and other animal-borne sensor data from the Arctic and Subarctic. The AAMA and analyses illustrating its use are described in Davidson, et al. (2020). Current information about the AAMA, including funding, use cases and participants, is provided at The AAMA is hosted on the Movebank platform of the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior and managed by Movebank’s curation staff (hereafter “we”).

Objectives: The purpose of the AAMA is to provide a source of on-animal sensor data and expertise from the Arctic and Subarctic and facilitate their participation for beneficial uses, including but not limited to biodiversity and conservation assessments, movement ecology research, remote sensing and environmental models, wildlife management and monitoring, and education and public engagement.

Scope: The AAMA is intended for animal-borne sensor data from animals and populations that occur within the AAMA boundary, which includes marine and terrestrial regions of the Arctic and Subarctic. Data should align with the Movebank data model, which is designed to describe consecutive relocation of individual animals and measurements from other animal-borne sensors. Participating studies may include deployment sites and additional locations and individuals from outside this boundary.

Benefits of participation

By storing your participating data on Movebank, you have access to a variety of other services for managing, sharing, analyzing and archiving your data. Your data are harmonized with billions of other animal-borne sensor measurements and can be more easily discovered and re-used according to your preferred conditions for use. We aim for the AAMA to provide a variety of additional benefits to participating data owners:

  • Your participation will contribute to outreach communicating the urgency of understanding and responding to changes in the Arctic.
  • You will have opportunities to contribute to novel uses of your data, potentially including co-authored publications and the option to actively participate and provide expert input.
  • You will have opportunities to propose new AAMA-based analyses and applications or assess proposals from others.
  • Your work will be made more discoverable through the listing of your participating studies on the AAMA project webpage, which is shared through media outlets, social media, and other publications and partner projects.
  • You may refer to your participation in the AAMA in descriptions of your work, for example in funding proposals, project websites and presentations.
  • You and your data will be included in AAMA curation efforts, including resources to improve the quality of your data and ensure its long-term preservation.

Terms of participation

Participating data do not need to be made public. We strongly encourage data owners to make completed datasets public or to define a future date on which they may be made public. However, given the speed at which change is occurring in the Arctic, the AAMA is designed to support inclusion of controlled-access data for cases in which data that cannot be made public, for example due to conservation concerns, legal restrictions or in-progress research efforts. All participating data owners maintain ownership of and control over access to their data through the Permissions settings in their participating studies. This is intended to facilitate and complement owners’ existing data sharing protocols, while recognizing the importance of ensuring long-term data access for future generations.

All participating data owners, data users, and data are subject to Movebank’s user agreement, general terms of use and privacy policy. Further expectations are described below.

Data owners

Data owners commit to

  • Allowing Movebank’s curation staff to check that data are accurately stored and include sufficient reference data by providing access to their study’s Permissions settings and responding to any related questions;
  • Considering requests for the use of their data for collaborations related to the research, management and conservation of animals in the Arctic, in consultation with co-owners of the data as needed;
  • Maintaining current contact information in their participating studies;
  • Providing additional and alternate contact and ownership information in this agreement (below);
  • Confirming that data were collected in compliance with any relevant ethical or legal requirements (below); and
  • Keeping participating study summaries publicly discoverable on Movebank, and notifying prior to deleting participating studies or data or withdrawing them from the AAMA.


As the host of the AAMA, Movebank commits to

  • Offering participation, data storage and support in organizing data at no cost to data owners;
  • Facilitating Arctic-relevant projects related to the AAMA objectives described above, as feasible; and
  • Consulting with participants to improve the usefulness of the AAMA and for guidance in assessing and communicating proposed projects, as feasible.

Data use

By participating in the AAMA, data owners are not obligated to share data for every proposed use. In the case of public data, potential users will be strongly encouraged to contact owners to discuss proposed uses, required to accept Movebank’s terms of use, and provided with guidance for building collaborations and proper data attribution. In the case of non-public data, data owners will choose whether to participate in a given project, can require institutional data sharing agreements or other organizational protocols, and can share data by providing access to specific users through their study’s Permissions. Co-authorship and attribution will be decided on between data owners and users for each use case.

In order to monitor and describe the AAMA, and to facilitate proposed collaborations and data uses, Movebank may

  • Collect and share summary or aggregate information and visualizations about participating studies. Such illustrations and summaries will not disclose individual species locations or animal identifiers for non-public data. For examples, see the AAMA project webpage and Davidson, et al. (2020) (Figs. 1, S1 and S2 and Tables S1 and S2).
  • Store and use the information provided by data owners in this agreement (below) to communicate with participants, including co-owners and alternate points of contact, and to facilitate attribution of participating data in-large scale assessments.

Please contact curator Sarah Davidson at with questions about the information above. Otherwise, continue to the next page for instructions to prepare your data for participation.

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After reading the Terms of Participation, continue to the next page to learn how to prepare your data.