MMS Data Rights and Rules for Data Use

The terms for distribution and use of the MMS data products are specified in the NASA Heliophysics Science Data Management Policy document1, and are summarized here in terms of the MMS mission. These guidelines govern both the production and distribution of scientific data sets by the MMS program, and also use of the MMS data by the science community and general public, and are summarized below.2 

  • Beginning no later than 6-months after instrument commissioning, MMS instrument teams will generate definitive, scientifically useful data products and deliver to the SOC within 30 days of downlink from each spacecraft. 
  • Users should use QuickLook data plots for event browsing, and not for scientific analysis or publication without express consent of the PI and relevant Lead Co-Investigators. 

  1. MMS-SMART data products are open to all scientists and the public (Users).  
  2. There are no proprietary periods associated with any of the MMS-SMART data products.
  3. Users shall have timely access to the scientifically useful data and analysis tools that are equivalent to the level that the MMS-SMART science working team uses.
  4. Users should contact the MMS-SMART Principal Investigator (PI) and the relevant lead co-investigators of the instrument or modeling group early in an analysis project to consult on the appropriate use of instrument data or model results. 
  5. Users who wish to publish results derived from MMS data should directly involve the MMS-SMART PI and/or Instrument Leads and team members as appropriate in the analysis and to offer co-authorship. Co-authorship may be declined. A starting template for acknowledgements appears below. 
  6. Users should heed the caveats of investigators as to the interpretation and limitations of data or model results. All important caveats should be included in the publication, even if co-authorship is declined. Data and model version numbers should also be specified. 
  7. Users should acknowledge the sources of data used in all publications, presentations, and reports. Appropriate acknowledgement to institutions, personnel, and funding agencies should be given.
  8. Users should provide the MMS-SMART PI and/or instrument Lead CoIs a copy of each manuscript that uses MMS-SMART data upon submission of that manuscript for consideration of publication. Upon publication, the citation should be transmitted to the PI and any other providers of data.
  9. Users should widely distribute, to interested parties, their conference abstracts, presentations, and publications. 
  10. Users should make tools of general utility and/or value-added data products widely available to the community, and to notify the MMS-SMART PI of such utilities or products, having clearly labeled the product as being different from an original MMS-SMART produced data product. 


  1. NASA Heliophysics Science Data Management Policy, version 1.1, April 12, 2009,
  2. NASA MMS Science Data Management Plan: SwRI Document 10160.18-PDMP-01 


MMS Acknowledgement Template

“We are grateful for the dedicated efforts of the entire MMS mission team, including development, science operations, and the Science Data Center at the Univ. of Colorado. We especially benefitted from the efforts of … of ...."

An Example used by the FPI Team:  This research was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) in association with NASA contract NNG04EB99C. Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP) contributions to MMS FPI were supported by Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). We thank the entire MMS team and instrument leads for data access and support. The data presented in this paper are the L2 data of MMS and can be accessed from MMS Science Data Center (

Reminder: Please take care with references

In the excitement of a new data set and the haste for submitting publications, there can sometimes be inadequate attention to our obligation to perform a thorough literature search.  It is important to slow down and carefully consider citations and an appropriately detailed background description before moving to submission. A particular debate is whether citing review or review-like articles is sufficient reference to all that came previously. In many minds that is not the case although others hold a different opinion.   ACTION:  For every publication you are included, please pay increased attention to the background section and throughout to ensure appropriate reference is made to the extensive work done on magnetic reconnection with the Polar, Geotail, Cluster, Wind, and THEMIS missions.



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