Data usage guidelines

Revised 2018 Osctober 02

COBS is an international archive of comet observations, hosted at Crni Vrh observatory. The database was launched in 2010 and is used by a number of national comet associations/sections for reporting, archiving and distributing comet observations.

The COBS Comet Observation Database is a collection of comet observations made primarily by the amateur astronomical community, and includes data from observers affiliated with other astronomy organizations that share and archive data with us. Data are accessible through the COBS Analysis page.

The COBS Comet Observation Database is the product of the ongoing efforts and expertise of the volunteer observers who contribute the data and the COBS technical staff who prepare and maintain the database. Please respect their and our work by using these data in accordance with these policies.

Observations are stored in standard ICQ format. New ICQ-style codes for observers, instruments, CCD cameras, telescopes and star catalogs are created as needed by the COBS team. In 2015, upload of historic observations from the ICQ data archive to COBS was completed.

Database statistics may be found on the Statistics page. Observers may receive a monthly e-mail report with observation statistics made by observes of their assigned comet association by ticking the appropriate box in the personal profile.

Since 2017 magnitude estimates of selected non-comets may be uploaded to COBS. Contact the COBS administrator if you wish to add observations of minor bodies with suspected cometary activity. We recommend that CCD light curve photometry of minor bodies are uploaded to Brian D. Warner's Light Curve Database (LCDB; using the ALCDEF format which supports higher photometric and temporal precision than the ICQ format.

Data usage license:

This data and work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License

All data, images and other material are freely available to the community and can be used under the following conditions:

1) Attribution
You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. The source of the data, image should be duly credited (Examples: “Credit: COBS Comet Observation Database – CC BY-NA-SA 4.0”).You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

2) NonCommercial
You may not use the material for commercial purposes.

3) ShareAlike
If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

4) Additionaly:

a) For publication in all AAS Journal Publications:
Please use the AAS facilities keyword "COBS" in your AAS journal publications.

b) Acknowledgement for data correlation/reference:
If COBS data are used for correlation with other types of data, or as reference material, we appeal that you use the following acknowledgement or one similar to it:

"We acknowledge with thanks the comet observations from the COBS Comet Observation Database contributed by observers worldwide and used in this research."

c) Direct use of data:
When unpublished COBS data are specifically referred to in the text, they should be referenced in the following manner (using appropriate format):

2018, Observations from the COBS International Database,

d) Coauthorship for key observers:
If one or more observers provide data that are critical to the outcome of your research, we strongly encourage you to offer co-authorship to those observers in papers resulting from that research. COBS staff may assist in making contact with observers whose data are used in your research.

Handling of data under GDPR

Revised 2018 May 25

The new data protection regulation (GDPR) applies from May 25, 2018. It gives you as a member of the COBS an improved protection in handling personal data.

Here we make it clear how COBS manages and uses the personal information about you.

Use of personal data

COBS processes and saves only personal information that is necessary for the business and communication with you as a member.

COBS uses your personal information for the following purposes:

  • send you information emails about your observations (if you apply to digest emails)
  • save your preferences to personalize functionality on the web page which is available after login.

We only save the information that is required according to the above. We never share your information with other organizations.

Your rights

As a member you have the right to:

  • get access to your information
  • correct your information
  • delete your data
  • be forgotten

You can view your personal information in your profile.

Only persons responsible for observer registration and distribution of information have access to the data.

Contact the COBS staff if you have questions or want to change your information.