Young Stellar Object Variability (YSOVAR): Long Timescale Variations in the Mid-Infrared
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We present in this paper the data collection and reduction for the YSOVARYoung Stellar Object VARiability programs, representing nearly 800 hr of Spitzer time studying the variability of young stars in 12 different clusters. We also describe the assembly of broad collections of ancillary data for these clusters. There are approximately 29,000 unique objects of any sort matched to 39,000 3.6 or 4.5 light curves in the YSOVAR data set. The goals of the broader YSOVAR program include to obtain the first extensive mid-infrared time series photometry of young stars to help reveal the structure of the inner disc region of YSOs, provide new constraints on accretion and extinction variability, assess timescales of mid-IR variability from seconds to years, identify new young eclipsing binaries, help identify new very low-mass substylar members of the surveyed clusters, constrain the short- and long-term stability of hot spots of the surfaces of YSOs, and determine rotational periods for objects too embedded for such monitoring in the optical. In this paper, we set the stage for several planned papers.