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Enabling Long-Term Earth Science Research: Changing Data Practices

Full APA Reference

Baker, K. S. (2013, December). Enabling Long-Term Earth Science Research: Changing Data Practices. Presentation at the 46th annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA.

Publication Abstract

Data stewardship plans are shaped by our shared experiences. As a result, community engagement and collaborative activities are central to the stewardship of data. Since modes and mechanisms of engagement have changed, we benefit from asking anew: "Who are the communities?" and "What are the lessons learned?". Data stewardship with its long-term care perspective, is enriched by reflection on community experience. This presentation draws on data management issues and strategies originating from within long-term research communities as well as on recent studies informed by library and information science. Ethnographic case studies that capture project activities and histories are presented as resources for comparative analysis. Agency requirements and funding opportunities are stimulating collaborative endeavors focused on data re-use and archiving. Research groups including earth scientists, information professionals, and data systems designers are recognizing the possibilities for new ways of thinking about data in the digital arena. Together, these groups are re-conceptualizing and reconfiguring for data management and data curation. A differentiation between managing data for local use and production of data for re-use remotely in locations and fields remote from the data origin is just one example of the concepts emerging to facilitate development of data management. While earth scientists as data generators have the responsibility to plan new workflows and documentation practices, data and information specialists have responsibility to promote best practices as well as to facilitate the development of community resources such as controlled vocabularies and data dictionaries. With data-centric activities and changing data practices, the potential for creating dynamic community information environments in conjunction with development of data facilities exists but remains elusive.