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How Workflow Documentation Facilitates Curation Planning

Full APA Reference

Thomer, A. K., Wickett, K., Baker, K. S., DiLauro, T., & Asangba, A. E. (2013, December). How Workflow Documentation Facilitates Curation Planning. Poster presented at the 46th annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA.

Publication Abstract

The description of the specific processes and artifacts that led to the creation of a data product provide a detailed picture of data provenance in the form of a workflow. The Site-Based Data Curation project, hosted by the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship at the University of Illinois, has been investigating how workflows can be used in developing curation processes and policies that move curation upstream in the research process. The team has documented an individual workflow for geobiology data collected during a single field trip to Yellowstone National Park. This specific workflow suggests a generalized three-part process for field data collection that comprises three distinct elements: a Planning Stage, a Fieldwork Stage, and a Processing and Analysis Stage. Beyond supplying an account of data provenance, the workflow has allowed the team to identify 1) points of intervention for curation processes and 2) data products that are likely candidates for sharing or deposit. Although these objects may be viewed by individual researchers as "intermediate"Â data products, discussions with geobiology researchers have suggested that with appropriate packaging and description they may serve as valuable observational data for other researchers. Curation interventions may include the introduction of regularized data formats during the planning process, data description procedures, the identification and use of established controlled vocabularies, and data quality and validation procedures.We propose a poster that shows the individual workflow and our generalization into a three-stage process. We plan to discuss with attendees how well the three-stage view applies to other types of field-based research, likely points of intervention, and what kinds of interventions are appropriate and feasible in the example workflow.