arrowCIRSS Home arrow Publications arrow Publication Detail

Outcomes of the Data Curation for Geobiology at Yellowstone National Park Workshop

Full APA Reference

Thomer, A., Palmer, C. L., Fouke, B. W., Rodman, A., Choudhury, G. S., Baker, K. S., Asangba, A. E., Wickett, K. M., DiLauro, T., & Varvel, V. E. Jr. (2013, December). Outcomes of the Data Curation for Geobiology at Yellowstone National Park Workshop. Presentation at the 46th annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA.

Publication Abstract

The continuing proliferation of geological and biological data generated at scientifically significant sites (such as hot springs, coral reefs, volcanic fields and other unique, data-rich locales) has created a clear need for the curation and active management of these data. However, there has been little exploration of what these curation processes and policies would entail. To that end, the Site-Based Data Curation (SBDC) project is developing a framework of guidelines and processes for the curation of research data generated at scientifically significant sites. A workshop was held in April 2013 at Yellowstone National Park (YNP) to gather input from scientists and stakeholders. Workshop participants included nine researchers actively conducting geobiology research at YNP, and seven YNP representatives, including permitting staff and information professionals from the YNP research library and archive. Researchers came from a range of research areas -- geology, molecular and microbial biology, ecology, environmental engineering, and science education.Through group discussions, breakout sessions and hands-on activities, we sought to generate policy recommendations and curation guidelines for the collection, representation, sharing and quality control of geobiological datasets. We report on key themes that emerged from workshop discussions, including:- participants’ broad conceptions of the long-term usefulness, reusability and value of data.- the benefits of aggregating site-specific data in general, and geobiological data in particular.- the importance of capturing a dataset’s originating context, and the potential usefulness of photographs as a reliable and easy way of documenting context.- researchers’ and resource managers’ overlapping priorities with regards to "big picture"Â� data collection and management in the long-term. Overall, we found that workshop participants were enthusiastic and optimistic about future collaboration and development of community approaches to data sharing. We hope to continue discussion of geobiology data curation challenges and potential strategies at AGU. Outcomes from the workshop are guiding next steps in the SBDC project, led by investigators at the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship and Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, in collaboration with partners at Johns Hopkins University and YNP.