New platforms and techniques for strengthening ties between observations and user communities


Over the past couple of years research data stewardship platforms and tools have grown substantially. Yet when we say "grown" it may not be quite in the way one might think. Instead of growing larger as a unit, a measurement of growth here is in a systems ability to connect and the perception of relevance and utility of that system to the user communities. In this session we propose to introduce several platforms and initiatives within the research data management realm that exhibit this enhanced capacity to connect with the user on their terms. These platforms are unique in their missions yet they also connect with one another in ways that advance the overall utility for the user.  We would like to get a larger picture of the current work of several of these entities, their common threads, and the specific projects with which they are engaged.

The session will include the following six individuals representing research data platform products that exemplify these qualities. These include:

  • Felimon Gayanilo with WHOI's X-DOMES -  an NSF/EarthCube Project to facilitate manufacturer's support of standard metadata in describing sensors and observations across geo-science domains.
  • Rick Johnson with SHARE -  A higher education initiative to build a free, open, data set about research and scholarly activities across their life cycle.
  • Natalie Meyers with the OSF - A scholarly commons to connect the entire research cycle.
  • Andrew Woods with Fedora - a flexible, modular, open source repository platform with native linked data support
  • Karen Hanson and Sayeed Choudhury with RMap - a project to develop mechanisms to preserve the many-to-many complex relationships among scholarly publications and their underlying data, thereby supporting the continual development of scholarly communication and digital publishing
  • Sayeed Choudhury with the Data Conservancy - building infrastructure for data curation including discovery, sharing, and enhanced preservation

By leveraging the ways these entities work together in the user's favor, this in turn helps to solve the issue of too many disperate and unsustainable singular operations. As Simon Porter (2016) notes, system boundaries are disappearing and in its place emerges a "new research information citizenship" - one based on a network of contributors not confined to one specific system. Looking at these groups we can begin to see this emerging. The platforms and their utilities are of interest to ESIP members on several different levels. They represent some of the latest work in user-centered research data platforms and they also focus on openness, transparency, and ways to foster connections among different stakeholders and data user groups. In turn ESIP provides a unique venue for these platforms to explore new ways to work with the communities most engaged in working with multiple types of earth science data. 

The session will conclude with a discussion of gaps and the path forward.

Science, Digital; Porter, Simon (2016): Digital Science White Paper: A New ‘Research Data Mechanics’. figshare. 16 56, Oct 27, 2016 (GMT)



One speaker will be remote: good A/V requested. 

Boehm, R.; Duerr, R.; New platforms and techniques for strengthening ties between observations and user communities; Winter Meeting 2017. ESIP Commons , October 2016