Posts for the month of December 2012

PREPARDE at the AGU Fall meeting

The PREPARDE project hosted a town hall meeting at the AGU Fall meeting last week, titled: "TH32F. Publishing Research Data: Peer Review, Data Center Accreditation, and Linking", which was sponsored by ESSI.

The description of the meeting was:

Data publication is an increasingly important mechanism for incentivising the sharing of research data. The PREPARDE (Peer Review for Publication & Accreditation of Research Data in the Earth sciences) is working with academic institutions, learned societies, data centers and commercial publishers to investigate barriers and drivers to data publishing and sharing, peer review, and re-use of geoscientific datasets. This town hall meeting will provide an overview of the project?s progress to date and invite input from anyone interested in developing long-term sustainable policies, processes, incentives and business models for managing and publishing research data. Key project partners, the publishers and Board Members of the Geoscience Data Journal will also be available for informal discussions.

We had an excellent attendance, with an audience of over 60 people, varying from librarians and data managers to scientific researchers and data producers. We had some very interesting discussions after the project team had done their brief presentation (see slides attached to this post) - a lot of which spilled out into the corridor after the allotted hour for the Town Hall meeting had finished!

I got the distinct impression that data publication is of interest to a lot of people. There was some balking at the notion of using data papers as a method for giving credit to the data producers and managers for their hard work (and to a certain extent I agree, but until we can convince the powers that be that datasets are valuable entities in their own right, we're a bit stuck and have to piggyback on existing article publication methods).

Some areas (like the  National Snow and Ice Data Center ) already have their own processes in place to review and publish information about the data held in their archives (an example is  here), which is excellent - and we in no way want to replace these! Instead we want to offer publication options for those subject areas which aren't as well served, or for those data stored in institutional repositories, where data review might not be possible for the repository managers due to the lack of domain knowledge.

We're still at the early stages of writing our guidelines, but it is gratifying to know that what we're doing is of interest to so many people, and to have so many willing volunteers already to act as reviewers!

(p.s. I've also attached the slides I used for my presentation in the session IN22A. Data Stewardship, Citation With Confidence, and Preparing Next Generation of Data Managers, as they too are related to the project)