5.3 Data Conservancy: Designing Services for Data Curation Stewardship, and Re-use

Tuesday, 25 January 2011: 2:00 PM
607 (Washington State Convention Center)
Mary Marlino, UCAR, Boulder, CO; and L. Davis, K. Kelly, and P. Romero-Lankao

Through its DataNet program, NSF has articulated a vision in which “science and engineering digital data are routinely deposited in well-documented form, are regularly and easily consulted and analyzed by specialists and non-specialists alike, are openly accessible while suitably protected, and are reliably preserved.” The Program's goals are to provide systematic, long-term preservation, access and analysis capabilities in an environment of rapid technology advances; engage at the frontiers of science and engineering research and education; and serve as part of an interoperable data network spanning national and international boundaries.

The Data Conservancy (DC), one of the first two DataNet-funded programs, is developing data curation services that will support new forms of inquiry and learning to meet grand research challenges through the creation, implementation, and sustained management of an integrated and comprehensive data curation strategy. The complex interactions among the atmosphere, the ocean, the land, the biosphere, and human behavior pose daunting challenges in understanding the causes of observed phenomena such as climate change and its associated impact on biodiversity and urbanization. Enabling scientists from a variety of disciplines to collaborate in discovery and research using a variety of distributed resources requires deep understanding of their research and data practices. The DC is undertaking a user-centered design approach in developing data curation infrastructure and services. DC features a rigorous, rich array of activities that will identify scientific needs and associated requirements to guide development efforts and that can be used to assess the extent to which DC has supported new forms of research and learning.

The DC activities align with many of the recommendations of the AMS Ad Hoc Committee on Data stewardship, in particular, the “fostering of communications between data providers, users, and stakeholders.” This presentation will focus on the methods used to analyze user needs and how DC tools and services will be employed to support data curation and stewardship activities across Earth science and social science domains.

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