Thursday, October 01, 2015

Towards Sustainable Curation and Preservation: The SEAD Project’s Data Services Approach

Towards Sustainable Curation and Preservation: The SEAD Project’s Data Services Approach. James Myers, et al. IEEE International Conference on eScience. September 3, 2015. [PDF]
  This is a preview of a paper that will be presented at the conference on the Sustainable Environment: Actionable Data (SEAD). It details efforts to develop data management and curation services and to make those services available for active research groups to use. The introduction raises an apparent paradox: researchers face data management challenges yet curation practices that could help are used only after research work is completed (if at all). Adding data and metadata incrementally as the data are produced, the metadata could be used to help organize data during research.

If the system that preserved the data also generated citable persistent identifiers and dynamically updated the project’s web site with those citations, then completing the publication process would be in the best interest of the researcher. The discussions have revolved around two general areas that have been termed Active and Social Curation:
  1. Active Curation: focus primarily on the activities of data producers and curators working during research projects to produce published data collections. 
  2. Social Curation: explores how the  actions of the user community can be leveraged to provide further value. This could involve the ability of research groups to 
    1. publish derived value-added data products, 
    2. notify researchers when revisions or derived products appear, 
    3. monitor the mix of file formats and metadata to help determine migration strategies
SEAD’s initial capabilities are provided by three primary interacting components:
  1. Project Spaces: secure, self-managed storage and toolsto work with data resources
  2. Virtual Archive: a service that manages publication of data collections from Project Spaces to long-term repositories
  3. Researcher Network: personal and organizational profiles that can include literature and data publications.
SEAD has developed the ability to manage, curate, and publish to sustainability science projects data through hosted project spaces. This is a new option for projects that is more powerful than just using a shared file system and that is also more cost effective than a custom project solution.

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