research center opens for arctic data

Research center opens for Arctic data

A new center for data, research and tools to study the Arctic is opening at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California Santa Barbara.  

The NSF Arctic Data Center is funded by a five-year, $5.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation to a partnership led by NCEAS to provide the Arctic research community with a primary repository for data and research tools, such as software, workflows and provenance information. The multi-institutional archive will be the primary repository for Arctic data preservation and data discovery, taking the place of the Arctic data collection curated by the Advanced Cooperative Arctic Data and Information Service.

The core of the Arctic Data Center is the detailed metadata provided by researchers, which promotes both automated and manual integration of data into new projects. This contextual information helps scientists more easily access, integrate, analyze and share complex data.

The center’s interface will let users search for data from the Arctic collection using filters such as the name of the data creator, year, identifier, taxonomic group, location and keywords. The discovery interface also will provide a map-based overview of the spatial distribution of datasets with zoom features for specific regions and historical data.

To help researchers, the center will provide convenient pathways to document and archive diverse data formats. Authors can upload and share data and metadata from their own computers and assign Digital Object Identifiers so datasets can be referenced by other researchers. Data discovery tools, metadata assessment and editing, data cleansing and integration as well as data management consulting will also be available.

The data center’s platform is built on an open-source search application developed at NCEAS and used by multiple repositories and networks.  Other uses of that application include NCEAS’ Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity Data Repository, the DataONE distributed framework for Earth science and the Gulf of Alaska Data Portal.

Data management and open science training programs for Arctic researchers will be available in the first year of the program. Registration information can be found at the NSF Arctic Data Center website.

About the Author

Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.

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