[Esip-preserve] AGU Position statement on data preservation and a townhall meeting - and IPY Guidelines

Alice Barkstrom alicebarkstrom at verizon.net
Thu Aug 13 08:14:26 EDT 2009

I took a look at the IPY citation guidelines.  On the plus side,
the suggested citation syntax is close enough to what authors
are used to that this increases the probability of adoption.
That, in itself, is probably a strong enough argument to recommend
adoption of these guidelines.

Having said that, there are a couple of concerns:

1.  Could we take a citation in this form and feed it to an IT
interface that would give us back exactly the data that has
been cited?  I'll note that the form of the citation is not in
XML or point to a recognizable URL.  This means that we'd
need some translation software.  Likewise, we need to check
that the fields (like "author" and "data set" and "version")
are actually items in the real metadata design of our

2.  Is the citation specific enough to identify not only
the correct "version" of a collection, but also the subset
of a full "version" that was used?  The concern here is
that a reference to a data set "version" may include a
collection of hundreds of thousands of files, while the
data used in the paper giving the citation might only work with
a handful of the files.

Having noted these concerns, I'll voice the opinion
that the suggestion in the IPY guidelines is highly
likely to improve the probability of adoption by the
users - and that outweighs the two concerns I've
mentioned.  Besides, these two concerns give those
of us in the IT world something useful to work on.

Bruce B.

At 04:37 PM 8/12/2009, Mark A. Parsons wrote:
>Hi ESIP preservationists,
>The AGU position statement on "The Importance of Long-term
>Preservation and Accessibility of Geophysical Data" was approved by
>the AGU Council last spring and is available at 
>Note the last sentence in the fifth paragraph:
>"The scientific community should recognize the professional value of
>such [data production] activities by endorsing the concept of
>publication of data, to be credited and cited like the products of any
>other scientific activity, and encouraging peer-review of such
>Bernard Minster (copied), chair of the panel that wrote the new
>position statement, likes the idea of a townhall meeting, and I
>believe would be willing to coconvene with us. I'm happy to help too.
>The task now is to draft an abstract. I'm willing to take a first
>crack, if y'all agree the topic. I suggest  something like "Research
>publication and data referencing practices to ensure verifiable
>science, sponsored by the AGU Data Panel and the ESIP Preservation and
>Stewardship Cluster"
>Perhaps, Bernard could introduce the position statement. Rob or Ruth
>could speak on ESIP approaches/best practices (including the work on
>identifiers). I could then moderate a discussion.
>Let me know what y'all think?
>Finally, I note that the International Polar Year developed some data
>citation guidelines that may be useful: http://ipydis.org/data/citations.html
>Esip-preserve mailing list
>Esip-preserve at rtpnet.org

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