[seek-dev] Re: [kepler-dev] Query Builder Code Review

Matt Jones jones at nceas.ucsb.edu
Mon Aug 16 09:00:22 PDT 2004

Bertram Ludaescher wrote:
>>>>>>"FV" == Ferdinando Villa <ferdinando.villa at uvm.edu> writes:
> no, I wasn't talking about ecology here, but rather other biology
> domains, where experiments become "data experiments".
> BTW: I didn't mean to diminish their results either -- quite to the
> contrary! The beauty of those "e-publications" with "attached data" is 
> that they are more easily reproduciable/inspectable/usable etc.   
> So getting rid of the paper versions for those special journals would
> be a good thing. The scientific accomplishment is the result found,
> not whether it is put on paper or not.. (sorry, I guess I'm jumping
> ahead here in time ;-)

In the environmental sciences I think data grows in value as time 
passes.  The majority of papers in ecology and environmental science 
address the details of some system, but may not be viewed as seminal in 
say 50 or 100 years.  However, we have made such profound changes to our 
environment over the last hundred years, and have no real data to show 
exactly what has changed or how those changes affect our lives today. 
In the next 100 years, I think that published data will continually grow 
in value as it is re-usable for many new types of analyses, and so in 50 
or 100 years the data from a study may be seen as far more worthwhile to 
preserve than the paper that was produced.

> FV> of friends, being in most cases highly inappropriate and not reflective of
> FV> the sophistication of analysis and high generalization that ecology has
> FV> historically been striving for.
> FV> 
> FV> This said, maybe SEEK-related efforts should be more active in shaping
> FV> the incentive structure for data sharing and promoting peer review of
> FV> data so that they can count as publications. We're trying to do what we
> exactly. btw: I'm not sure SEEK would be the right vehicle, but it
> could certainly provide good examples of "quality data/results"

Our outreach efforts for the KNB include engaging the Ecological Society 
of America (publisher of 4 top ecology journals) to adopt more robust 
approaches to data sharing and to data publication.  We are currently 
working on a data registry for ESA that we hope will evolve into an 
online data repository that can be used by the journal Ecological 
Archives as its backend infrastructure for peer review.  But to truly 
address this issue requires going far beyond one or a few societies, and 
rather hits at the heart of the incentive process: promotion and tenure. 
  How to convince hundreds of independent university promotion 
committees that data publication is worthwhile is not clear. However, I 
think that our idea of 'published' analytical results via workflows that 
can be exchanged and critiqued is a good start to formalizing the 
process of publishing both data and analyses.

> FV> can with our database efforts, where an editorial board releases
> FV> certifications of data quality, and there's an effort called "open
> FV> research" led by a bunch of colleagues that tries to address the issue
> FV> with reference to the principles of open source software development.
> FV> Maybe that's something we should address, too.

Maybe so.


Matt Jones                                     jones at nceas.ucsb.edu
http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/    Fax: 425-920-2439    Ph: 907-789-0496
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)
University of California Santa Barbara
Interested in ecological informatics? http://www.ecoinformatics.org

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