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Scientific advancement increasingly relies on large and complicated databases and models to thrive. Earth and space scientists, in particular, often grapple with complex systems to help society manage the threats of natural hazards and climate change. The scientific community faces many challenges to preserve often nonreproducible data and to catalog and store them in ways that are searchable and understandable.

To address these challenges, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation has awarded a grant to a coalition of scientific groups, convened by the American Geophysical Union (AGU), representing the international Earth and space science community. The grant will allow the coalition to develop standards to connect researchers, publishers, and data repositories across the sciences. These standards are meant to render data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR), with the aim of enhancing the integrity and reproducibility of data and accelerating scientific discovery.

The Earth and space sciences will become “the first scientific field to have open and well-described data as a default.”

“AGU’s commitment to open data and data stewardship started in 1997 when we developed one of the first society position statements on open data,” said Chris McEntee, AGU’s executive director/CEO. Now, with the foundation’s support and close collaboration among scientific organizations, publishers, and data centers, the Earth and space sciences will become “the first scientific field to have open and well-described data as a default.”

The coalition currently includes AGU, Earth Science Information Partners, and the Research Data Alliance and has support from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Nature, Science, AuScope, the Australian National Data Service, and the Center for Open Science.

—JoAnna Wendel (@JoAnnaScience), Staff Writer


Wendel, J. (2017), Grant will advance standards promoting open, high-quality data, Eos, 98, Published on 28 August 2017.

Text © 2017. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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