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PARTICIPATING STAFF: Giriprakash Palanisamy, James Green, Line Pouchard, John Cobb, Bruce E. Wilson



SPONSOR: US National Science Foundation through a cooperative agreement with the University of New Mexico

PARTNERS: Cornell University; National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (Duke University); University of California – California Digital Library; University of California – Santa Barbra; University of Illinois – Chicago; University of Kansas; University of New Mexico; University of Tennessee – Knoxville; US Geological Survey (USGS); Utah State University

PROJECT WEBSITE: https://www.dataone.org/


DataONE is a cyber repository that provides universal access to data about life on earth and the environment that sustains it. DataONE supports environmental science by: (1) engaging the relevant science, data, and policy communities; (2) providing easy, secure, and persistent storage of data; and (3) disseminating integrated and user-friendly tools for data discovery, analysis, visualization, and decision-making.
The foundation for success with DataONE is the established partnerships among participating organizations that have decades-long expertise in a wide range of fields that includes: existing archive initiatives, libraries, environmental observing systems and research networks, data and information management, science synthesis centers, and professional societies. DataONE engages its community of partners through working groups focused on identifying, describing, and implementing the DataONE cyber-infrastructure, governance, and sustainability models. These working groups, which consist of a diverse group of graduate students, educators, government and industry representatives, and leading computer, information, and library scientists will: (1) perform cutting edge computer science, informatics, and social science research related to all stages of the data life cycle; (2) develop DataONE interfaces and prototypes; (3) adopt/adapt interoperability standards; (4) create value-added technologies (e.g., semantic mediation, scientific workflow, and visualization) that facilitate data integration, analysis, and understanding; (5) address socio-cultural barriers to sustainable data preservation and data sharing; and (6) promote the adoption of best practices for managing the full data life cycle.


The defining purpose of DataONE is to enable discovery and universal access to data about life on Earth from around the world through DataONE.org. DataONE achieves this vision by providing transformational tools that shape scientific understanding of Earth processes from local to global scales; offering researchers education and training in various domains to enhance scientific enquiry; combining expertise and resources across diverse communities to collectively educate, advocate, and support trustworthy stewardship of scientific data; and presenting incentives and infrastructure for sharing data from federally funded researchers in academia. These objectives work in tandem to strengthen environmental research with an end goal of enabling discoveries that transform our understanding of ecological processes and conserve life on earth and the environment that sustains it.


DataONE is currently developing infrastructure to provide support for the entire data life cycle, from obtaining observations, compiling documentation and metadata (information about the data product) that will help users understand the data, and other tools and services to allow users to explore the data holdings, access relevant data, and perform some analysis and visualization. The infrastructure is slated for release in December 2011.

DataONE has established a number of Working Groups in Community Engagement and in CyberInfrastructure to engage the international research community in identifying the best solutions for managing the data life cycle.
One of the first DataONE working groups is the Exploration, Visualization, and Analysis (EVA) group that examines data intensive science. Steve Kelling (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) and Bob Cook (ESD/ORNL) are the co-chairs of the EVA Working. The first exemplar dealt with the environmental factors that affect migratory bird distributions in the conterminous US (http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/ebird-animated-occurrence-maps) . The methods used in exploring, visualizing and analyzing the bird observation and environmental data will inform the development of DataONE tools and services. The next exemplar for the EVA Working Group will likely be associated with evaluation of carbon cycle models using a wide range of observations.