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Emerging Research Communities: Fulfilling the Potential of Open Access Earth Science Data
An Yan is a PhD student in Information Science at the University of Washington. She received her B.E. in Remote Sensing in Wuhan University, China, and received her M.S. in Ecology in Center for Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, China. Her research interest revolves around data curation, Cyberinfrastructure, and reproducible research in geosciences.
DataONE, through a federated set of repositories, offers a wide range of well described, openly available, scientific data, creating the potential for new discoveries. While researchers have worked on understanding the benefits of these repositories, and the motivations for data sharing, less is known about how collaborative research is happening in this environment. However research groups are emerging that are interdisciplinary, data-focused, highly collaborative and sometimes funded by programs that cross traditional boundaries. The questions are compelling: What roles are researchers taking in emerging data research communities? How are the roles of data curation, data access, and analysis being managed within these groups? How do these communities communicate? How do these communities enable new science? Are they changing the culture of science?
For this project, the summer intern will work closely with the usability and assessment mentor team to explore the roles and influence of emerging communities related to open access data. Three Grand Challenges of Climate Change set the context for the exploration: sea level rise, water availability and linking extreme events to climate change. Emerging communities may include (but are not limited to) data managers, data communicators, data scientists, policy makers, farmers and entrepreneurs. The project includes three parts: 1) conducting a comprehensive review of data roles in emergent data communities including reviewing a range of academic, grant information, graduate programs and informal media to see how team roles are being defined; 2) developing draft questions and conducting pilot interviews of representatives of key emerging communities; and 3) refine questions and identify strategies to reach these communities more broadly.