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Alaska Science Center Data Management Resources and Activities

During the 6/13 Data Management Working Group meeting, Dennis Walworth of the Alaska Science Center (ASC) presented on the center’s policies, data management planning, data release workflow, and tracking system.

A window into the Alaska Science Center’s data is their science portal, accessible at http://alaska.usgs.gov/portal.

The center also has a Products view (http://alaska.usgs.gov/products/) where they highlight data releases and publications, in addition to making these products available through the USGS-wide Science Data Catalog.

The Alaska Science Center has been a great example of implementing procedures to help scientists with data management. The ASC Data Management Plan and guidance (2014) is an example for others to study on the USGS Data Management webpage. There, they advocate for an “event-driven” data management plan, to avoid the issue of investigators thinking of data management only at the beginning or end of the project cycle.

These are the project events requiring data management action:

  1. Submit a project proposal
  2. Project selected for funding
  3. Design a spreadsheet
  4. Design a database
  5. Build a database
  6. Design a field data collection form
  7. Acquire & archive raw data
  8. Complete QC of raw data & archive base data
  9. Conclude research cycle
  10. Publish data
  11. Publish paper

Each event is associated to other resources and forms. The information provided is then leveraged and included in a Center database.


Processes and forms related to "submit a project proposal."

This data management plan guidance is being continuously evaluated to see if modifications are needed.

The Science Center data managers have developed a tracking system to help keep tabs on the many projects. There, the main categories for tracking are Project initiation, Field seasons (before and after), and Data Releases. This tracker is a way for data managers and scientists to keep in touch between the time of project proposal and the time of data release.

Thanks to Dennis for presenting on data management activities and resources at the Alaska Science Center!

Science Center Strategy Development Working Group Activities

Cassandra Ladino presented on the Data Management WG Subgroup that is evaluating commonly available data management planning (DMP) tools, “DMP Template Focus.”

The subgroup (part of the Science Center Strategy Development working group (SCSDWG)) is investigating tools for DMP templates, evaluate each tool based on selected criteria defined by the group, and determining how to best share this information with others.

The tools under evaluation are:

  • USGS DMPEditor

  • DMPTool

  • USGS Climate Science Center and Powell Center DMP processes

  • Custom Google Forms

At the larger SCSDWG meeting on June 15, (meeting notes and recording), Matt Cannister presented a Google Forms based DMP Tool that he is developing for use in the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center. The tool uses Javascript to pull answers from a Google form into both PDF and an xml metadata record output, generating standardized output across the Science Center.

Some neat features of the tool:

  • Output file includes a link so that the user can go back and edit or complete the form at a later time.

  • Uses Google Scripts https://www.google.com/script/start/

  • Form is customized depending on user input

The SCSDWG is interested in any feedback on their activities - contact Cassandra Ladino.

There’s always a lot going on in the world of data management!

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