Resources for Geoscientists
Reproducable science requires both the data and the tools you used in your research are available for other researchers so they can repeat your analysis and check your results easily. Additionally, if data tools other researchers have developed are readily accessable, you can build off their work and get to your own analysis and results much faster! This creates a scientific community that is much more colaborative, where researchers spend less time duplicating work others have done and more time producing and sharing unique results.
The internet has made sharing software and data easier than it has ever been before, but the expanding landscape of all the different tools, repositories, and databases available can be difficult to navigate. Additionally, many funding agencies and publishing organizations have developed open data and software policies. While this is fantastic news for science reproducability, it can be challenging to figure out what is now recommended (or required) and how to apply modern "Best Practices" to your work. Here are some resources to help!
Some specific and practical recomendations for Geospace Scientists
Below are some specific recommendations to help geospace scientist share their work with the broader community. In some places, specific tools, software, and repositories are mentioned. These have been highlighted because they are widely accepted and used, but they are by no means the ONLY way to abide by best practices.
- Publish your data in Madrigal
- Save data as HDF5 or NetCDF data files with appropriate metadata
- Create a database so users can easily search what data is available
- Include sufficient detail in your documentation so that a new user can handle (at least some) of your data products correctly
- License your data with a Creative Commons license
- Use git for software version control
- Publish your software on GitHub
- DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT!!!
- License your software with one of the standard licenese from the Open Sorce Initiative, for instance the GNU General Public License
- Make sure when users download your software, they can easily find a license and how you would like it cited
- When you publish a paper, help make sure the results are reproducable by clearly identifying data, software, and analysis techniques you used
- Even if a data analysis is "standard", provide enough detail (or a citation with enough detail) that someone unfamiliar with it can understand and reproduce it
- When you're using a new instrument or data source, even if the data is freely available online contact the PI
- When possible, cite DOIs for data sets and software in your publication
- When possible, publish all code and data nessisary to produce every figure and result for a particular paper in Zenodo
- Do your work in Resen containers so that it is easily shareable and reproducable
Many funding agencies and publishing organizations have seen the value of "open data" science and now have policies in place to ensure your data and software are available to other researcher. These range from requiring data used in a publication be posted in a public repository to new proposals needed a data mangagment plan (DMP) describing how you will share your data. Here are some of the data policies for organizations Geospace scientists frequently work with.
- Dissemination and Sharing of Research Results
- Directorate for Geosciences -- Data Policies
- NSF Data Management Plan Requirement
- FAQs for Public Access
- Data Management Plans
- NASA Plan for Increasing Access to the Results of Scientific Research
- ROSES Data Management Plan FAQs
Best Practices White Paper
The Best Practices for the Geospace Community White Paper contains a detailed description of various practices that should be adopted throughout the geospace community to ensure open and fair access to data and software. The authors would like to emphasise that while these recommendations are a good starting point, the best standards and general plactices for the geospace community is still very much an open discussion. If you have thoughts on the current recommended Best Practices or ideas on how to improve them, please contact us!
Bhatt, A., McGranaghan, R., Matsuo, T., & Gil, Y. (2018). A White Paper on Essential Best Practices for the Geospace Community Concerning Reproducible Research, Open Science, and Digital Scholarship.