Call to participation for LinkedEarth - Creating standards for paleoclimate datasets based on ice cores

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Call to participation for LinkedEarth - Creating standards for paleoclimate datasets based on ice cores

Deborah Khider
Most of us don’t go about our lives thinking about standards, for good reason: standards are so essential that we take them for granted (think: the metric system, electric plugs, GPS, etc).  In paleoclimatology, we’ve somehow accepted to work without standards for decades, and have normalized that it takes months or years of work to gather a few hundred records or do anything useful with them. It doesn’t have to be this way. In an era of uncertain funding for climate science, we need to be sure our time is used as efficiently as it can. That’s where standards come in, and that’s where your help is needed at this time.

The EarthCube-supported LinkedEarth project aims to manifest a better future by creating an online platform that: (1) enables the curation of a publicly-accessible database by paleoclimate experts themselves, and (2) fosters the development of community standards. In turn, these developments will enable cutting-edge data-analytic tools to be built and applied to a wider array of datasets than ever possible before, supporting next-generation paleoclimate research.

A discussion about community data standards for paleoclimatology started in June 2016 at the Workshop on Paleoclimate Data Standards and is now continuing online via the LinkedEarth wiki. To this end, we have nucleated 9 Working Groups (WGs) to kickstart discussions of standards around particular archives (i.e. ice cores), or cross-cutting themes (e.g. chronologies).

That’s where you come in. We need ice core scientists to tell us about their needs. To get a general idea of where to start the discussion, you can have a look at some WGs that are farther along: the marine sediments WG created very sophisticated polls that now need people to vote on; the trees WG has brilliantly sketched the outlines of a standard, and just need to structure it so that people can vote on it; the MARPA WG has begun integrating the work they did for their own data template.

If you’re ready to start, please join LinkedEarth, then fill out your profile, and join a working group. This tutorial will get your started with the wiki. It’s also available on our Youtube channel!

If you want your voice heard but don’t have time to get involved in learning how to use the wiki, I’ll be happy to organize a one-on-one conference call with you (or an extended email) and transcribe the discussion on the wiki while giving you full credits. Anyone who has contributed to the working group will get Co-authorship on the standard publication.

We are also using our Twitter account to rapidly disseminate polls on standard development. You only need a Twitter account to vote on them.

With Gratitude,

Deborah Khider on behalf of the LinkedEarth Team.

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