William K. Michener
New Research Data Paradigms for Science and Academia

Science and academia are entering a new era. At least five new paradigm shifts are driving many emerging trends: (1) data are now viewed as valuable products of the scientific enterprise; (2) libraries are going digital and becoming the new era's repositories for knowledge, information, and data; (3) grand challenge, "big science" questions are increasingly dominating science; (4) data-intensive science reigns; and (5) data management is the new statistics. These changes are reflected in the need for new information infrastructure approaches as exemplified in the environmental sciences. In particular, the scope and nature of biological, environmental and earth sciences research are evolving in response to environmental challenges such as global climate change, invasive species and emergent diseases. Consequently, scientific studies are increasingly focusing on long-term, broad-scale, and complex questions that require massive amounts of diverse data collected by remote sensing platforms and embedded environmental sensor networks; collaborative, interdisciplinary science teams; and new approaches for managing, preserving, analyzing, and sharing data.

DataONE (Data Observation Network for Earth) is a new cyberinfrastructure platform developed to support rapid data discovery and access across diverse data centers distributed worldwide and designed to provide scientists with an integrated set of familiar tools that support all elements of the data/research life cycle. Ongoing evolution of the DataONE architecture is based on participatory, user-centered design processes including: (1) developing an understanding of their perceptions, attitudes and user requirements; (2) usability analysis and assessment; and (3) engaging science teams in grand challenge science exemplars.

Bielefeld University Library - last update: 14 Feb 2012