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New digital archive enables community use of terrestrial and subsurface ecosystem data sets

Earth and Space News: “Over the past decade, data from Earth and environmental research have dramatically increased in volume, complexity, and diversity, but in many cases, efforts to make these data usable and accessible have not kept pace. This data proliferation has created an urgent need for data preservation, curation, quality checks, and standards for enabling cross-disciplinary use of the data. Earth scientists use environmental data to develop knowledge about Earth’s processes, parametrize and test site- to global-scale models, and provide information needed for effective planning related to energy, environment, and infrastructure. These scientists need long-term, spatially dense, high-quality observational data sets coupled with simulations to understand and predict ecosystem behavior over timescales spanning decades to centuries. Yet in many projects, data management is an afterthought, primarily conducted to satisfy demands from research sponsors or journals that published data be openly accessible. This ad hoc approach results in important data sets remaining unarchived, inaccessible, or unusable. To overcome these trends, emerging community repositories are enabling scientists to easily archive and publish data with essential metadata as part of the scientific workflow. These repositories increasingly serve a critical role in enhancing data sharing and use. [h/t Lea Wade]

A new data archive seeks to play this role for the U.S Department of Energy’s (DOE) environmental science community. The new archive, called Environmental Systems Science Data Infrastructure for a Virtual Ecosystem (ESS-DIVE), preserves, expands access to, and improves usability of data from the DOE’s research in terrestrial and subsurface environments…”

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