An Opportunity to Do Better, Together

“I would picture myself as a virus… for example, and try to sense what it would be like… I would also imagine myself as the immune system, and I would try to reconstruct what I would do as an immune system engaged in combating a virus… When I had played through a series of such scenarios on a particular problem and had acquired new insights, I would design laboratory experiments accordingly” — Jonas Salk

  • Immediate publication. There was an instant reaction to favor and associate success with repositories that host many COVID19 datasets, without considering the time it takes for data collection & analyses. This reaction also did not consider the value or time dependencies for data curation and peer review.
  • Quantity over quality of publications. By rewarding repositories that have more content, with an emphasis on quantity of materials published, we see over simplifications of what data are, broadly referring to all research outputs (including supporting PDF files, preprints, slides) as “research data” to inflate numbers. If we want to elevate research data as a “first class output” we should value it as its own entity as we do for articles.
  • Fancy portals for discovery. Many questions and surveys have been about resources put into flashy portals at individual repositories to convene COVID19 data. These efforts have ignored the reality of how researchers find and use research data (at aggregate searching interfaces, science Twitter, through article linking, etc.) and these efforts could have and could be focused on optimizing metadata discovery across the web.

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University of California Curation Center (UC3) is the digital curation & research data mgmt program at California Digital Library (CDL) @CalDigLib

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UC Curation Center

UC Curation Center

University of California Curation Center (UC3) is the digital curation & research data mgmt program at California Digital Library (CDL) @CalDigLib

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