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Title: Closing the data life cycle: using information management in macrosystems ecology research

An important goal of macrosystems ecology research is to advance understanding of ecological systems at both fine and broad temporal and spatial scales. Our premise in this paper is that such projects require information management that is integrated into projects from their inception. Such efforts will lead to improved communication and sharing of knowledge among diverse project participants, better science outcomes, and more open science. We promote "closing the data life cycle" by publishing well-documented data sets, which allows for re-use of data to answer new and different questions from the ones conceived by the original projects. The practice of documenting and submitting data sets to publicly accessible data repositories ensures that research results and data are accessible to and useable by other researchers, thus fostering open science. Ecologists are often not familiar with the information management tools and requirements to effectively preserve data, however, and receive little institutional or professional incentive to do so. This paper describes recommended steps to these ends, and gives examples from current macrosystem ecology projects of why information management is so critical to ensuring that scientific results can be both reproduced and data shared for future use.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 12(1):24-30
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States