|Satellites and other instruments are producing more data than ever. Credit: NASA.
is created in 48 hours as was produced in the last 30,000 years. The challenge now is making all those megabytes public.
“Climategate” controversy failed to change the basic facts about global warming it did expose the lengths that some scientists, besieged by climate change deniers, went to keep their data secret.
Elsevier, publisher of The Lancet and Cell,
announced the start of reciprocal linking between its geochemistry journals and a data library managed by Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, called
Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA) and funded by the National Science Foundation. Eventually, studies in 32 Elsevier geochemistry journals, including Earth-Science Reviews and Earth and Planetary Science Letters, will link to data sets managed by IEDA.
Kerstin Lehnert, a Lamont-Doherty scientist who heads IEDA. “We’ve built the software tools that let you pull out the data you need instantly.”
reciprocal linking earlier this year with some of its other earth science journals and the PANGAEA data library managed by Germany’s
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. Though some scientists make their data available in supplementary material, these new collaborations make the data easier to use, said IJsbrand Jan Aalbersberg, vice president of content innovation at Elsevier. “Previously, data was often available but much more hidden,” he said. "This visibility allows the science to be better validated, and re-used, ultimately improving the quality of science at lower cost.”
|Access to geochemistry data can help scientists understand fundamental earth processes. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey.
The geochemistry data now available to Elsevier readers comes through IEDA’s
EarthChem portal, co-managed by the University of Kansas. One benefit of open data, say scientists, is the ability to make comparisons across disciplines. Lamont-Doherty geochemist
Terry Plank and colleagues are currently analyzing a dataset describing the amount of iron and lead in volcanic rocks collected from California. They recently compared this information to another dataset describing magmas formed in the lab to see if they can understand at what depths and temperatures magmas are forming under the western U.S., where the continent is slowly tearing apart.
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS).
Google Earth and IEDA, which synthesized measurements of the seafloor gathered on hundreds of scientific cruises.
Art Lerner-Lam, interim director of Lamont. “Modern science requires broad access to information, allowing you to examine things from different perspectives. Removing barriers to data makes innovation possible.”