One of Australia’s foremost conservation ecologists is using TERN’s data tools, ÆKOS and SHaRED, to publish data and, most importantly, facilitate ongoing research.
Many leading science journals now require that submitting authors also publish their data alongside their research findings. We here at TERN believe this is a good thing. Providing others with open access to data not only helps to raise the author’s research profile via additional citations from others using the data, but more importantly, data sharing promotes re-use and the creation of new science, new knowledge and ultimately benefits for the broader community.
One such journal that requires data submission alongside paper publication is the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). When conservation biologist Prof Corey Bradshaw from the University of Adelaide published a paper on human population and environmental problems in PNAS late last year, it was with no hesitation that he submitted the associated data into TERN Eco-informatics’ Australian Ecological Knowledge and Observation System (ÆKOS) Data Portal.
‘Even if the journal hadn’t stipulated the publishing of my data I would have done it anyway,’ says Corey – a firm believer in open data access.
‘Providing people with access to the data from this study was really important as I wanted to be as transparent as possible to avoid any confusion or controversy about the findings. Open access to data is essential for good, reproducible science.’
Corey submitted his data using the SHaRED data submission tool, which enables researchers to upload datasets easily into a common and secure data repository, ÆKOS, where it can be easily viewed and retrieved by others.
‘Submitting my data into ÆKOS using the SHaRED tool was easy and the best thing is that, unlike other data portals like DRYAD, it’s free!’ says Corey. ‘I also chose to use ÆKOS because it’s an Australian-based service, and I like to support local scientific endeavours.’
Corey’s choice to submit his data to an Australian data repository was a wise one, not only because he’s supporting home-grown technology. Once data are submitted to ÆKOS users are assigned an Open Access Licence from Creative Commons Australia. Receiving an Australian Creative Commons licence means that your data are protected under Australian law, which is important as Australian datasets deposited with international repositories are not protected under US Creative Commons or the EU Data Licence.
Additionally, users receive a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), a citation to help with acknowledgement of re-use, and a certificate of Proof of Submission as a PDF.
Although ÆKOS is designed for Australian ecological datasets, Corey says that he had no major problems in submitting his global dataset.
‘My dataset was somewhat awkward but I was still able to complete the detailed metadata [important contextual information about the data that makes it easy to find and understand] questionnaire. It may not be ideal for all datasets, but I definitely plan to introduce ÆKOS to my students and recommend it to my colleagues,’ says Corey.
TERN Eco-informatics’ data submission and archival duo, SHaRED and ÆKOS are valuable tools to individual researchers and large organisations alike. Together, they deliver huge amounts of previously unavailable scientific data to support and extend terrestrial ecosystem science, education and management.
Published in TERN newsletter March 2015