Building on the success of Data Fair Activities at AGU Meetings, EDI again this year led the effort to hold a Data Help Desk at ESA 2019. Data curators Kristin Vanderbilt and Margaret O’Brien (and guest Stevan Earl, LTER/ASU) were joined by informatics experts from GBIF, iDigBio, ESIP, Arctic Data Center, DataONE and NEON in answering a range of questions about available tools and data services. Data Help Desk personnel also collaborated with the ESA 2019 Career Central to provide mini-workshops and sessions on management topics such as “FAIR” principles , metadata, data curation and citation, plus general topics such as advances in data papers and using APIs for data access. Data Help Desk materials are available as part of the ESA 2019 Data Help Desk Wiki. See also this blog post from the participating organizations on “Why a Data Help Desk?”, “Behind the Scenes of the ESA Data Help Desk” and “Take Home Messages from ESA 2019”.
O’Brien and Vanderbilt also organized a storytelling-style “Inspire” session, Assembling Data for Synthesis: The Good, Bad and In-Between, which brought together researchers and data scientists attempting to assemble data for synthesis, or to harmonize data for targeted databases, web applications or displays. These researchers provided wide-ranging perspectives on assembling data from disparate sources, with their experience providing insights on strategies, formats or procedures for dealing with the integration of complex data. Both the speakers and their projects were diverse, representing both large organizations (LTER, AmeriFlux, NEON, NCEAS), and focused projects in soil and water biochemistry, biodiversity and community ecology. The session was well-attended, and generated lively discussions.
EDI continues in its efforts to match experts data services to the needs of our data management and scientific community for simplified, comprehensive data archive and straightforward access. Planning for ESA 2020 is already underway; with a meeting theme of “Harnessing the Ecological Data Revolution”.