O’Brien will act as the standardization manager for data and metadata content in the project called “Environmental Data Initiative: Sustaining the Legacy of Scientific Data” at varying FTE. As such, she will be responsible for day-to-day management of technical and communication aspects for the project’s data harmonization, plus processes and resources for annotation and efficient curation processes to create uni form, complete, coherent metadata which renders data more easily discovered and re-usable, and advances coordinated, standardized practices. This work is concentrated during Years 1 and 2 of the Project, as it is most beneficial to establish standardized practices as early as possible. Standardized practices to be enacted are for a) vocabulary choice and usage, dataset annotation (both high- and measurement-level), and b) an abstraction layer to improve interoperability between existing local systems, promote convergence, and lower the bar for adoption. O’Brien will also continue to oversee dataset harmonization by scientific domain (“thematic harmonization”) and provide data archiving support to scientific synthesis groups and others as needed.
Specific work includes organization of available documentation on best practices for formats, metadata, annotation, and processing approaches for specific data types based on input from the communities vested in their production and use, in the context of a data type’s life cycle, developing templates for data life cycle description and data curation processes, and archiving resulting process documentation; facilitating working groups to define life cycles and processes for specific data types associated with the EDI; collaborating with other project personnel on issues of code management; gathering input from EDI research groups (LTER, MSB, LTREB, OBFS) for handling thematically similar data; contributing data quality control rules that provide feedback to data submitters on their adherence to best practice recommendations.