As a researcher or a post graduate student in climate science you do most of your work on a computer. If you were working in a laboratory you would be following a set of rules and protocols, you would be documenting your experiments to be able to reproduce them later or describe them to others in a detailed and exact way. When we are sitting at our desk it is really easy to forget that what we are doing will eventually be shared with others. If you are writing a paper you are used to receive a set of guidelines and to justify and references anything you write, as well as making sure is readable and well presented. We are not used to share our data and code but they are just another research product. As such they are also covered by requirements, however lots of these have been introduced only recently and the guidelines are continuously evolving.
This is why we prepared this data induction, as an attempt to clarify what your responsibilities are, by covering all the applicable data policies and requirements, but also providing a set of guidelines and services which will help you satisfy them.
This induction is structured in three parts, starting from your responsibility as a researcher.
Part 1: Policy
In the first part we are covering the ARC and institutional requirements, the journal publishers' requirements and the CLEX data policy. Trying to put all these requirements together can be confusing and overwhelming. The key is to remember that the CLEX data policy is an interpretation of how these requirements can be applied to climate science and all our guidelines are aiming to help you satisfying them. We also try to cover gaps in data services and are always available to help you.
All the policies are based upon the FAIR principles so this is the best place to start to understand better what your data and code should look like and why this is important.
Part 2: Publishing
You can satisfy most of the requirements by publishing your data, which is why in the second part we focus on publishing. Publishing is also the best way of sharing your data with others. While just putting your data online somewhere might seems the quickest solution, if your data is not properly described and formatted, it is of little use.
Part 3: Best practices
The final part is covering the best practices to manage your data and code. Publishing is just the last step in your data workflow, proper planning and adoption of best practices from the start of your project makes publishing much easier as well as optimising the use of our shared storage and computational resources.
At the end of this induction you should have all the information necessary to manage, share and publish your data. In particular, you will:
- know what data you are required to archive, share or publish according to your institution, the ARC or in order to publish a paper.
- be familiar with the key data concepts and terms
- know how to choose and apply data and software licensing
- be familiar with and know how to use conventions and other standards used by the climate community
- know how to manage storage and computational resources available to you
- be ready when asked to publish data and code to make all the relevant choices:
Managing your data properly, in a way that makes your research easier to reproduce and share and so more valuable, it is not complicated, it will eventually become just another working habit. However, you might encounter concepts and terminology that are new for you. To help you, we created a list with the definitions of the most commonly used terms, key concepts and acronyms.