Data Curation for Big Interdisciplinary Science: The Pulley Ridge Experience

PUlley Ridge Screenshot of the storytelling tool showing a slide from the bioeconomic story: a map of summarized fishing catch data.

Data Curation for Big Interdisciplinary Science: The Pulley Ridge…

The curation and preservation of scientific data has long been recognized as an essential activity for the reproducibility of science and the advancement of knowledge. While investment into data curation for specific disciplines and at individual research institutions has advanced the ability to preserve research data products, data curation for big interdisciplinary science remains relatively unexplored terrain. To fill this lacunae, this article presents a case study of the data curation for the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) funded project “Understanding Coral Ecosystem Connectivity in the Gulf of Mexico-Pulley Ridge to the Florida Keys” undertaken from 2011 to 2018 by more than 30 researchers at several research institutions. The data curation process is described and a discussion of strengths, weaknesses and lessons learned is presented. Major conclusions from this case study include: the reimplementation of data repository infrastructure builds valuable institutional data curation knowledge but may not meet data curation standards and best practices; data from big interdisciplinary science can be considered as a special collection with the implication that metadata takes the form of a finding aid or catalog of datasets within the larger project context; and there are opportunities for data curators and librarians to synthesize and integrate results across disciplines and to create exhibits as stories that emerge from interdisciplinary big science. The substance of this article is based upon a poster presented at RDAP Summit 2019.

In 2011 the University of Miami Center for Computational Science (CCS) was invited to collaborate as data curators on a multi-year trans-disciplinary marine science project in the Gulf of Mexico. The CCS was tasked to build an online decision support resource with a data repository, a map-based data exploration tool, and a map- and data-based story telling tool. Additionally, the entire suite of tools is designed to be linked to the National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI). This presentation reports on the geographic data curation process and the cartographic approaches implemented in the construction of the online decision support resource. This presentation was made at the 2018 annual meeting of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) in Norfolk. For more information on NACIS, check out

December 8, 2018 – The Pulley Ridge Data Curation Experience

Presenter: Timothy Norris, University of Miami

Co-presenters: Christopher Mader—University of Miami Center for Computational Science; Sreeharsha S Venkatapuram—University of Miami Center for Computational Science; Julio Perez—University of Miami Center for Computational Science; Chance Scott—University of Miami Center for Computational Science.

Norris, Timothy & Mader, Christopher. (2019). Data Curation for Big Interdisciplinary Science: The Pulley Ridge Experience. Journal of eScience Librarianship. 8. e1172. Download .pdf 10.7191/jeslib.2019.1172.