HERMIONE data management and GIS

In recent decades, the capability and precision of tools used to sample and analyse our planet have increased exponentially - with an analogous increase in the resulting data output. At the same time, information technology has made significant advances, which allows storage, distribution and processing of a nearly unlimited amount of data. Lagging behind this progress is, however, the development of a related culture for a sustainable delivery of scientific data to future research. It is no longer feasible to publish data in publications. In spite of this, the bibliographic archiving of primary data from projects and publications is still not an integral part of the scientific workflow and thus most of the data are getting lost while hardware and software are changing quickly. Today this is considered to be one of the most crucial deficiencies in science. Various institutions, foundations and international organisations like the OECD are currently formulating recommendations for an improved data archiving.

pangaea_logoThe HERMIONE project heeded this advice and declared data management, alongside publications, as one of the major deliverables of this huge integrated project. HERMIONE used the information system PANGAEA as an archive, publisher and library for its data, based at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Bremerhaven, Germany.

Through a well-defined editorial workflow, the archived data are related to any information required for its understanding, being citable and accessible in formats following international standards. The universal nature of the system allows the storage of any parameter from the upper atmosphere down into the deep earth crust, covering the wide range of disciplines in natural sciences. Extraction of individual subsets from the inventory is enabled through a data warehouse, which, as part of the PANGAEA system, provides the framework for solving new scientific questions related to our earth. PANGAEA, as a universal data library, is also a publication system and allows integration of data in the established process of scientific publications. Thus PANGAEA is an information system, which encourages scientists of any project to freely archive their data in an open access environment. The system guarantees long-term availability of its content through a commitment of the operating institutions. Each dataset can be identified, shared, published and cited by using a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). In addition a citation for data collections can be defined on request. Citations are available through the catalogue of the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIBORDER). Archiving follows the Recommendations of the Commission on Professional Self Regulation in Science for safeguarding good scientific practice.

The whole database is operated in the spirit of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities which is a follow up to the Budapest Open Access Initiative. The policy of data management and archiving follows the Principles and Responsibilities of ICSU World Data Centers and the OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding.