Task 3.3

Data Management and Interoperability

Data management is recognized as a priority area for polar science and quality controlled data from the Polar Regions is required to help address urgent global environmental issues. This task will therefore focus on an analysis of how European scientific data from the Polar Regions are managed and made accessible to a wide range of users. On this basis, recommendations will be made to improve and optimise existing European systems and identify needs for new systems that may need to be created to facilitate a coherent data management system that is integrated into a global polar data management system.

The task will build on the work already performed under Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) and under the “International Polar Data Forum”, an initiative of both Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). Some progress has been achieved through recommendations arising from SAON data management workshops, initiatives to Polar Metadata Profiles and Polar Information Commons, etc.. The “International Polar Data Forum” has also issued a series of observations and recommendations in order to meet the expectations concerning accessibility and reusability of the data, often collected thanks to significant public funding. However, there remains a significant gap between these statements of good intent and their practical adoption and implementation.

This task is co-led by the data specialists in EU-PolarNet, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), which oversees the Belgian Marine Data Centre, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), which is also representing SAON, and has a focus on improving Arctic data management and the Italian National Research Council - Department of Earth System Science and Environmental Technologies (CNR-DTA), with its significant experience in the design and development of international digital infrastructures for Earth Sciences. The Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) will contribute with its experience from PANGAEA as will all other Work Package 3 partners as well.

The Task will focus on:

  • Establishing a clearer picture of existing European polar data management structures, including the data flows between the various national and international data management systems, from the publication of metadata to the publication of the data itself.

  • Cataloguing European polar infrastructures and instrumentation that produce relevant data, including space assets and commercial assets that could be exploited to enhance polar data collection.

  • An analysis of the legal, regulatory and, possibly, contractual rules that currently frame access to the data and explore the possibilities of harmonisation, including the promotion of open access and use.

  • An analysis of the technical solutions presently in place that facilitate access to data (e.g. network protocols, (meta)data standards etc.) and to ensure their protection, accuracy and long-term use.

  • An analysis of how a better discoverability and accessibility of the data can contribute to a better interoperability of the data provision mechanisms.

  • Identifying end-user data needs through stakeholder consultations.

  • Producing recommendations paving the way towards a coordinated European Polar Data Infrastructure, which interconnects existing and forthcoming polar research systems and infrastructures, and is compatible with the requirements for strengthened trans-Atlantic and worldwide cooperation.

Work Package lead

Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley
British Antarctic Survey(BAS)
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 (0)1223 221523
Email: beatrix@bas.ac.uk

Task leads