Outputs and Activities:
Data Sharing
Capacity Building
Science and Technology
User Engagement
Gap Analysis

GEO Task ID-03: Science and Technology in GEOSS

Extended Task Sheet:
Science and Technology — Status of Activities - Activity 2.1


Sub-Activity 2.1 (Roadmap Activity 2a; a GEOSS citation standard)

[NEWS-ITEM/October 5, 2012]: A Blog on Data Citation has been opened at the GEOSS Science and Technology Service Suite (GSTSS), see the blog. The blog gives access to the latest version of the GEOSS Data Citation Guidelines V2.0. A request for registration of these guidelines in the GCI Standards and Interoperability Registry has been submitted.

[NEWS-ITEM/June 2012]: Thomson Reuters has initiated the Data Citation Index TM. This will have considerable repercussions for the implementation of the GEOSS Data Citation Guidelines and the GEO Label.

Presentations and Publications

McCallum, I. Plag, H.-P., Fritz, S., Nativi, S., 2012. Data Citation Standard: A Means to Support Data Sharing, Attribution, and Traceability. Proceed. ICHMET 2012, 24-27 September 2012, Rome, Italy (extended abstract, presentation).

McCallum, I., Plag, H.-P., Fritz, S., 2012. A Data Citation Standard for GEOSS, Geophysical Research Abstracts, 14, EGU2012-PREVIEW (Poster; presentation).

Plag, H.-P. and McCallum, I., 2012. Linking Science and Technology to GEOSS: Contributions of the ST-09-02/ID-03 GEO Work Plan Tasks and the EGIDA Project. Poster presented at the “EuroGEOSS Advancing the Vision for GEOSS” Meeting, January 25-27, 2012, Madrid, Spain. (pdf).

Development of GEOSS Data Citation Guidelines

ID-03 has prepare a Version 2.0, which addresses most of the currently open issues. The ID-03 Task team will coordinate the further development with all relevant activities within GEO and on international level and the work will continue to be supported by the EGIDA project until the end of 2012.

ID-03 is now in the process of developing a data citation testbed within the GCI. For more information, consult the data citation blog.

There are several groups and organizations that are being involved in the development of the Version 2. These include:

Meetings relevant to the citation standards include:

GEO Plenary Statement on Data Citation

The GEO Plenary 2011 endorsed the following Position Statement on Data Citation:

Position Statement on Data Citation
for acceptance by the Group on Earth Observations at it's 8th Plenary session (November 2011)

The Group on Earth Observations:

  • recognizes the importance of citing the source of data in publications, derived products and services;
  • recognizes that data citation is a critical acknowledgement for data providers and creates an important incentive for the publication, documentation, registering and provision of data.; and
  • particularly encourages users of the GEOSS Common Infrastructure to cite data found or accessed through the GEOSS Common Infrastructure.a recommendation of the STC to implement the Draft GEOSS Citation Standard V1.0 as a testbed for data citation.

Response of ExCom to Draft GEOSS Data Citation Standard V1.0

The Version 1 of the Standard was discussed during the 22nd Meeting of the ExCom. Excerpt from the draft report of the 22nd Meeting of the GEO ExCom:


Mr Cripe presented the report on behalf of the co-chairs of the four GEO committees. He highlighted the Science and Technology Committee's request to the Executive Committee that it take note of work on a data citation standard that the STC has been developing based on the model used for datasets generated under the International Polar Year research program. The STC plans to invite comments on the standard from the other committees at the September co-located meetings and would then like to present the concept to Plenary in Istanbul.

Brazil stated his view that this work was not limited to GEOSS and did not need to be carried out by GEO. Australia said that it could be a good thing and would add value if GEO became a catalyst for a standard that was broadly used, including outside of GEOSS. The United States appreciated the concept being presented and suggested that the work of ICSU and others on this topic be fully reviewed and incorporated; given the crowded agenda for GEO-VIII it would be best to delay action and take more time to consider the best approach. Germany confirmed that the proposal built directly on the work of ICSU and others and said that GEO could have a coordinating role; it could promote the concept and in this way add value to it. Japan said the data citation issue is particularly important for scientists who want recognition for the datasets contributed to GEOSS.

The Secretariat Director agreed that the issue may not be sufficiently mature for the next meeting of the Plenary. ICSU and other GEO Participating Organizations were working on it and GEO should follow the issue.

The Chair concluded that the issue of a citation standard was of interest but should be addressed at a later date.

Draft GEOSS Data Citation Standard V1.0

A Draft Data Citation Standard was compiled in the frame of the EGIDA Project and was made available for discussion by the ST-09-02 Team in February 2011. The Draft was discussed at the 3rd monthly ST-09-02 telecon (see the meeting page for more information on the telecon). All ST-09-02 members were asked to comment on the draft and to provide edits to Ian McCallum and Hans-Peter Plag. Based on the comments received, a draft was prepared for further discussion by the STC. This draft is available as pdf. This draft was discussed during the STC meeting on April 14-15, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. After the meeting, an updated draft GEOSS Citation Standard was made available as pdf.

Previous Activities and relevant Information

The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) has a Preservation and Stewardship Cluster, which is discussing Data Citation Rules. The objective of the cluster is to support the long-term preservation of Earth system science data and information. The Task plans to link to the ESIP Cluster and align the proposal for a GEOSS citation standard to what the Cluster develops.

Kathleen Fontaine forwarded and e-mail by Mark A. Parsons to the ESIP Preservation Cluster on Harmonizing data citation guidelines. This e-mail contains a review of data citation guidelines. The e-mail includes a list of web pages:

  • IPY: http://ipydis.org/data/citations.html
  • ORNL: http://daac.ornl.gov/citation\_policy.html
  • NSIDC: no link given
  • Pangaea: http://www.pangaea.de/about/
  • GBIF: http://www.gbif.org/participation/data-publishers/gbif-sharing-agreement/how-to-cite-gbif-data/ white-paper-citation-of-gbif-data/
  • NISO: http://www.niso.org/topics/tl/NISOTLDataReportDraft.pdf
  • DataVerse: http://thedata.org/citation
  • TDWIG: http://www.tdwg.org/standards/150/

There is an offer to the task team to get involved in the ESIP discussion, which needs to be followed up.

Relevant to the discussion of the GEO Ciotation Standard are the notes of the December 17, 2009 Townhall meeting of the ESIF Preservation and Stewardship Cluster at the AGU Fall meeting in San Francisco on Peer-Reviewed Data Publication and Other Strategies to Sustain Verifiable Science. These notes mention the International Polar Year (IPY) citation guidelines, "which are a synthesis of the different approaches agreed to by many international data centers. The IPY guidelines are analogous to the rules used in the publication process. The Citations should include (as appropriate):

  • Authors (people directly responsible for acquiring the data)
  • Dates (data publication date – not its collection)
  • Title of the data set
  • Editor (the person who compiled the data set from other materials or performed QA on the acquired data, etc.)
  • Publisher (the organization, often a data center, that is responsible for archiving and distributing the material)
  • Version
  • Access date & URL
  • Should include a DOI if one exists
and noting variations for time series data where data sets are dynamic and where perhaps only a subset of the data is used
  • Algorithm developers are the authors
  • Date – add to the date published an indicator of how often the dataset is updated (e.g., updated daily)
  • Dates of data used" (quoted from the notes).
Relevant mails and dialogs

Subject: Re: [ESIP-all] Please review Draft ESIP Data Citation Guidelines Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 08:38:18 -0600 From: Mark A. Parsons To: esip-all@rtpnet.org

Hi all,

Data citation is getting increasing attention. The National Academy of Sciences has established a committee to explore the issue and develop recommendations on the topic. They are hosting a symposium next week and they have invited me to speak on the developing ESIP Guidelines. So I just wanted to send a little reminder that we are still open for comments on these guidelines. Thanks greatly to those who have already commented.



On 21 Jul 2011, at 5:40 PM, Mark A. Parsons wrote:

Creating a great data set can be a life’s work (consider Charles Keeling). Yet, scientists do not receive much recognition for creating rigorous, useful data. At the same time, in a post “climategate” world there is increased scrutiny on science and a greater need than ever to adhere to scientific principles of transparency and repeatability. The Council of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) asserts that the scientific community should recognize the value of data collection, preparation, and description and that data “publications” should “be credited and cited like the products of any other scientific activity.” Currently, however, authors rarely cite data formally in journal articles, and they often lack guidance on how data should be cited. The ESIP Federation Preservation and Stewardship Cluster has been working this issue for some time now. We started with a townhall meeting at AGU in 2009 and have had subsequent sessions at ESIP meetings and the GeoData2011 Conference as well as extensive e-mail and telecon discussion.

We have written some draft citation guidelines that we believe address the vast majority of data citation scenarios. We have presented these guidelines in multiple fora, including two ESIP meetings, for feedback and believe they are pretty solid. Now we ask all interested ESIPers to please review these guidelines closely and send feedback directly to the wiki or to the Cluster (esip-preserve@lists.esipfed.org). We plan to finalize the guidelines this fall for submission to the ESIP Assembly for formal approval at the winter meeting, so please comment soon.

The guidelines are at: http://wiki.esipfed.org/index.php/Interagency_Data_Stewardship/Citations/provider_guidelines

There is also an overview presentation on data citation at: ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/pub/ppp/conf_ppp/Parsons/How_to_Cite_an_Earth_Science_Data_Set.pdf

Last edited 02 December 2016

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