Night sky with stars


AGU and data leadership

Recognizing the challenges and opportunities provided by the growing importance of data in the Earth and space sciences, AGU, in cooperation with our partners at Earth Science Information Partners and Research Data Alliance, is developing new programs to help researchers, aligned professionals, repositories, and institutions obtain and improve skills around data collection, data management, plan development, and curation.

Illustration of data and global information connecting

AGU’s position statement [PDF] on data affirms that: Earth and space sciences data are a world heritage. Properly documented, credited, and preserved, they will help future scientists understand the Earth, planetary, and heliophysics systems.” The rapid growth and complexity of research data, thanks to new methods, tools, satellites, and sensors are posing challenges for researchers and repositories to determine and meet the aspiration of “proper care.” Many repositories have set good precedent; however, work remains to be done in better documenting and connecting data that supports a publication. Worldwide, new mandates around data from funders and governments require public access and transparency. Research scientists and institutions need to expand and hone skills to address these changes and manage critical data for future use and understanding.

people using terrestrial laser scanning, or TLS, to gather detailed topographic data in the Trinity Peridotite of northern California

Enabling FAIR data

Starting in 2014 with our work supporting the Coalition on Publishing Data for the Earth and Space Sciences (COPDESS), leading publishers and repositories developed an agreement to require that data be well-documented and included with publications. Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Foundation.

In 2017, AGU convened an expanded coalition that brought together the COPDESS stakeholders along with data infrastructure organizations, funders, institutions, societies, and others.  We partnered with Earth Science Information Partners, Research Data Alliance, and DataCite to take the next steps beyond COPDESS and implement leading practices, scaling them across the discipline. Funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the goal is to have data related to publications be preserved by repositories that practice principles that seek to make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR). These resources must be linked through data citations.  A commitment statement for organizations to implement best practices for data is open for signatories.

zoomed in view above Hyrology section of poster hall


woman explaining poster to woman in the Planetary Sciences section of Poster Hall