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What are data? The many kinds of data and their implications for data re-use

What are data? The many kinds of data and their implications for data re-use
What are data? The many kinds of data and their implications for data re-use
One key feature of e-science is to encourage archiving and release of data so that they are available in digitally-processable forms for re-use almost from the point of collection. This assumes particular processes of translation by which data can be made visible in transportable and intelligible forms. It also requires mechanisms by which data quality and provenance can be trusted once "disconnected" from their producers. By analyzing the "life stages" of data in four academic projects, we show that these requirements create difficulties for disciplines where tacit knowledge and craft-like methods are deeply embedded in researchers, as well as for disciplines producing non-digital heterogeneous data or data derived from people rather than from material phenomena. While craft practices and tacit knowledges are a feature of most scientific endeavors, some disciplines currently appear more inclined to attempt to formalize or at least record these knowledges. We discuss the implications this has for the e-science objective of widespread data re-use.
e-science, collaboration, field work, data sharing, data provenance
Carlson, S.
2739ddc5-4cba-47b9-a7e9-e5107c9eb550
Anderson, B.
01e98bbd-b402-48b0-b83e-142341a39b2d
Carlson, S.
2739ddc5-4cba-47b9-a7e9-e5107c9eb550
Anderson, B.
01e98bbd-b402-48b0-b83e-142341a39b2d

Carlson, S. and Anderson, B. (2007) What are data? The many kinds of data and their implications for data re-use. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 12 (2).

Record type: Article

Abstract

One key feature of e-science is to encourage archiving and release of data so that they are available in digitally-processable forms for re-use almost from the point of collection. This assumes particular processes of translation by which data can be made visible in transportable and intelligible forms. It also requires mechanisms by which data quality and provenance can be trusted once "disconnected" from their producers. By analyzing the "life stages" of data in four academic projects, we show that these requirements create difficulties for disciplines where tacit knowledge and craft-like methods are deeply embedded in researchers, as well as for disciplines producing non-digital heterogeneous data or data derived from people rather than from material phenomena. While craft practices and tacit knowledges are a feature of most scientific endeavors, some disciplines currently appear more inclined to attempt to formalize or at least record these knowledges. We discuss the implications this has for the e-science objective of widespread data re-use.

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More information

Published date: 2007
Keywords: e-science, collaboration, field work, data sharing, data provenance
Organisations: Energy & Climate Change Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 350368
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/350368
PURE UUID: e52b06b2-724f-4467-bf98-d30d26e81487
ORCID for B. Anderson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2092-4406

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Apr 2013 14:26
Last modified: 15 Aug 2019 00:35

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