NSF Awards $20 Million to DataONE (Observation Network for Earth) Project

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $20 million grant to the DataONE (Observation Network for Earth) Project, which reports to both the Office of the Vice President of Research and the University Libraries at the University of New Mexico. William Michener, professor and director of e-science initiatives at University Libraries, is directing the project.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Researchers at UNM have partnered with dozens of other universities and agencies to create DataONE, a global data access and preservation network for earth and environmental scientists that will support breakthroughs in environmental research.

DataONE is designed to provide universal access to data about life on Earth and the environment that sustains it. The underlying technologies will provide open, persistent, robust, and secure access to well-described and easily discovered Earth observational data.

Expected users include scientists, educators, librarians, resource managers, and the public. By providing easy and open access to a broad range of science data, as well as tools for managing, analyzing, and visualizing data, DataONE will be transformative in the speed with which researchers will be able to assemble and analyze data sets and in the types of problems they will be able to address. . . .

DataONE is one of two $20 million awards made this year as part of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) DataNet program. The collaboration of universities and government agencies coalesced to address the mounting need for organizing and serving up vast amounts of highly diverse and inter-related but often-incompatible scientific data. Resulting studies will range from research that illuminates fundamental environmental processes to identifying environmental problems and potential solutions. . . .

The DataONE team will study how a vast digital data network can provide secure and permanent access into the future, and also encourage scientists to share their information. The team will help determine data citation standards, as well as create the tools for organizing, managing, and publishing data.

The resulting computing and processing "cyberinfrastructure" will be made permanently available for use by the broader national and international science communities. DataONE is led by the University of New Mexico, and includes additional partner organizations across the United States as well as from Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and Australia.

This grant is important nationally, and locally especially for our research community. University Libraries Dean Martha Bedard said, "The University Libraries are key partners in UNM research initiatives, and are excited and committed to supporting the emerging area of data curation, which this grant seeks to support in sophisticated ways."

DataONE will build a set of geographically distributed Coordinating Nodes that play an important role in facilitating all of the activities of the global network, as well as a network of Member Nodes that host relevant data and tools. The initial three Coordinating Nodes will be at the University of New Mexico, UC Santa Barbara (housed at the Davidson Library), and at the University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Member Nodes will be located in association with universities, libraries, research networks, and agencies worldwide.

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