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Future progress in Antarctic science: improving data care, sharing and collaboration

  • Alan K. Cooper (a1) (a2)

Abstract

Data are the foundation of modern observational science. High-quality science relies on high quality data. In Antarctica, unlike elsewhere, researchers must disperse data and conduct science differently. They must work within the laws enacted under Antarctic Treaty that defines Antarctica as a continent for peace and science, where data sharing and international collaboration are requisite keystones. Scientists also work under oversight guidance of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). In the last decade, rapid technological advances and vast increase in digital data volumes have changed the ways data are acquired, communicated, analysed, displayed and reported. Yet, the underlying science culture in which data are funded, utilised and cared for has changed little. Science-culture changes are needed for greater progress in Antarctic science.

We briefly summarise and discuss aspects of Antarctic ‘data care’, which is a subset of data management. We offer perceptions on how changes to some aspects of current science-culture could inspire greater data sharing and international collaboration, to achieve greater success. The changes would place greater emphasis on data visualisation, higher national priority on data care, implementation of a data-library concept for data sharing, greater individual responsibility for data care, and further integration of cultural arts into data and science presentations.

Much effort has gone into data management in the international community, and there are many excellent examples of successful collaborative Antarctic science programs within SCAR built on existing data sets. Yet, challenges in data care remain and specific suggestions we make deserve attention by the science community, to further promote peace and progress in Antarctic science.

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Future progress in Antarctic science: improving data care, sharing and collaboration

  • Alan K. Cooper (a1) (a2)

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