I always go first

Posted on June 8, 2010 by


I have always enjoyed going first when it comes to introductions; be it a new class, social outings or your everyday elevator ride. It has nothing to do with being an extrovert or even being a genuinely outgoing person, but because I’m really much more interested in other people and the operations of their networks than my own (I’m a social scientist!). So going first really allows me to get myself out of the way quickest. There is also the added bonus of being forgiven for being negligent with details, seeing as there is no standard to bear. In this light, I’m happy to write the first entry for our summer blog.

As interns for the DataONE summer 2010 project my colleagues and I will be investigating issues surrounding the citation of data. Formally, our project proposal states that we
…will study current levels of data citation and acknowledgment practices, as well as current efforts for the creation and evaluation of data management plans in earth and environmental sciences.
We plan on tackling this proposal through separate, but overlapping sub-projects that will investigate the practice of citing, sharing and reusing data in journals and repositories, as well as the policies that influence scientists to do so.
The latter investigation (the influence of policy) is where I will be focusing my efforts for the summer. Specifically, I will be collecting and analyzing policies for journals, repositories and funding sources of the earth and environmental sciences.One of the main goals for my research is to better understand the effectiveness of existing policies for sharing data. Through a deeper understanding and analysis of those policies we can begin to better understand what motivates practitioners to share data and begin to determine the ways we can facilitate wider data reuse within the earth and environmental science domains.

The other nice thing about going first is it also allows you to lay the ground rules for self explanation. I won’t bother reconstructing all of the ways in which I am planning to carry out my research in this first post. Instead I’ll invite you to see exactly what I am doing by going to my OpenNotebook at OpenWetWare. Here you can see the methods that I’ve scoped out for policy gathering, the sources I am using and the data I’ve accumulated thus far. If you have any suggestions or way I might improve, please leave me some feedback there.

In the coming days there will be further explanations from Sarah and Valerie about their own sub-projects and as well as some words from our savvy project mentors.

So, if you have suggestions for improving my introduction skills…hopefully you’ll forget by the time you’re finished meeting all of the exceptionally talented people working on this project.