A question of impact

There is a lot to think about at the start of this project.  The goals are “measuring interconnections made and the potential for new types of science that may be only now emerging and largely unrealized.” How do we measure the impact of DataONE? How can we predict where “new science” will occur?

This week’s task is getting a grasp of the work that has been already done. I’ve been able to meet a couple of times with Dr. Allard, my mentor for this project, and we’ve created a schedule of sub-topics for me to explore. I attended some of the DataONE meeting in Knoxville in April, and I have the notes from the metrics session, as well as presentations and articles from Bruce Grant and Alison Specht. In addition there’s the great webinar that was produced (with an accompanying paper). The bibliography is building.

On a personal note, it occurs to me that DataONE will have a clear influence on my scholarship, but it won’t be reflected in data downloads. Also, on a more macro level, I read the New York Times article1 this week on a gay marriage study that may have been based on bad data. Had the data been required to be available through a trusted repository, would the problem have occurred? What price maintaining trust in the scientific process? These are perhaps peripheral issues, but the changes in the availability of data seem far-reaching.

I’m looking forward to spending the next couple of months working on this project and building on the work done so far. More soon….

  1. New York Times (2015) Doubts About Study of Gay Canvassers Rattle the Field. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/26/science/maligned-study-on-gay-marriage-is-shaking-trust.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1

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