Motivating Communities To Go Beyond the Discovery Plateau

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 9:00 AM
Ted Habermann and John Kozimor, Organization Not Listed, Washington, DC, United States
Years of emphasizing discovery and minimal metadata requirements have resulted in a culture that accepts that metadata are for discovery and complete metadata are too complex or difficult for researchers to understand and create. Evolving the culture past this “data-discovery plateau” requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses the rational and emotional sides of the problem. On the rational side, scientists know that data and results must be well documented in order to be reproducible, re-usable, and trustworthy. We need tools that script critical moves towards well-described destinations and help identify members of the community that are already leading the way towards those destinations. We need mechanisms that help those leaders share their experiences and examples. On the emotional side, we need to emphasize that high-quality metadata makes data trustworthy, divide the improvement process into digestible pieces and create mechanisms for clearly identifying and rewarding progress. We also need to provide clear opportunities for community members to increase their expertise and to share their skills.