Standing Committee Meeting Report Data Services

August 2020

Action Items from the Fall 2019 Joint Data Services Committee Meeting

[JF2019:1] Invite each other’s directors and committee chairs to all IRIS and UNAVCO data services committee meetings.
Responsible: (Carter/Meertens)
Status: Complete

[JF2019:2] Establish a Cloud Solutions working group when appropriate for informing the Joint Data Services Committee about a joint cloud infrastructure.
Responsible: (Directors and Committee Chairs)
Status: A Common Cloud Platform (CCP) project has been started by UNAVCO and IRIS. A Project Board has been formed that includes Chairpersons of the DSSC and GDSAC. The Project Manager will report progress on the CCP to the joint committee.

[JF2019:3] Capture the essence of what came out of this first joint meeting to provide a statement that can serve as a stepping point to generating a Joint Committee Charge.
Responsible: Stump/Elliot
Status: No action has been taken. However, it is expected that this task will be heavily influenced by the merger implementation planning.

[JF2019:4] Develop a survey to be sent to the SAGE/GAGE community to solicit their views on the data services that they believe a joint facility should provide and the priorities of those services. Because many persons in the community will not be aware of the need to consolidate, a statement should be included at the beginning of the survey to explain.
Responsible: Stump/Elliot
Status: No action has been taken to date.

[JF2019:5] After informing the Boards, write a proposal to NSF to fund a joint Spring workshop that would solicit detailed community input on consolidated data services. Early career scientists as well as other segments of the scientific and educational communities should be represented.
Responsible: Elliot/Stump
Status: This action item has been overtaken by events and is recommended for removal. Note that an early career virtual meeting was held that provided valuable input.

Brief Meeting Summary

This was the second meeting of the Joint Data Services Committee (JDSC), which is comprised of IRIS’s Data Services Standing Committee (DSSC) members and UNAVCO’s Geodetic Data Services Advisory Committee (GDSAC).

The JDSC heard reports from the two Directors of Data Services (David Mencin and Jerry Carter). Both presented the major drivers for their programs (combining the SAGE and GAGE Data Services and the upcoming NSF solicitation for the next SAGE/GAGE facility), the projects that have been initiated and respond to these drivers, as well as the challenges faced over the remainder of the contract.

A briefing on the Common Cloud Platform (CCP) project, which is on schedule and in its planning phase, was provided by the project manager. The CCP is the major activity of both IRIS and UNAVCO Data Services. The CCP is a joint UNAVCO/IRIS project to integrate their respective data services and operate the integrated system in a cloud environment. Software projects in both organizations are conducted with the CCP as the goal.

Discussion followed on data tracking, data licensing, and DOIs. As a plan for data tracking (what data is being used, by whom, and for what purpose) has been requested by NSF, the committee suggested that further guidance be sought from NSF. It was generally agreed that tracking will place barriers between users and data and that it is crucial to minimize barriers. The data licensing discussion recognized the difficulty of developing a data licensing policy and that further discussion is needed. The data DOI discussion included a description of the current DOI policies of IRIS and UNAVCO and a recognition that aggregate DOIs were difficult to administer and could be costly. Education of journal editors and the community regarding attribution is required. Standards vary across journals and across scientific disciplines. Journals are being strict on making sure data is accessible but are not as strict about data attribution. It was pointed out that data repositories are often acknowledged as the place where data are obtained, but that the actual station or network operator is not acknowledged. Facilities must provide a clear data and attribution policy for researchers to use. Short presentations built into plenary sessions may help push this forward, as well as a dedicated web page as part of the facility’s web site.

An update of the IRIS/UNAVCO merger activities and timeline was presented by the board liaisons.