Standing Committee Meeting Report Data Services

October 2021

Open Action Items

[F2020:1-2] Enhance the ability of authors to cite data by 1) improving instructions to authors on webpages, 2) promotion through IRIS newsletter, 3) informing journals of the citation services provided, 4) investigating the use of tags on data distributed to users. Develop a DRAFT Data Licensing policy in coordination with major funding agencies and UNAVCO; consider legal advice.

Responsible: Carter

Status: (March 2021) Instructions to authors on IRIS and FDSN web pages have been updated and an article on citation was included in the winter newsletter. Items 3 and 4 have not yet been addressed. The Joint Data Services committee of IRIS and UNAVCO met in January 2021 to discuss data licensing. It was recommended that no restrictions be imposed on the organization regarding the data that might be accepted. Carter has reached out to FDSN to discuss the issue with the executive committee.

(October 2021) The UNAVCO DS governance committee is recommending that a workshop proposal be prepared to address these issues and inviting IRIS to be involved in this workshop. This item is expected to be linked to the citation workshop. In addition to this, the FDSN has been approached about preparing a policy statement about licensing with a recommend that all metadata be in the public domain and all data be either in the public domain or be minimally licensed to require attribution.


[F2020:3] Develop a DAS data directive that provides a consistent approach to requests for storing DAS data in the data repositories.

Responsible: Carter

Status: (March 2021) IRIS has submitted a MSRI design proposal to address DAS data storage.

(October 2021) The MSRI proposal was not asked to continue to the second round. More community involvement is needed and this will be sought through a community workshop.


[S2021:1] Investigate a way of finding data that “looks different”.  What are the most common reasons for which data are tossed? Link to new “funny squiggles” paper (Ringler et al. 2021 preprint).

Responsible: QAAC

Status: (October 2021) The QAAC is considering this at their next meeting (winter 2021).


Meeting Summary 

Virtual Meetings on 12 and 14 October 2021


Present: Heather Ford, Rob Casey, Rick Benson, Suzan van der Lee, Adam Ringler, Bruce Beaudoin, Chad Trabant, Dan Auerbach, David Mencin, Ebru Bozdag, Gillian Sharer, Jonathan Ajo-Franklin, Jonathan MacCarthy, Peter Le Femina, Rebecca Rod, Rob Mellors, Sarah Kruse, Marine Denolle, Jerry Carter, Julie Elliott


The minutes from the Spring 2021 DSSC meeting were approved with minor requests for modification and the open action items were reviewed.

Status presentations were made by the Data Services (DS) staff and the major data collection centers (DCCs). The Director’s report was given by Chad Trabant who announced the hiring of a database administrator (Dan Stoner). Highlights included the 100% uptime metric over the past 9 quarters and that more than 1 PiB of data will be distributed in 2021. The MSRI proposal to develop a national DAS archive capability was not accepted, primarily due to the need for more community input, which will be pursued through the DAS RCN. A recent NSF review of the SAGE management pointed to a desire for DS to implement an identity management system sooner rather than later as part of CCP.

Rick Benson reported on the status of operations and noted that the DMC is making proactive improvements to the firewall to improve monitoring and reduce the risk of cyberthreats. Plans are also being made to extend the life of the existing infrastructure until we are fully operational in the cloud. Several new datatypes are now available through the DMC and include MERMAIDS, SmartSolo data from PASSCAL, and reprocessed Apollo lunar data.

Gillian Sharer noted MUSTANG improvements, an updated version of MUSTANGular, and the release of PIQQA to the public. She reported on the nominal response library modernization project and progress in releasing the next version of ISPAQ (expected in November 2021). Gillian also gave the QAAC report and asked for suggestions for QAAC members and a new chair. The QAAC is assembling tools for interaction between MUSTANG and MATLab.

Rob Casey gave the cyberinfrastructure report noting that the Mars event service was released in Spring 2021, FDSN station metadata web service was updated to support MT metadata, and a new framework for tracking user statistics is being developed.  All the cyberinfrastructure staff are involved in the CCP project.

Chad Trabant reported on DMC architecture and Products.  As part of our FDSN activities we are nearing approval of a new miniSEED format that will allow for the use of new data types (e.g., MT) and expanded identifiers, and are developing (with European colleagues) the next version SeedLink that will handle the new miniSEED format (and others), support encrypted connections, and other enhancements.  Chad noted that Mars synthetics via Syngine were released Sept. 2021 - in conjunction with ETH Zurich and that 17 new models were added to the EMC in 2021. There is a healthy derived data products usage, and we are using IRIS HQ system to track citations.

Adam Ringler gave a briefing on the ASL DCC reporting that 7TB of film chips (WWSSN) have been shipped to IRIS, which represents a small portion of the total. He also noted that the GSN timing metric is being sent to the DMC and that the new GSN instruments have better performance at low frequencies.

Rob Mellors from the IDA DCC reported that travel after COVID has resumed but is complicated; there is a need to get out to stations to fix long term issues; the chip shortage is affecting equipment purchase; and IDA is still working on updates related to Q330 firmware.

Bruce Beaudoin (PASSCAL) provided an update on spring 2021 projections; there is an increase in domestic experiments, very few international and very limited work in antarctica. Data delivery to the DMC is reduced because of fewer active experiments due to COVID. Funding is ending in 2021 for GLISN so telemetry will cease on a number of stations.  No SAGE/GAGE equipment can be shipped to countries with Dept. of State Level 4 without NSF approval; some additional restrictions are in effect for Level 3 countries.

Chad Trabant gave an update on the CCP project.  The planning stage is done, and the design stage is nearly done.  A website was created for project documentation. He noted that a large number of people have been working on a number of different tasks; 10 teams with 60 positions filled by 31 staff members with help from CI Compass. The Cost, Risk, Benefit Analysis team completed their report regarding CCP issues/decisions. The next steps will be a) prototype an aspect of IRIS/UNAVCO workflow; b) work on common/domain-specific metadata system, c) common data container; fewer teams, working faster.

Jerry Carter outlined the priorities for carry-over funds; the top priority is CCP but implementing the identity management system is also a priority.

Suzan van der Lee brought up the need of IRIS DSSC committee member(s) to assist in preparing/organizing a workshop (and corresponding proposal) on data citation and licensing along with UNAVCO. Jonathan McCarthy and Suzan agreed to help. 

The committee discussed the opportunities and challenges for 2024 – 2025 remembering that we will be a merged organization, the NSF solicitation, and that CCP becomes fully operational in Dec 2024. Discussion revolved around DAS data and the opportunity and challenges associated with it. Partnerships outside of NSF (DoE, etc.) needed for near surface/DAS data were also discussed.

Responding to Board guidance asking for input on the Future Management and Governance Structure, the committee suggested getting data directly from the community from things like surveys, perhaps every six months. Another possibility is some sort of annual platform. There was discussion of the role of the advisory committee, that it would be great to have an online comment box, community meetings, but having dedicated representatives that will attend regular, long meetings. Another suggestion was to hold a community forum, followed immediately by the regular meeting. Recording meetings and posting the recordings was also suggested. The committee also felt that the budget review process was a valuable exercise that should continue going forward.

Some committee members were scheduled to rotate off the committee at the end of 2021.  Both Heather and Pete agreed to remain on the committee to maintain consistence through the merger.

The committee had a brief discussion of ECI activities include IRIS skills building workshop and AGU/IRIS ROSES

The next DSSC meeting is planned for March of 2022 and will tentatively be a hybrid meeting at the Colorado School of Mines.