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Data stewardship

Data stewardshipBackground

Data stewardship is a central objective of PAGES. Data stewardship activities are part of the entire lifecycle of research, from production to archival of data, with the goal of providing future data users with constant high-quality and easily accessible data.

> Go to PAGES' data guidelines
> Find out more about PAGES' Data Stewardship Scholarship

Beginning with its early community synthesis products, PAGES has developed a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities in research that involves data discovery, synthesis, and analysis. Building on this experience, PAGES continues to facilitate the development of data-intensive synthesis products, and promotes data stewardship within its constituency. Several databases have been developed and used widely, and many others are under construction.

PAGES also works with the paleo World Data Service archives to develop data-product services and ensure long-term archiving of data.

> List of PAGES data collections
> List of external paleo databases and archives

Many international initiatives have articulated best practices for data stewardship, focusing on facilitating the reuse of data and ensuring that proper credit is given to the owners of the data and knowledge. In particular, PAGES encourages the use of reporting methods that enable verification, reproducibility, and reuse by others. Making data available according to the FAIR data (findable, openly accessible, interoperable and reusable) principles is hence expected from all PAGES-endorsed/supported studies. In addition, PAGES wishes to more fully acknowledge the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples and insists that relevant data and knowledge is made available following the CARE principles that consider Collective benefit, Authority to control, Responsibility and Ethics. 


Paleoscience is particularly in need of such initiatives on Data Stewardship because of its continually evolving array of proxy-data types and global scope, with unique regional contexts and calibration issues, as well as the incorporation of human knowledge on paleostudies. Considering the current international attention on big data and open data, data stewardship deserves more attention across PAGES activities.

At the same time, PAGES recognizes the number of challenges involving the production, management, and reuse of the paleo community’s diverse data types. A set of materials outlining best practices for data standards, including archiving, crediting (generators and non-represented owners) and accessing data, have been developed for the Data Stewardship Activity. This also takes into account broad input from the international community of experts, and actively engaging PAGES working groups in this coordinated activity.


PAGES will focus on activities that can be accomplished in a relatively short time as self-contained, small projects. To do so, PAGEs will focus on priorities and concrete activities that add value to bottom-up efforts already in progress.

- To better integrate data stewardship into working group design and reporting.
- To facilitate the development of data standards.
- To promote that new and existing data is FAIRCARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance and the Nagoya Protocol into the generation of new research data.
- To develop standardized terminologies and sufficient metadata to favor reliable interpretation, to facilitate updates and to support reuse of the research data.

The Data Stewardship integrative activity will translate existing principles into useful and succinct guidelines, and will vet them across the paleoscience community prior to posting on the PAGES website.


1. PAGES Working Group Databases (link)

2. Article series on Data Stewardship

3. Building and Harnessing Open Paleodata

This issue of Past Global Changes Magazine "Building and Harnessing Open Paleodata" was published in November 2018 and showcases the ongoing growth of a rich variety of openly available, globally distributed paleodata.

4. 1st PAGES webinar - LiPD

PAGES hosted its first webinar on Wednesday 17 October 2018 which focused on the Linked Paleo Data framework (LiPD). Nick McKay from Northern Arizona University, USA, was the presenter.
Watch a recording of the full webinar here on PAGES' YouTube channel.

5. Development of a community standard for paleoclimate data and metadata.

In collaboration with the EarthCube-supported LinkedEarth project, this activity promoted the development of a community standard for paleoclimate data and metadata. The Workshop on Paleo Data Standards (22–23 June 2016, Boulder, USA; read workshop report) initiated a process of community engagement and feedback elicitation. Archive-centric working groups discussed the components of a data standard for their specific field. These were reviewed by the community, a vote was carried out to ratify the proposed standard, and results were presented in a peer-reviewed publication by Khider et al. (2019).

Project website:
Contact: (linkedearth[at]gmail[dot]com)

6. Two special issues of Climate of the Past

Two special issues are part of the PAGES Data Stewardship initiative:
1. "Climate of the past 2000 years: regional and trans-regional syntheses" from the 2k Network. Access it here.
2. "Global Challenges for our Common Future: a paleoscience perspective" from PAGES' 3rd Young Scientists Meeting in 2017. Access it here.

7. 2nd PAGES Webinar - Promoting FAIR principles at NOAA’s WDS-Paleo

PAGES hosted its second webinar on Wednesday 27 May 2020 with the World Data Service for Paleoclimatology (WDS-Paleo). Carrie Morrill from WDS-Paleo was the presenter.
Watch a recording of the full webinar here on PAGES' YouTube channel.

8. PAGES Magazine workshop report

> Emile-Geay J and McKay N (2016) PAGES Mag 24(1): 47

9. PAGES and LinkedEarth

Julien Emile-Geay, Nick McKay and Deborah Khider are the core team of LinkedEarth, which has been collaborating in various PAGES activities since of LinkedEarth. We are heartened to see that many PAGES working groups are either already using LiPD/LinkedEarth as a key component of their data stewardship plans, or planning on doing so. The team has been involved in various PAGES projects through collaboration with current and former working groups: Pages2k, Iso2k, CoralHydro2k, Temp12k, OC3, Floods and Historical documents. The data for these projects are available in LiPD format through the LiPDverse. Learn more about LinkedEarth and its educational opportunities here: