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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 the intelligent reuse of data. PAGES has endorsed the new international accord on "Open data in a big data world", an outcome of "Science International 2015", which represents the global scientific community. The Accord proposes fundamental principles for open data and it outlines the responsibilities of scientific professional organizations and their constituents.


Paleoscience is particularly in need of such initiatives on Data Stewardship, because of its continually evolving array of proxy-data types and its global scope with unique regional contexts and calibration issues. Considering the current international attention on big data and open data, this timely integrative activity deserves major effort across PAGES components.

At the same time, we recognize the enormity of issues involving the production, management and reuse of the paleo community’s diverse data types. The Data Stewardship integrative activity will develop sets of best practice for data standards, archiving, and access, by soliciting broad input from the international community of experts and engaging the PAGES working groups into this coordinated activity.

The focused attention of PAGES to bottom-up community input on these issues will provide leverage to help EarthCube advance its mission of creating a new-generation data platform, and in turn transforming the activities of the international community into data-discovery science.


We will concentrate on activities that can be accomplished in a relatively short time by focusing on priorities and concrete activities that add value to bottom-up efforts already in progress.

- How to better integrate data stewardship into working group design and reporting?
- How to facilitate the development of paleodata standards?
- How to promote the intelligent reuse of new and existing paleodata?
- How to develop standardized terminologies and sufficient metadata to favor reliable interpretation, to facilitate updates and to support reuse of the paleodata?
- 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.

Structure and people

The Data Stewardship integrative activity will be organized around a coordination team (task force). The data stewardship coordination team will comprise representatives from PAGES working groups engaged in major data-related activities, plus liaisons of the SSC, other data stewardship initiatives, and public paleodata archives. The team will be responsible for implementing the specific goals of the Data Stewardship integrative activity.


1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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, and eventually a vote will be carried out to ratify the proposed standard, and presented in a peer-reviewed publication.
Project website:

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. PAGES Magazine workshop report

> Paleoclimate data standards (vol.24, no.1)


Updates from LinkedEarth, June 2017

Julien Emile-Geay and Nick McKay represented LinkedEarth at PAGES OSM in Zaragoza in May 2017. It was a mad rush pushing all 692 PAGES 2k datasets on the wiki prior to the event, but our wonderful team made it happen. The data collection is growing every day, slowly but surely. You can find Nick's LiPD manifesto here and Julien's ode to geoinformatics here.

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. On that note, we welcome the Floods and Historical documents working groups, and are excited for OC3 to be taking LinkedEarth for a test drive at the OC3 Workshop in Corvallis, OR from 27-29 June 2017. Deborah will shepherd the OC3 group through its first LinkedEarth data drive. Plus, USC student Jun Hu will be in Dublin for the PAGES SISAL workshop to show what magic can happen when speleothem data are stored in LiPD.