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A Few of My Favorite Things

Posted in UC3

It’s American Thanksgiving this week, and I’m feeling a bit nostalgic and wistful.  In honor of this occasion, I thought I would list a few of my favorite data-related websites, blogs, and services. Cue Maria and the von Trapps! Or John Coltrane, if you prefer.

  1. FlowingData.  This is an incredible website full of interesting ideas about how to present data effectively.  As data sets grow and science becomes increasingly online, we will all need to think hard about how best to display our results. This is a great place to stimulate your creativity.

    raindrops on rose
    Maria’s favorite thing. From Flickr by outdoorPDK.
  2. EZID. This is a very nifty service offered by my own home base, California Digital Library.  You can register an archived data set with EZID and get a DOI- a digital object identifier– that uniquely references your data set. That means you can list it on your CV, cite it in your publications, and share it with collaborators. See my recent post about data citation for more ideas and info.
  3. DataCite. This is a great organization of librarians and other folks interested in promoting data citation.  They are far ahead of the pack in terms of thinking about data citation and promotion of data publication.
  4. rOpenSci. This collaboration is all about creating open source R packages to facilitate science.  I have a love/hate relationship with R, but that doesn’t change my belief that it’s incredibly powerful and useful.
  5. DataONE. What a fabulous idea: linking together existing repositories so you can search them ALL with one interface!  Public release is set for January 2012. I can barely wait (and yes, I know that’s incredibly nerdy).
  6. ORCID. This is a non-profit that’s working on solving the problem of one name, many versions. It stands for “Open Researcher and Contributor ID”.  The idea is for each researcher to get a unique personal identifier that is linked to all versions of their identity (for example Carly A. Strasser, CA Strasser, C.A. Strasser, Carly Ann Strasser, C. Strasser).  It will help ensure researchers get credit for all of their work and increase discovery/funding/collaboration efficiency.  This will be great especially for those interested in changing their names to something more catchy (e.g. Carly von Trapp).  It’s still in early phases but stay tuned.

All of the items listed above are very relevant to the DCXL project- early indications are that the add-in will have capabilities to create data citations, link to DataONE, incorporate identifiers created by ORCID and EZID, and generate R-ready spreadsheets.

I can’t resist including a link to whiskers on kittens: if you haven’t seen the top 10 cat videos on the internet, take a break and check these out.

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