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Data to Receive Recognition from NSF

Posted in UC3

first class ticket
NSF just gave data an upgrade to First Class. From Flickr by acme

This week, the National Science Foundation announced changes to its Grant Proposal Guidelines (Full GPG for January 2013 here).  Included in this list is something that has me pretty jazzed about the future of research data.

The biosketch section of the proposal is a place where the proposal’s researchers describe their background and why they are qualified to do the work proposed.  Included in the biosketch is a list of “relevant publications”. The change for 2013 is this: the wording has been updated to “relevant products”.

Chapter II.C.2.f(i)(c), Biographical Sketch(es), has been revised to rename the “Publications” section to “Products” and amend terminology and instructions accordingly. This change makes clear that products may include, but are not limited to, publications, data sets, software, patents, and copyrights.

WooHoo!! That’s pretty great news for those of us trying to get data the recognition it deserves.  This goes along with my idea of adding a “Data” section to researchers’ Curriculum Vitae and having data recognized in the Tenure and Promotion process at institutions. We are a bit closer to treating datasets as first class products of research.

Researchers, take heed: gone are the days when you can leave your data on zip drives in your filing cabinet (*cough* data from my undergrad project *cough*). The NSF is incentivizing data sharing by recognizing its importance as a research output; hopefully institutions and funders will follow suit. How can you get ready? Make your data public, create a citation with a unique, persistent identifier, and start watching the credit for your work roll in.

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