Data Citation Redux

I know what faithful DCXL readers are thinking: didn’t you already post about data citation? (For the unfaithful among you, check out this post from last November). Yes, I did. But I’ve been inspired to post yet again because I just attended an amazing workshop about all things data citation related.

The workshop was hosted by the NCAR Library (NCAR stands for National Center for Atmospheric Research) and took place in Boulder on Thursday and Friday of last week.  Workshop organizers expected about 30 attendees; more than 70 showed up to learn more about data citation.  Hats off to the organizers – there healthy discussions among attendees and interesting presentations by great speakers.

One of the presentations that struck me most was by Dr. Tim KilleenAssistant Director for the Geosciences Directorate at NSF.  His talk (available on the workshop website) discussed the motivation for data citation, and what policies have begun to emerge.  Near the end of a rather long string reports about data citation, data sharing, and data management, Killeen said  “There is a drumbeat into Washington about this.”

John Bonham

If Led Zeppelin drummer J Bonham were still alive, he would leading the data charge into DC. Bonham was voted by Rolling Stone readers as the best drummer of all time. Photo from

This phrase stuck with me long after I flew home because it juxtaposted two things I hadn’t considered as being related: Washington DC and data policy.  Yes, I understand that NSF is located in Washington, and that very recently the White House announced some exciting Big Data funding and initiatives. But Washington DC as a whole – congress, lobbyists, lawyers, judges, etc. – would notice a drum beat about data? I must say, I got pretty excited about the idea.

What are these reports cited by Killeen?  In chronological order:

The NSB report on long-lived digital data had yet another a great phrase that stuck with me:

Long-lived digital data collections are powerful catalysts for progress and for democratization of science and education

Wow. I really love the idea of democratized data.  It warms the cockles, doesn’t it?  With regard to DCXL, the link is obvious.  One of the features we are developing is generation of a data citation for your Excel dataset.

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