The week in San Francisco at AGU 2013 was busy, and we learned a lot at both the scientific session we co-hosted (link) and the Sediment Experimentalists Network Town Hall. Thanks to ALL participants, presenters, and colleagues who did anything SEN related, you are helping us to build our network!
We leave you at year’s end with a brief Town Hall summary and some holiday reading.
- Town Hall highlights: Building a Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN)
- Recommended book: Users Guide to Physical Modelling and Experimentation
- Recommended post: The Vast Majority of Raw Data From Old Scientific Studies May Now Be Missing [smithsonian]
- Recommended game: Play Delta Shuffle to help scientists understand what controls the shape of deltas
1. Town Hall highlights: Building a Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN)
On Wednesday, Dec. 11, we described our NSF-funded project for building a Sediment Experimentalist Network, with the three legs of SEN-KB: a Knowledge Base for sharing methods and data, SEN-ED: EDucation and enabling discussions about data and metadata management and guidelines, and SEN-EC: Global Experimental Collaboratories connected through a webinar system for real-time sharing and interaction.
After a demo of the new Knowledge Base (soon launching at sedexp.net!), the conversation hit upon several issues, including:
- Data storage of multiple TB of data is important and needed
- Quality of the data shared is a big concern - we should think about peer review of datasets or some other type of quality control
- There are existing vocabularies from GeoSciML and CSDMS standard names that our community should consider using
2. Users Guide to Physical Modelling and Experimentation: Experience of the HYDRALAB Network (IAHR Design Manual)
The book combines the expertise of many of the leading hydraulic experimentalists in Europe and identifies current best practice for carrying out state-of-the-art, modern laboratory investigations. In addition it gives an inventory and reviews recent advances in instrumentation and equipment that drive present and new developments in the subject. The Guide concentrates on four core areas – waves, breakwaters, sediments and the relatively-new (but rapidly-developing) cross-disciplinary area of hydrodynamics/ecology.
3. The Vast Majority of Raw Data From Old Scientific Studies May Now Be Missing (http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2013/12/the-vast-majority-of-raw-data-from-old-scientific-studies-may-now-be-missing/#ixzz2o2gO5tPU%20)
One of the foundations of the scientific method is the reproducibility of results. In a lab anywhere around the world, a researcher should be able to study the same subject as another scientist and reproduce the same data, or analyze the same data and notice the same patterns.
This is why the findings of a study published today in Current Biology are so concerning. When a group of researchers tried to email the authors of 516 biological studies published between 1991 and 2011 and ask for the raw data, they were dismayed to find that more 90 percent of the oldest data (from papers written more than 20 years ago) were inaccessible. In total, even including papers published as recently as 2011, they were only able to track down the data for 23 percent.
4. Play Delta Shuffle to help scientists understand what controls the shape of deltas
Spotted at the AGU NCED Booth:
Calling all Citizen Scientists! Help scientists understand what controls the shape of deltas! PLAY TODAY!