Jun 29, 2015

Increasing sharing, expanding user base, and estimating impact of your research data using service tools and social media - a use case study

It has become increasingly important to communicate and share your research with users and estimate the potential impact of your research data, both during and after its development. Dr. Ge Peng, a research scholar at Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites in North Carolina (CICS-NC), and Thomas Maycock, Science Public Information Officer, share their thoughts on different ways of sharing your data, expanding your user base, and broadening the impact of your research. They compare several communication platforms and service tools in this set of slides, outlining some advantages and disadvantages based on their own experiences.

Below, they describe how tools and services have been used with one of the main research products: the scientific data stewardship maturity assessment model.

The main research product featured in this presentation is the scientific data stewardship maturity assessment model, in the form of a matrix, which is jointly developed by scientists and data managers from CICS-NC and NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). The matrix provides a unified framework for assessing stewardship practices applied to individual digital Earth Science datasets and is published by the Data Science Journal (http://dx.doi.org/10.2481/dsj.14-049).

Prior to baselining and publishing the matrix in the peer-reviewed journal, the vehicle of slideshare.com was utilized to allow public viewing and, by invitation only, downloads of the beta versions of the matrix along with a set of background slides. The slides were used in communicating, either directly or via e-mail lists, to people at data-management-oriented conferences, groups, and organizations. This communication has proven to be very beneficial in improving the consistency of content in the matrix by obtaining feedback from a much wider pool of experts in the field.

The capability of creating shorter and meaningful URLs by tinyurl.com was useful for customizing URL links for use in tweets, e-mails, and presentations.

The vehicle of figshare.com was used to issue a persistent digital object identifier (DOI) in a timely fashion. This DOI is included in the matrix journal publication to provide users with sustained and trackable access to the latest version of the matrix.

Dr. Peng indicated that keeping both sets of slides (matrix and high-level background) at slideshare.com after the publication of the matrix allows her to continue to reach out to users in domains and countries beyond her original expectations. The analytics provided by slideshare.com provide a good indicator of potential interest and impact.

The web stories and social media are coordinated efforts between CICS-NC and NCEI by the communication teams from both organizations. As indicated in slide 6, they bring noticeable traffic to the site. Again, the online presence of those web stories, tweets and Facebook has a long-lasting effect.

Submitted by Ge Peng, Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites in North Carolina (CICS-NC)