Complex Citations in the Earth and Space Sciences: Formulating Requirements for a Demonstration Prototype

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31 Oct 2022
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 

The ESIP/RDA Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences Interest Group is forming a working group to examine and make recommendations around complex data citations that continue to be challenging.  This working group is preceded by a community-of-practice that began this year building on discussions at the AGU Fall Meeting Data FAIR Town Hall 2020, “Why Is Citing Data Still Hard?”, which was continued in the BoF “Complex Data Citations: Formulating a Community Recommendation” session at RDA-19.

The ESES Complex Citation WG addresses the use case of citing a large number of existing objects (e.g., datasets, software, or physical samples) such that credit for individual objects is enabled properly.  Such collections of objects may contain hundreds to millions+ of elements with a citation needing to include subsets of elements potentially from multiple collections. There are a number of terms used for this concept, to include Data Collection, Package, Crate and more.  Infrastructure and guidance are still required to make it easier for researchers to use this type of citation and receive/give credit for the object used in the research. This is critical to enable reproducible research, and important for researchers to be able to trace citation and usage of their work and report on impact to funders. For policy makers it allows for accurate tracking of policy decisions to the supporting data. 

In this first WG session, we want to 

  • share the work already done with the RDA community especially with those with interest in PIDs (re: DOIs), FAIR Digital Objects, DOI Collections, funders, repositories creating DOI collections, journals supporting citing DOI Collections, and enabling Credit for the elements of a DOI Collection.; 

  • gather additional use cases; and 

  • start the discussion on formulating requirements for the creation of a demonstration prototype.

Meeting agenda: 


Collaborative session notes:

  1. Introduction to ESES Complex Citation WG and previous work (15 min)

  2. Overview of use cases and example reliquaries/collections (15 min)

    1. BODC -

    2. IPCC - 

    3. LCESP -

  3. Discussion on potential other use cases in geophysics, geochemistry and physical samples: seek additional ones from the audience from the audience (15 min)

  4. Available options from DataCite, resourceType:Collection (15 min)

  5. Discussion on work plan for next 6 months: what are our priorities (25 min): 

  6. Wrap-up (5 min)

Target Audience: 

Although the definition of the problem initially comes from the Earth, Space and Environmental Science, we want to engage with the broad RDA community to see if other areas have a similar issue. We are especially inviting those with interest in PIDs (re: DOIs), FAIR Digital Objects, DOI Collections, repositories creating DOI collections, journals supporting citing DOI Collections, and Credit for the elements of a DOI Collection.

We particularly seek input from:

  1. Researchers that need to cite more than 10 research artifacts/objects in a research paper to help define the problem and  fully develop the recommendations and identify adopters. 

  2. Journal staff and indexers to help develop a basic approach that applies to most variations and comment on some of the early drafts of the recommendations. 

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

Starting in December 2020 during a Data FAIR Town Hall at AGU’s large meeting we reached out across the community for interest in supporting virtual working sessions that would lead to recommendations, adoption, and a better of citing large numbers of data/digital objects in journal articles and other publications. 

During 2021 we held three large working sessions as well as smaller group development efforts, which are documented at.

The discussion was continued at a BoF at RDA-19: the BoF “Complex Data Citations: Formulating a Community Recommendation” session.

Short Group Status: 

Group yet to be established: case statement pending

Estimate of the required room capacity (Hybrid plenary): 
Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Meeting presenters: 
Co-chairs + invited speakers to be confirmed