With a little help from my (virtual) friends

This week I spent time hanging out with Sun, Jean, Mr. McMillan and the crew. These are the names of personas, developed by the Socio-­cultural and Usability & Assessment Working Groups. They are constructs, based on researcher profiles, surveys, interviews and life experience, and they represent a broad range of users, and potential users of DataONE. One of the questions I’ve been asking is how do scientists work with a data repository? These personas provide a wealth of material to consider.

I also went through the data stories. These rich narratives provide great insights, and were fun to read. They are tagged for different data activities, and it is easy to see the multiple roles that DataONE could, and does, provide in helping with a range of issues.

How does this relate to metrics? The question I had was in finding out how people interact with DataONE, and where that activity could be seen. Citations would show just a part of the broad range of support – particularly in data management – that DataONE provides. Last week’s look at Google analytics for the website certainly provides support for the importance of data management within the DataONE website.

If we think about “new science” – with one suggestion that it is connected to new datasets, built from multiple smaller, deposited datasets – then where in the data life cycle can we see changes in research behavior, both descriptive and predictive, in building and using these datasets? Citations are useful, but slow and problematic.

There’s much more to learn here, and I’m going to be spending more time with these folks.

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