CONVERGE has partnered with DesignSafe—which is the web-based cyberinfrastructure platform for the National Science Foundation Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NSF-NHERI) network— to develop a novel social science and interdisciplinary data model for natural hazards research.
This data model, which was released in April 2020, allows social and behavioral scientists and members of interdisciplinary teams, for the first time, to publish legacy datasets as well as new qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods field research data specific to hazards and disaster research. In addition, the data model is robust enough for researchers to publish data collection protocols, research instruments, and Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocols. Through expanding the potential for researchers to have a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) assigned to their datasets and data collection instruments and protocols, the vision is to advance the possibility for richer collaboration and more cross-geographic site, cross-disciplinary, and cross-hazards replication within the disaster social science and engineering fields.
We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Anna Braswell of the University of Florida, David Hondula of Arizona State University, and Elaina Sutley of the University of Kansas. They provided invaluable feedback for the initial development of the social science and interdisciplinary data model.
“Most researchers currently share their data either as supplementary material to a journal article or in an independent data repository….Repositories also allow researchers to make data curation part of their ongoing workflow, rather than an additional task at the end of the publication process.”
CONVERGE Data Ambassadors have published data, research protocols, instruments, reports, toolkits, and various other materials using the new data model. For a list of recent publications and other motivating examples, visit the Data Ambassadors page. You can also find additional research materials published by social science and interdisciplinary researchers on the Natural Hazards Center website.
Workshop on Open Data and Reuse in Social Science Weather Research
Guidance from the White House has mandated that researchers who receive federal funds must make their publications and data publicly available at no cost and without delay. The guidance, first issued in a 2022 memo by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), builds on previous efforts to advance open science. In particular, the memo prioritizes equitable and timely access to research data and findings for all members of the public.
In April 2023, the Natural Hazards Center and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Program Office convened a workshop where social scientists, federal funders, data librarians, and other experts produced community-informed recommendations on the publication and reuse of social science data in weather-related research. The findings of the workshop are now available in the Final Report of the Workshop on Open Data and Reuse in Social Science Weather Research. It offers a synopsis of key observations as well as recommended actions to ease the transition to the new policy. While the workshop and findings were intended for social science research, they apply to other disciplines as well.