For a data supporter it is essential to know that how researchers publish their work is changing.
Publications, data sets and other forms of research information are frequently stored and displayed as separate types of information. However, they still have a lot in common. By linking the related information to each other, a so-called Scientific Publication Package - a term invented by Jane Hunter(2) - is created. For instance, combining the publication and underlying data sets, images, models, visualisations, reports, documentation, appendices and links to the related research.
There are roughly three ways to publish research data:
- In a data archive as an independent object.
- As a description of a data set in a data paper.
- As a component in a web of relations.
(Also read chapter 'Open Research Data: From Vision to Practice'(1) in the book 'Opening Science').
Until recently we referred to this as 'enriched publication', but nowadays this term is not really used anymore. This demonstrates the rapid changes in the field where you as a data supporter are active. What remains is the approach to purposefully link various information sources. To this end, the dynamics are essential. The content of a publication is no longer linear: "It is a network of components and readers get to choose their own optimal path" (in Dutch).(3)
The dynamic publication has irrevocaly entered the playing field (also read chapter 'Dynamic Publication Formats and Collaborative Authoring'(4) in the book 'Opening Science').
A significant consideration when establishing relations between digital objects is to make sure that all objects that are related must have a persistent identifier. You will learn more on this subject in the Data citation section.
To formulate relations between objects such as data, publication and researcher one could use specifications that are included in the Resource Description Framework (RDF). By recording digital objects as linked data you can create a web of relations.
How can you use the knowledge gained from this section in a conversation with a researcher? Are there data papers in the field you support? Do you have anything else you would like to add to this page? If so you can leave your remarks in the comments.