FAIR and consistent data management in a large multidisciplinary project: The Nansen Legacy
The Nansen Legacy project is a collaboration of over 200 biologists, oceanographers, atmospheric scientists and geologists from 10 research institutions across Norway. They investigate the impact of climate change on the northern Barents Sea and adjacent Arctic Basin through multiple research expeditions into often ice-covered waters. Designing a system that ensures good and consistent data management across such a large, multidisciplinary project is challenging, as multiple documentation standards must be considered to encompass the wide range of data involved. Yet success in achieving this is particularly important to facilitate multidisciplinary collaborations, both across the project and beyond, as researchers are often less aware of the data available to them outside of their own field, which may compliment or strengthen their work. To ensure good data management across the project, we have developed a standardized spreadsheet template generator based on Darwin Core, also including terms from NetCDF-CF, that simplifies data publication. The populated templates are fed into a searchable metadata catalogue available through the SIOS (Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System) website, that provides an overview of the data collection activities. Documented and published sampling protocols ensure consistent data collection procedures between different researchers, and to clarify how the data were collected for those not involved. The Nansen Legacy project is committed to the FAIR data management principles proposed by Wilksinson et al. (2016), and published datasets are harvested and made accessible via a single access point on the SIOS website. Frequent data management training is available to educate all project participants on the best practices for all of these procedures.