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Researcher’s Guide to DataONE

Researcher Roadmap to DataONE welcomeresearchsearchworkdescribesharecredithelp

1. Welcome to DataONE

At DataONE we support the search and discovery of Earth and environmental data across repositories around the world and offer access to educational resources and materials on data management:

2. How will DataONE help with your research?

DataONE provides a robust suite of data discovery and research tools. As a researcher, you can use DataONE Search to discover data, manage your data with a range of software tools, and then preserve and share it with the community.
Check out how others have used DataONE’s tools to make their research possible.

3. Ready to search for data?

To learn more about how to use DataONE Search, check out our series of short (~1min) 'how-to" Screencast Tutorials.

DataONE makes it possible for you to search for a wide range of environmental data through one simple and efficient discovery tool, DataONE Search.

Announcing DataONE Search: A New Way to Discover Data, Explore repositories that are part of DataONE

4. Work with data

Using DataONE’s tools, researchers will be better able to access and analyze data for critical science needs, describe their data, and learn more about data management best practices.

Primer on Data Management
Refer to our Primer on Data Management: What you always wanted to know (PDF) for fundamental data management practices that will enable you to effectively create, organize, manage, describe, preserve and share data.

Best Practices
The DataONE Best Practices database provides researchers with recommendations on how to effectively work with their data through all stages of the data lifecycle. You can access best practices within the database by either clicking on a stage of the data lifecycle, like analyze or integrate, or by selecting keywords under search.

Education Modules
DataONE's Community Education Resources includes a series of modules on good data management practices. These lessons are freely available and adaptable for use in a range of contexts by researchers, teachers, librarians, or anyone who wants to learn better data management practices. Lessons 03, 04, 05, 07, and 09 may be applicable to learning how to better work with your data.

Before you begin working with (or even collecting) your data, it’s recommended that you first prepare a data management plan (DMP) to describe how the data will be managed and made accessible throughout its lifetime. The DMPTool is a simple step-by-step interface that walks you through the process of creating a DMP that complies with various funders’ requirements.

DataONE R Client
The DataONE R Client provides the ability to access open ecological, environmental, and earth science data from the DataONE network of repositories, and to save data from within R to DataONE repositories that support write access.

Software Tools Catalog
The Software Tools Catalog is a searchable catalog that provides a brief description of a wide range of tools recommended for use by scientists and students, as well as additional information and links to further resources.


5. Describe your workflow

Allowing for traceability is part of the scientific method. The ability for other researchers to replicate your research, or understand your methods is referred to as provenance.

It is a best practice to share the workflows you used in your research process. DataONE offers the ability to track your workflows using provenance tools, such as R and Matlab, that connect to DataONE.


DataONE is involved in the Whole Tale project, developing the ability to capture the whole story associated with your research, including the research environment in which work was conducted, the source data used in analyses and models, and the resulting derived data and visualizations.

DataONE hosted a provenance workshop in late 2017, with preliminary instructions for using provenance in DataONE to show the history behind how your research project was developed.

6. Share your research

There are many benefits to sharing your data, both for yourself and for the broader science community. DataONE tracks data sharing through uploads and downloads.
When you’re ready to share your data, you'll need to select a repository.

DataONE Dash is an open source, community driven project that takes a unique approach to data publication and digital preservation. Dash has been adapted from a University of California service to connect to the DataONE ONEShare Member Node. DataONE has developed screencast instructions to assist you in using DataONE Dash for data sharing.

Several webinars from the DataONE Webinar Series have addressed the topic of data sharing:

7. Give credit and track impact

If you use information from the DataONE website in published or unpublished work, you'll no doubt want to include attribution for the resources you use. DataONE provides suggested citation formats and examples of attribution.

DataONE provides the ability to view stats on how your contributed datasets have been reused by others. This screencast tutorial explains how to view your own metrics via your user profile.

The DataONE Webinar series has addressed the topic of metrics: Make Data Count: Measuring Data Use and Reach

8. Need more help?

DataONE provides in-person training to scientists, students and data managers via presentations, workshops and online resources that cover aspects of managing, preserving, analyzing and visualizing data. Find an upcoming in-person event.

The DataONE Users Group (DUG) is a community of Earth observation data authors, users, and diverse stakeholders that makeup the DataONE partnership communities. The DUG provides guidance that facilitates DataONE in achieving its vision and mission. It is free to join and participate in the DUG. Learn more about the DUG in the recorded webinar: The DataONE Users Group (DUG): Supporting and Connecting the DataONE User Community

If you have a question about DataONE products or services that our website does not answer, try looking through our community forum at ask.dataone.org or contact a member of the DataONE team.