Data reuse recognition scheme

Upfront paradigm shift.
Data are not privately owned. Greater good requires community ownership.

Ecology poised to become even more important in speaking to policy and management of this planet. We must share information freely but also recognize work of others.

Big science needs big connections and recognition promotes discussion and collaboration.

Published datasets are free to use by others. If a null modeler requests a dataset from a publication, re-analyses data, and subsequently generates a novel finding with only my dataset in new publication, all hers/his if I did none of the synthesis. Usual co-authorship rules apply. If my dataset is integrated with other datasets, and I do not contribute to synthesis, obvious citation only. Hence, form and resuse of datasets informs only etiquette. Personal recommendation to synthesists, check crest (figure below).


data resuse recognition



Synthesis rules of thumb for ESA and journals.

(1) Synthesists should always cite data publications in main paper to ensure proper credit captured (i.e. do not bury in appendices).

(2) Syntheses must include synthetic summary data in publication. For instance, a table listing study, authors, year, effect size estimate, and source from within dataset/primary paper. This facilitates at least two of the following important activities:

reuse for future synthesis and error checking by authors of primary data to ensure correct usage*

(3) Synthesists should consider publishing datasets before publishing paper to ensure that important studies were not overlooked and to introduce error checking prior to publication. This can occur even after conditional acceptance by the journal but is preferable to proof stage.

Here is a revised final paragraph to the PeerJ preprint I posted associated with this topic for Oikos:

Oikos is an ecological journal also publishing meta-analyses at an increasing rate, and similar to the transformative capacity of the Forum section, a dedicated section associated with formalized, replicable systematic reviews and meta-analyses will also advance discovery and integration via effective curation.  Importantly, methodological comments that speak directly to improved modes of synthesis should be discussed and examined more vigorously in our discipline.  A dedicated senior editor will be assigned to this section, all decisions and reviews will be completed with one month (provided referees respond in a timely manner), and referees will be selected to review not only the topic explored but also to review the elements of synthesis included.  Transparency in the literature selection will be required through inclusion of reporting tools such as those of PRISMA, and data with meta-data will be published alongside the syntheses whenever permitted.  These efforts will be open-access published to stimulate positive practices in our field more broadly and to facilitate longitudinal cross-study contrasts of ecological syntheses.  Ecology is a very diverse discipline, and big-science ecology needs big bridges between our synthetic discoveries.

*In my limited experience with data extraction from publications, it is sometimes challenging to select the appropriate year when multiple censuses conducted or when various productivity responses measured. Hence, feedback before I complete the synthesis would be profoundly useful in some instances.