Heading into the new year, it is a good time to pause and reflect on the past year, and look forward to what lies ahead. In 2015, SHARE launched the public beta of SHARE Notify, which generates a feed of research release events—such as posting a preprint to a disciplinary repository, depositing a data set into a data repository, publishing a peer-reviewed article—from diverse sources. By the end of the year, the SHARE Notify database included more than three million research releases contributed by 77 data providers. This is a tremendous step forward as the SHARE team continues to add research releases and new registered sources. This progress is also the result of contributions from so many people both within the SHARE team and community working groups in the first two years of this initiative.
Now with renewed SHARE funding from IMLS and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced in October, we are excited to head into 2016 focused on the next step towards realizing our vision for SHARE to maximize research impact by making it more accessible, discoverable, and reusable. The theme for the new year is enhancing the critical mass of metadata created through Phase I of SHARE by adding or imputing missing elements and linking related objects, and therefore improving the accessibility and reusability of research content.
Looking first at reusability, in order to plug past research into future data-driven work it is vital to capture information (i.e., metadata) about what conditions and methods (i.e., scientific workflow) produced the data. In turn, as SHARE utilizes the Open Science Framework (OSF), a big area of exploration this year will be connecting SHARE to complementary workflow tools within the OSF. The OSF actively links research project data storage and data analysis tools. Using the OSF’s models for captured metadata at data creation—thereby establishing a provenance for research data—will give a deeper view into the research life cycle.
Accessibility and discoverability is really about researchers identifying resources relevant to their research questions. This includes identifying potential collaborators as well as publications and data. For example, a social scientist studying occurrences of a particular behavioral trait could benefit from working with a computer scientist studying new sequencing and pattern-matching methods within sample sets. Look for the SHARE team to continue working with communities like VIVO to correlate researchers with the scholarly activity being aggregated by SHARE.
Finally, a major emphasis for SHARE this year will be forging tighter connections with professionals at research institutions through activities like our expert curation and metadata associates programs, in order to enable direct contributions of authoritative metadata. Our exploratory interviews with The Ohio State University, UC San Diego, and Virginia Tech will further inform our strategies to utilize the research being tracked by SHARE both at a local institution and wider community level.
SHARE is thankful for its many partners, contributors, and supporters—past and present!