GFZ Data Services is a curated research data repository for the geosciences domain, hosted at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, Germany. We provide publishing services for research data, scientific software and data reports.
Since 2004, the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences assigns Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) to datasets. These datasets are archived by and published through GFZ Data Services and cover all geoscientific disciplines. They range from large dynamic datasets deriving from data intensive global monitoring networks with real-time data acquisition to the full suite of highly variable datasets collected by individual researchers or small teams. These highly variable data (‘long-tail data’) are small in size, but represent an important part of the total scientific output.
Beyond data and software publication services for individual researchers, we cater to several international groups, including the IAG Services IGETS, ICGEM and ISG, and the international consortium for geomagnetic observatories INTERMAGNET. GFZ Data Services is partner repository for the “Specialised Information Service for Solid Earth Geosciences (Fachinformationsdienst der Geowissenschaften der Festen Erde FID GEO), the EPOS Multi-scale Laboratories and the PIK Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. In the catalogue of GFZ Data Services, we organise these different project and community services as data centres. GFZ Data Services uses the Scholix infrastructure. This allows cross-referencing between data/software publications and research articles even years after the paper was published.
Our publishing services rely on the combination of data and metadata and are supported by the use of persistent identifiers (PIDs) and controlled disciplinary vocabularies. The key tool for metadata generation is the GFZ Metadata Editor.
GFZ Metadata Editor
The GFZ Metadata Editor assists scientists in creating metadata compliant with metadata schemas popular in the Earth sciences (ISO19115, NASA GCMD DIF, DataCite). The metadata editor also has search functionality of several structured vocabulary lists, it allows for utilizing several persistent identifiers and cross linking (e.g. ORCID, DOI, Crossref Funder Registry).
Data publications can be regarded as a best practice for sharing data following the FAIR Principles for research data management. Users submit metadata through the GFZ Metadata Editor which is based on the DataCite 4.0 metadata schema. Metadata is curated, landing pages can export metadata to other metadata standards commonly used in the earth sciences.
Similar to data publications, assigning DOIs to software, scripts or codes is key for their citability in research articles and part of the service portfolio of GFZ Data Services. The workflow and components are similar to that of data publications: The code is documented, described with metadata and the citation of the software publication should be included in the reference lists of journal articles. We recommend to also depositing the code in software repositories with version control (e.g. Git). The DOI Landing page is cross-referenced with the project page in the software repository and assigned with Open Source Software Licences.
In 2011, GFZ complemented its traditional Scientific Technical Report STR series with a report series specifically dedicated to the description of datasets. The GFZ Data Reports have standardized discipline-specific templates, are internally reviewed and offer a full and consistent overview and description of all relevant parameters of a published dataset.