Data Access


Increasing Access to the Results of Scientific Research




The Icy Worlds Team at Jet Propulsion Laboratory is strongly committed to the principles of providing open access to research data produced using public funding; sharing such data for reuse, production of derivatives, or validation of research findings is fundamental to the soul of science and the advancement of astrobiological study. Progress in our compliance with data and sample management requirements outlined by NASA is moving briskly toward a bright future of open data access for all.


Making Data Access a Reality

Following communication with each JPL Investigation Lead about data generation and workflow, as well as format and volume of data, the responsibility for transferring datasets to the archive is the responsibility of the Co-I. The wide variety of data volumes and formats supports this process. Fully reduced, validated, and corrected data products is produced under the direction of each Investigation Lead. The Co-I’s, with advisement from the data engineer (Ivria Doloboff of JPL Icy Worlds Team), are responsible for coordinating all Icy Worlds scientific investigations involving the use of calibrated data from their respective instruments and experiments, and ensuring that all science data products, including information required to interpret these products, are delivered to the archive within the two year window requirement. The datasets must include sufficient detail to permit examination for the purposes of replicating the research, responding to questions that may result from errata or misinterpretation, establishing authenticity of the records and confirming the validity of the conclusions; any model descriptions will adhere to emerging high standards for sharing such information.

The current process in place for satisfying data archiving and accessibility requirements makes use of the existing agency-wide data management resource: data.NASA.gov and the supplementary materials section of journals in which data products are published. In the event that a journal is unable to include all data in the supplementary materials section, data.NASA.gov will be used to make datasets accessible. The XML and JSON formats provided by data.NASA.gov satisfy the machine-readable requirement for data access and are the most up-to-date formats for metadata generation and preservation, project tracking, indexing, and re-use of datasets. Identification of version number and collection date are possible with careful metadata creation, validation, and preservation.


The Long-Term Vision for Icy Worlds Data

The long-term process envisioned by the Icy Worlds PI and data engineer is the deployment of an Icy Worlds Packaged Science Data System. Working in concert with the Center for Data Science and Technology in JPL’s Mission Systems and Operations Division, a data architecture will be constructed within the JPL Icy Worlds server to allow for front-end access of datasets by the public via a portal on the newly released Icy Worlds website. XML metadata records would continue to be generated and remain the standard format of datasets available within the archive. Curation of metadata will augment efforts for the long-term archive and preservation process by permitting query of data objects through attributes instead of physical names or locations (e.g. data object, resource, instrument, collection, user, method).