Call to action for global access to and harmonization of quality information of individual earth science datasets

Ge Peng*, Robert R. Downs, Carlo Lacagnina, Hampapuram Ramapriyan, Ivana Ivánová, David Moroni, Yaxing Wei, Gilles Larnicol, Lesley Wyborn, Mitch Goldberg, Jörg Schulz, Irina Bastrakova, Anette Ganske, Lucy Bastin, Siri Jodha S. Khalsa, Mingfang Wu, Chung Lin Shie, Nancy Ritchey, Dave Jones, Ted HabermannChristina Lief, Iolanda Maggio, Mirko Albani, Shelley Stall, Lihang Zhou, Marie Drévillon, Sarah Champion, C. Sophie Hou, Francisco Doblas-Reyes, Kerstin Lehnert, Erin Robinson, Kaylin Bugbee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knowledge about the quality of data and metadata is important to support informed decisions on the (re)use of individual datasets and is an essential part of the ecosystem that supports open science. Quality assessments reflect the reliability and usability of data. They need to be consistently curated, fully traceable, and adequately documented, as these are crucial for sound decision-and policy-making efforts that rely on data. Quality assessments also need to be consistently represented and readily integrated across systems and tools to allow for improved sharing of information on quality at the dataset level for individual quality attribute or dimension. Although the need for assessing the quality of data and associated information is well recognized, methodologies for an evaluation framework and presentation of resultant quality information to end users may not have been comprehensively addressed within and across disciplines. Global interdisciplinary domain experts have come together to systematically explore needs, challenges and impacts of consistently curating and representing quality information through the entire lifecycle of a dataset. This paper describes the findings of that effort, argues the importance of sharing dataset quality information, calls for community action to develop practical guidelines, and outlines community recommendations for developing such guidelines. Practical guidelines will allow for global access to and harmonization of quality information at the level of individual Earth science datasets, which in turn will support open science.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
Number of pages15
JournalData Science Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Author(s). This is an
open-access article distributed
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Commons Attribution 4.0
International License (CC-BY
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Funding Information:
The virtual pre-ESIP workshop held on July 13, 2020 was sponsored by ESIP and co-organized by the ESIP IQC and the BSC EQC team, in collaboration with the ARDC AU/NZ DQIG. An additional community engagement event was carried out by the AU/NZ DQIG prior to the pre-ESIP workshop. ESIP is primarily supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).


  • Data Quality
  • Earth Science Information
  • FAIR
  • Interoperability
  • Quality Dimension
  • Stewardship


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