Research data management in the field of Ecology: an overview

Cristiana Alves, João Aguuiar Castro, Cristina Ribeiro, João Pradinho Honrado, Ângela Lomba


The diversity of research topics and resulting datasets in the field of Ecology has grown in line with developments in research data management. Based on a meta-analysis performed on 93 scientific references, this paper presents a comprehensive overview of the use of metadata models in the ecology domain through time. Overall, 40 metadata models were found to be either referred or used by the biodiversity community from 1997 to 2018. In the same period, 50 different initiatives in ecology and biodiversity were conceptualized and implemented to promote effective data sharing in the community. A relevant concern that stems from this analysis is the need to establish simple methods to promote data interoperability and reuse, so far limited by the production of metadata according to different standards. With this study, we also highlight challenges and perspectives in research data management in the domain of Ecology towards best practice guidelines.

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