What is the DOE Data Explorer?
To gain familiarity with real examples of research data take a look at the DOE Data Explorer. This resource provides a place to discover a huge variety of scientific research data generated from projects funded wholly or in part by the US Department of Energy. Topics vary from astrophysics to general science to x-rays. Records in the DDE link to open datasets, data collections, or repositories.
How does it work?
DOE Data Explorer offers a basic keyword search, plus advanced search features including file type and organization. To become familiar with the span of work included just browse. Browse by dataset, data collection, subjects, and organizations.
What will I find?
A typical record includes a brief description, authors, organizations, data type, and similar metadata. Also, every record includes a link to the dataset or data collection. This link may land on a secondary search page like a data dashboard or an organization’s site. All data featured in the DDE should be accessible, although some sites require registration first. Some datasets will be large file sizes of sensor data while others may be small sets of text files. Look at the metadata for a clue as to what you will find.
Use the DOE Data Explorer to gain an appreciation for scientific research data. See the types of data that researchers are saving and sharing. Note what information gets included in the metadata records. Identify repositories by subject area. With the DDE and similar tools like re3data.org librarians can show newer researchers what to expect. This is also a great place to discover data for reuse projects.
Jennifer Roach, Distance Learning & Resource Sharing Librarian, Towson University, jroach@
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