THE GEOCHRON SYSTEM FOR SHARING AND ARCHIVING GEOCHRONOLOGY DATA: NEW ADVANCES IN DATA MANAGEMENT
Data reporting requires not just submitting the reduced data used to compute dates, but also documenting the necessary metadata to ensure the quality, understanding, and possible reuse of the analyses. Metadata includes typical parameters such as decay constants used and laboratory, but increasingly for high-precision U-Pb measurements, such aspects as tracer and parent element isotopic composition are becoming critical to document. The barrier to incorporation of these data has been that such reporting is not in the workflow of the typical geochronologist and there has been no place to store and serve such information. We are addressing these issues by developing the Geochron database to interact with data reduction programs (in this case U-Pb_Redux – available at cirdles.org) that capture all needed metadata. Because this is done directly from the reduction package through a limited number of additional steps, it fits well into the scientist’s workflow. Data and metadata are transferred and stored using a well-documented XML schema. In this way, the data can be retrieved directly back into U-Pb_Redux, and the full set of data reduction parameters are preserved. Data and datasets can be archived for long-term storage at the EarthChem Library operated by IEDA. Datasets receive a DOI that allows them to be linked to publications. Data reporting requirements have been established through community outreach working with the EARTHTIME initiative. In addition, the collaboration of IEDA with EARTHTIME via the U-Pb_Redux and Geochron combination can serve as an exemplar for the nascent EarthCube effort.