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      ecocomDP: A data design pattern and R package to facilitate FAIR biodiversity data for ecological synthesis

      Biodiversity Information Science and Standards

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Two programs that provide high-quality long-term ecological data, the Environmental Data Initiative (EDI) and the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), have recently teamed up with data users interested in synthesizing biodiversity data, such as ecological synthesis working groups supported by the US Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Office, to make their data more Findable, Interoperable, Accessible, and Reusable (FAIR). To this end:we have developed a flexible intermediate data design pattern for ecological community data (L1 formatted data in Fig. 1, see Fig. 2 for design details) called "ecocomDP" (O'Brien et al. 2021), andwe provide tools to work with data packages in which this design pattern has been implemented.The ecocomDP format provides a data pattern commonly used for reporting community level data, such as repeated observations of species-level measures of biomass, abundance, percent cover, or density across multiple locations. The ecocomDP library for R includes tools to search for data packages, download or import data packages into an R (programming language) session in a standard format, and visualization tools for data exploration steps that are recommended for data users prior to any cross-study synthesis work. To date, EDI has created 70 ecocomDP data packages derived from their holdings, which include data from the US Long Term Ecological Research (US LTER) program, Long Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB) program, and other projects, which are now discoverable and accessible using the ecocomDP library. Similarly, NEON data products for 12 taxonomic groups are discoverable using the ecocomDP search tool. Input from data users provided guidance for the ecocomDP developers in mapping the NEON data products to the ecocomDP format to facilitate interoperability with the ecocomDP data packages available from the EDI repository. The standardized data design pattern allows common data visualizations across data packages, and has the potential to facilitate the development of new tools and workflows for biodiversity synthesis. The broader impacts of this collaboration are intended to lower the barriers for researchers in ecology and the environmental sciences to access and work with long-term biodiversity data and provide a hub around which data providers and data users can develop best practices that will build a diverse and inclusive community of practice.

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          ecocomDP: A flexible data design pattern for ecological community survey data

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            Author and article information

            Contributors
            Journal
            Biodiversity Information Science and Standards
            BISS
            Pensoft Publishers
            2535-0897
            September 23 2021
            September 23 2021
            : 5
            Article
            10.3897/biss.5.75640
            © 2021

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