What does data stewardship mean in physics?
This article expands on the considerations on data stewardship in physics the authors have presented as a poster at the “Data Stewardship goes Germany” workshop held in Brunswick in October 2022. We start from the observation that despite the close links between research in physics and scientific c...
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|Summary:||This article expands on the considerations on data stewardship in physics the authors have presented as a poster at the “Data Stewardship goes Germany” workshop held in Brunswick in October 2022.
We start from the observation that despite the close links between research in physics and scientific computing as a tenet of research data management (RDM), currently, the research data produced by physicists are not as FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) as they could and should be. Physics research groups in Germany as of now do not feature explicitly designated data stewards.
Building on a survey on RDM in physics conducted among researchers in 2020, we lay out a clear case and a mission for more explicitly defined and acknowledged data stewardship in physics. We argue that because of the closeness between data stewardship and genuine research, ample domain knowledge is indispensable: Data stewards in physics should ideally be trained physicists themselves!
Data stewards are going to face a heterogeneous research landscape in terms of group size and resources, defined by the pressure to “publish or perish”. We consider that the introduction of data stewardship presents an opportunity to the physics community to self-organize research support infrastructures where they are missing. Data stewards from the physics community would be ideally skilled to transform the existing data handling solutions into the RDM systems needed to achieve a future of FAIR data from physics. We envision them to contribute to scientific projects both as advisors and as active role models of good scientific practice and reproducibility.|