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ESIP Information Quality Cluster’s International Collaboration

ESIP Information Quality Cluster’s International Collaboration

In this post, ESIP Community Fellow Rose Borden and the members of ESIP's Information Quality Cluster describe the cluster's international connections and activities, including a recently-published white paper entitled “Understanding the Various Perspectives of Earth Science Observational Data Uncertainty.”

The vision of the ESIP Information Quality Cluster (IQC) is to “Become internationally recognized as an authoritative and responsive resource of information and guidance to data providers on how best to implement data quality standards and best practices for their science data systems, datasets, and data/metadata dissemination services.” The near-term goals of the IQC are to:

  • Bring together people from various disciplines to assess aspects of quality of Earth science data;
  • Establish and publish baseline of standards and best practices for data quality for adoption by inter-agency and international data providers; and
  • Build a framework for consistent capture, harmonization, and presentation of data quality for the purposes of climate change studies, Earth science and applications.

International Context

As one of many groups (Figure 1) concerned about information quality, the IQC has been emphasizing the development of collaborations with other clusters within the ESIP and with several non-U.S./international entities.  The primary mode of interactions between the IQC and these groups is through presentations at each other’s meetings. The following paragraphs summarize the IQC’s recent international interactions and results.

White Paper on Uncertainty

One of the most notable and recent accomplishments of the IQC is the publication of a white paper titled “Understanding the Various Perspectives of Earth Science Observational Data Uncertainty” (Moroni et al. 2019). This work is the culmination of a two-year long effort involving collaboration of 19 coauthors representing the US, UK, and Australia. It started with the ESIP Summer Meeting of 2017, which included a special plenary session on Earth Science Data Uncertainty, featuring the following invited speakers: Dr. Isla Simpson (NCAR), Dr. Amy Braverman (JPL/CalTech), and Dr. Carol Anne Clayson (WHOI). In a breakout session that followed, a recommendation was put forth to develop a white paper to better articulate the definition of uncertainty as well as the variety of approaches in utilizing uncertainty information. The white paper was completed in early November 2019. This collaboration has allowed us to develop and enhance global connections while furthering our goal of building “a framework for consistent capture, harmonization, and presentation of data quality for the purposes of climate change studies, Earth science and applications.”

Invited Presentations at IQC Teleconferences

IQC holds regular monthly teleconferences where many invited speakers discuss topics of interest to the cluster members. In 2019, IQC featured the following invited presentations:

Speaker Organization Date Presentation Title
Jonathan Petters Virginia Tech University Libraries February 2019 Assessing datasets for fitness for use – A Research Data Alliance working group’s efforts
Mark Bourassa Florida State University March 2019 Calibration and Uncertainty of Scatterometer Winds
Ivana Ivanova Curtin University, Australia April 2019 Data Quality Domain Working Group at OGC
Carlo Lacagnina Earth Sciences Department, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain May 2019 Evaluation and Quality Control Function of the Copernicus Climate Data Store
Liping Di and Ziheng Sun George Mason University June 2019 Applications of Machine Learning in Crop Monitoring, Prediction, and Decision Making
Rose Borden University of Tennessee August 2019 Assessing Planetary Data Access and Use
Anne Bowser Wilson Center September 2019 Understanding and Elevating Data and Information Quality in Citizen Science


IQC Presentations at External Venues

Members of the IQC have contributed to discussions in external organizations through invited presentations. These are summarized in the table below:

Speaker Venue Date Presentation Title
Yaxing Wei Open Geospatial Consortium’s (OGC) Data Quality Domain Working Group (DQDWG) December 2018 Four Years of Progress within NASA and ESIP on Earth Science Data and Information Quality
Yaxing Wei Australian Research Data Center (ARDC) and IQC – joint webinar (TechTalks) March 2019 Information Quality Cluster – Vision, Objectives, Accomplishments, and Status
Ge Peng Australian Research Data Center (ARDC) and IQC – joint webinar (TechTalks) March 2019 A Brief Overview of Maturity Models for Consistent Data Quality Rankings
David Moroni E2SIP (Australia) meeting May 2019 Data Quality Perspectives from the ESIP Information Quality Cluster
David Moroni US-CLIVAR 2019 Summit – POS Panel Breakout Session on Uncertainty Quantification August 2019 Community White Paper on Uncertainty Session
Ge Peng Barcelona Supercomputing Center September 2019 Introducing ESIP Information Quality Cluster



European Connection

In addition to the exchange of information through the presentations indicated above, Ge Peng, one of the co-chairs of the IQC has developed a more extensive collaboration with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center’s (BSC) Evaluation and Quality Control (EQC) team for the Climate Data Store of the Copernicus Climate Change Service. This collaboration was initiated with her meeting Nicolau Manubens (BSC) at the AGU 2017 fall meeting. This led to exchange of presentations between the IQC and BSC during 2018 and 2019, including an invited talk in March 2018 by Nicholau Manubens on EQC for the Copernicus Seasonal Forecast Systems.  These interactions led to an invited week-long visit by Ge Peng to the BSC in September 2019. The purpose of this visit was to facilitate the information exchange, identify synergies and build a roadmap for continuous collaboration on data and information quality with the EQC team. Plans are being made for holding a workshop or one or more sessions at the 2020 summer ESIP meeting involving the IQC, the BSC and other organizations such as the Australian Research Data Center (ARDC) Data Quality Interest Group (DQIG) to jointly develop a community guideline for consistently curating and presenting dataset quality descriptive information.


The above is a summary of the various international collaborations that the IQC has developed recently. Such collaborations are enabled through individual connections made by IQC members as they attend various conferences, and also through participation in ESIP meetings by members from external organizations. Significant information exchange has occurred through such collaborations and helps the IQC meet its vision and objectives.

Figure 1: Many different agencies, institutions and organizations around the world are concerned about information quality. Many of these organizations are connected (either directly or indirectly) with members of the IQC. Icons with the red background indicate organizations whose representatives delivered invited talks at IQC telecons during 2018-2019.


Moroni, D. F., Ramapriyan, H., Peng, G., Hobbs, J., Goldstein, J. C., Downs, R. R., Wolfe, R., Shie, C.-L., Merchant, C. J., Bourassa, M., Matthews, J. L., Cornillon, P., Bastin, L., Kehoe, K., Smith, B., Privette, J. L., Subramanian, A. C., Brown, O., & Ivánová, I. (2019) Understanding the Various Perspectives of Earth Science Observational Data Uncertainty. ESIP. Report. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.10271450

Get Involved

The Information Quality Cluster, like most ESIP's collaboration areas, meets monthly. Any and all are welcome to join their virtual telecons, which happen on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 2 pm ET/11 am PT. Telecon details can be found on the ESIP Telecon Calendar. Telecons are generally recorded and can be accessed along with slides here. You are also welcome to join the Information Quality Mailing List here.