Wednesday, July 22, 2015

DOI for geoscience data - how early practices shape present perceptions

The first minting of Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) for research data happened in 2004 in the context of the project “Publication and citation of primary scientific data” (STD-DOI). Some of the concepts and perceptions about DOI for data today have their roots in the way this project implemented DOI for research data and the decisions made in those early days still shape the discussion about the use of persistent identifiers for research data today. This project also laid the foundation for a tighter integration of journal publications and data. Promoted by early adopters, such as PANGAEA, DOI registration for data has reached a high level of maturity and has become an integral part of scientific publishing. This paper discusses the fundamental concepts applied in the identification of DOI for research data and how these can be interpreted for alternative and future applications of persistent identifiers for research data.

Klump, J., R. Huber, and M. Diepenbroek (2015), DOI for geoscience data - how early practices shape present perceptions, Earth Sci. Inform., doi:10.1007/s12145-015-0231-5.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Anthropocene - an artist's rendition

We have already reported on the Anthropocene in this blog. The idea that we might be moving things in future deep time is inspiring and disturbing at the same time. The Haus der Kulturen der Welt has initiated a project working on cultural aspects of the Anthropocene, the "Anthropocene Project". The project is coming to a close now. The symposium of its working group will be broadcast live on Friday, 17 October 2014 starting from 0900 CET. The project put together an impressive lineup of speakers.

"Human Impacts and Their Consequences - A Forum on the Occasion of the First Meeting of the Anthropocene Working Group"

Friday, 17 October 2014 starting from 0900 CET

Programme and webcast can be accessed here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Classification of igneous rocks revisited

Petrology, I must admit, was never my favourite subject even though I had to do quite a bit of it during my time as a student. Even my Honours project had a petrological component. An important tool for the classification of igneous rocks is the QAPF diagram which forms the basis of the IUGS classification of igneous rocks (Le Bas and Streckeisen, 1991). It was interesting to go back to this original publication to read about the considerations that led to the adoption of the classification schema. The general principles are solid science. In some of the finer points, however, it becomes apparent that this classification schema comes from the pre-digital age.

"One of the merits of the TAS system is that the boundaries are definitive although they could be criticized as over simplistic. Definitive boundaries remove the ambiguity in naming a rock which plots near a boundary between two adjacent rock types. The simple boundaries of the TAS system also enable the classification to be constructed in a few minutes by pencil and ruler"
Furthermore, the TAS classification system only takes into account the sum of Na2O + K2O over SiO2 and does not account for any other major elements even though such classification systems had already been proposed (e.g. De La Roche et al. 1980).
"[It] was not adopted, partly because the two cation per mil parameters were difficult to calculate without electronic assistance"
Certainly, in the age before widespread use of spreadsheet calculation software, this might have been an argument. A bit more difficult to follow is the following argument:
"The most common interpretations made by geologists are petrogenetical, but there could also be aesthetic considerations."
Robert Huber, Jess Robertson and myself (JK) have started to look more closely at the classification of igneous rocks in the dawning age of data intensive research in the geosciences. Watch this blog for more on this subject.


Thank you to Jess Robertson for pointing out this gem.


De la Roche, H., J. Leterrier, P. Grandclaude, and M. Marchal (1980), A classification of volcanic and plutonic rocks using R1R2-diagram and major-element analyses — Its relationships with current nomenclature, Chemical Geology, 29(1–4), 183–210, doi:10.1016/0009-2541(80)90020-0.

Le Bas, M. J., and A. L. Streckeisen (1991), The IUGS systematics of igneous rocks, J Geol Soc, 148(5), 825–833, doi:10.1144/gsjgs.148.5.0825. Online also available at