Technical note: The Linked Paleo Data framework – a common tongue for paleoclimatology
Abstract. Paleoclimatology is a highly collaborative scientific endeavor, increasingly reliant on online databases for data sharing. Yet there is currently no universal way to describe, store and share paleoclimate data: in other words, no standard. Data standards are often regarded by scientists as mere technicalities, though they underlie much scientific and technological innovation, as well as facilitating collaborations between research groups. In this article, we propose a preliminary data standard for paleoclimate data, general enough to accommodate all the archive and measurement types encountered in a large international collaboration (PAGES 2k). We also introduce a vehicle for such structured data (Linked Paleo Data, or LiPD), leveraging recent advances in knowledge representation (Linked Open Data).
The LiPD framework enables quick querying and extraction, and we expect that it will facilitate the writing of open-source community codes to access, analyze, model and visualize paleoclimate observations. We welcome community feedback on this standard, and encourage paleoclimatologists to experiment with the format for their own purposes.