VIP WDS-Paleo announcement

wds paleo imgPlease find below an important announcement from NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Information, operator of the World Data Service for Paleoclimatology, which archives and distributes data contributed by scientists around the world.

World Data Service for Paleoclimatology: New requirements for contributors

Through the establishment of standard terms to describe proxy and reconstruction data, NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Information's World Data Service for Paleoclimatology (WDS-Paleo) is enhancing its capabilities to make data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable in support of data-intensive science. As such, there will be new terminology requirements for data submissions in 2018.  

Important notes for data contributors

Starting on 1 March 2018, contributors will be required to provide metadata for variables (i.e. what was measured or reconstructed) using new standard terms when contributing most data to the WDS-Paleo. Additionally for data synthesis projects, WDS-Paleo will also request that a liaison for the project coordinate their data contribution with our staff in advance of submission.

Guidelines for data contributors

Leaders of new synthesis projects: Please have your designated liaison contact WDS-Paleo staff (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) early in your research and development to speak about topics including the use of standard terms and appropriate data formats, in order to ensure timely and efficient publishing of your data.

Leaders of existing synthesis projects: Please have your designated liaison contact WDS-Paleo staff (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) as soon as possible to let WDS-Paleo staff know about your upcoming contribution.

Other contributors of new data: Please see the guidelines on the WDS-Paleo Contributions web page for complete instructions.


Paleoclimate data are extremely heterogeneous - hundreds of different types of measurements and reconstructions are routinely made by scientists on an even larger number of kinds of physical samples. This heterogeneity can impede the development of accumulated data products and access capabilities, and the use of paleo data beyond the community of paleoclimate specialists.

To address this challenge, the WDS-Paleo, in collaboration with data generators in the paleoclimate community and with support to the University of Colorado from the US National Science Foundation, has developed a controlled vocabulary to describe variables (i.e. what was measured or reconstructed). A controlled vocabulary is an established list of standardized terminology that ensures that a specific subject will be described using the same preferred term.

The controlled vocabulary is being applied to the existing holdings of the WDS-Paleo archive, in order to normalize variable definitions across datasets. The WDS-Paleo web- and web service-based dataset search will soon allow data discovery using this controlled vocabulary. Further, the vocabulary dovetails with the long-standing WDS-Paleo Template data format, and will also integrate with the Linked Paleo Data Format (LiPD), for which a NOAA Standard is being developed, and with the LinkedEarth Ontology.

Further information

Go to the WDS-Paleo website.
Read about PAGES' Data Guidelines here.