Build it, but will they come? A geoscience cyberinfrastructure baseline analysis

Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld*, Karen S. Baker, Nicholas Berente, Dorothy R. Carter, Leslie A. DeChurch, Courtney C. Flint, Gabriel Gershenfeld, Michael Haberman, John Leslie King, Christine Kirkpatrick, Eric Knight, Barbara Lawrence, Spenser Lewis, W. Christopher Lenhardt, Pablo Lopez, Matthew S. Mayernik, Charles McElroy, Barbara Mittleman, Victor Nichol, Mark NolanNamchul Shin, Cheryl A. Thompson, Susan Winter, Ilya Zaslavsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Understanding the earth as a system requires integrating many forms of data from multiple fields. Builders and funders of the cyberinfrastructure designed to enable open data sharing in the geosciences risk a key failure mode: What if geoscientists do not use the cyberinfrastructure to share, discover and reuse data? In this study, we report a baseline assessment of engagement with the NSF EarthCube initiative, an open cyberinfrastructure effort for the geosciences. We find scientists perceive the need for cross-disciplinary engagement and engage where there is organizational or institutional support. However, we also find a possibly imbalanced involvement between cyber and geoscience communities at the outset, with the former showing more interest than the latter. This analysis highlights the importance of examining fields and disciplines as stakeholders to investments in the cyberinfrastructure supporting science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalData Science Journal
StatePublished - 2016


  • Curation
  • Cyberinfrastructure
  • Disciplines
  • EarthCube
  • Fields
  • Geoscience
  • Infrastructure
  • Network effects
  • Open data
  • Reuse
  • Stakeholder Alignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications


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