Metadata and Reproducibility: A Case Study of Gravitational Wave Research Data Management

Jian Qin, Brian Dobreski, Duncan Brown


The complexity of computationally-intensive scientific research poses great challenges for both research data management and research reproducibility. What metadata needs to be captured for tracking, reproducing, and reusing computational results is the starting point in developing metadata models to fulfil these functions of data management. This paper reports the findings from interviews with gravitational wave (GW) researchers, which were designed to gather user requirements to develop a metadata model. Motivations for keeping documentation of data and analysis results include trust, accountability and continuity of work. Research reproducibility relies on metadata that represents code dependencies and versions and has good documentation for verification. Metadata specific to GW data, workflows and outputs tend to differ from those currently available in metadata standards. The paper also discusses the challenges in representing code dependencies and workflows.


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The International Journal of Digital Curation. ISSN: 1746-8256
The IJDC is published by the University of Edinburgh
and is a publication of the Digital Curation Centre.