MAINSTREAMING METADATA INTO RESEARCH WORKFLOWS TO ADVANCE REPRODUCIBILITY AND OPEN GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SCIENCE
Keywords: Geographic Metadata, Open Science, Reproducibility, Open Source GIS, Metadata Standards, Metadata Software
Abstract. Reproducible open science with FAIR data sharing principles requires research to be disseminated with open data and standardised metadata. Researchers in the geographic sciences may benefit from authoring and maintaining metadata from the earliest phases of the research life cycle, rather than waiting until the data dissemination phase. Fully open and reproducible research should be conducted within a version-controlled executable research compendium with registered pre-analysis plans, and may also involve research proposals, data management plans, and protocols for research with human subjects. We review metadata standards and research documentation needs through each phase of the research process to distil a list of features for software to support a metadata-rich open research life cycle. The review is based on open science and reproducibility literature and on our own work developing a template research compendium for conducting reproduction and replication studies. We then review available open source geographic metadata software against these requirements, finding each software program to offer a partial solution. We conclude with a vision for software-supported metadata-rich open research practices intended to reduce redundancies in open research work while expanding transparency and reproducibility in geographic research.