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ASIST 2012 Annual Meeting 
Baltimore, MD, October 26-30, 2012

Value and Context in Data Use: Domain Analysis Revisited
Nicholas Weber, Karen Baker, Andrea Thomer, Tiffany Chao and Carole Palmer

Monday, 8:00am


"Context" is an elusive concept in Information Science - often invoked, and yet rarely explained. In this paper we apply a domain analytic approach to five sub-disciplines within Earth Systems Science to illustrate the varied contexts and diverse practices in which data are produced and used. We argue simply that the value of research data increases with their use. Our analysis of these activities is informed by two economic perspectives: first, that data production is part of a broader information economy context; and second, that the concept of anti-fragility helps explain the phenomena that data increase in value through exposure to diverse contexts of use. We believe these perspectives will provide insight into building systems capable of facilitating scientific practices in interdisciplinary settings, and will prove especially useful in the design of sustainable cyberinfrastructures.