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Earth System Science Data The Data Publishing Journal

Living data process

ESSD uses a "living data" (ESSD LD) process to support evolving data sets – those with regular updates or extensions. While maintaining high standards of data quality and assessment, living data processes allow ESSD to introduce expedient procedures and schedules for authors, referees, and the topical editor.

We expect every data set assessed through the ESSD LD process to undergo continuous improvement, in part through periodic extensions or updates, for example, for a time series as well as a consequence of changes in completeness, formats, uncertainty estimates, and accessibility. These author-induced refinements may occur in response to suggestions that arise during evaluation and discussion or as a consequence of community use of the previously published data set. In all cases, the succeeding data set will contain and convey explicit improvements in quality and usefulness relative to prior data sets.

All updated data sets in the ESSD LD process will carry a unique and independent permanent identifier, distinct from all prior data sets. ESSD, working with project and data centre partners, will establish explicit linking among versions of these data, particularly from the current version to all prior versions. The ESSD-published data description will likewise carry a unique identifier (DOI) that will link to the corresponding previous descriptions.

For the updated data and data description, we request the authors' data providers to cite prior descriptions and versions as much as possible, to focus on changes implemented in the present version, and, where possible, to document usage and impact of the previously published data. When data providers adopt this update format, we can then assure referees that they do not need to re-evaluate original data or original processing schemes. With all prior reviews and comments (preserved from the online ESSDD forum) at hand, they need only to focus on those aspects and features that have changed.

In an ideal ESSD LD sequence, we seek maximum continuity of referees and topical editors. In practice, the realities of referee and topical editor availability may preclude continuous service.

Each ESSD LD plays out slightly differently, depending on the update frequency and the size and interest of the user community. In all cases, knowing the planned update frequency and schedules beforehand allows ESSD to work with authors, referees, and topical editors to provide efficiencies for these important and evolving data.

Guidelines for authors

If you submit a new version to one of your data papers, please apply the following:

  • In the manuscript registration form, please make a note in the box entitled "Information about former manuscript version". During file validation, Copernicus Publications will mark your manuscript as a new version for the internal work flow.
  • Create a track changes document of your new version showing the changes to your former version. Submit this as a supplement to your new manuscript (*.pdf file).
  • The typesetters of Copernicus Publications will add a section "Note on former version" to your final revised paper just before the acknowledgements to link your former version's DOI in your new paper.
  • In the online library, both versions will be linked to each other.