CRESCYNT Toolbox – Discovery of Online Datasets

Data discovery at

Announcing recent progress for data discovery in support of coral reef research!

Take advantage of this valuable community resource: a data discovery search engine with a special nose for locating coral reef research data sources:

A major way CRESCYNT has made progress is by serving as a collective coral reef use case for EarthCube groups that are building great new software tools. One of those is a project called CINERGI. It registers resources – especially online repositories and individual online datasets, plus documents and software tools – and then enriches the descriptors to make the resources more searchable. The datasets themselves stay in place: a record of the dataset’s location and description are registered and augmented for better find and filter. Registered datasets and other resources, of course, keep whatever access and use license their authors have given them.

CINERGI already has over a million data sources registered, and over 11,000 of these are specifically coral reef datasets and data repositories. The interface now also features a geoportal to support spatial search options.

The CINERGI search tool is now able to incorporate ANY online resources you wish, so if you don’t find your favorite resources or want to connect your own publications, data, data products, software, code, and other resources, please contribute. If it’s a coral-related resource, be sure to include the word “coral” somewhere in your title or description so it can be retrieved that way later as well. (Great retrieval starts with great metadata!)

To add new resources: Go to, and click on CONTRIBUTE. Fill in ESPECIALLY the first fields – title, description, and URL – then as much of the rest as you can.

Try it out!

Thanks to EarthCube, the CINERGI Data Discovery Hub, and the great crew at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and partners for making this valuable tool possible for coral reef research and other geoscience communities. Here are slides and a video to learn more.

CRESCYNT Toolbox – Discovery of Online Datasets

CRESCYNT Toolbox – Data Repositories – Estate Planning for your Data

“Hypotheses come and go but data remain.”    – Ramon y Cajal

Taking care of our data for the long term is not just good practice, allowing us to share our data, defend our work, reassess conclusions, collaborate with colleagues, and examine broader scales of space and time – it’s also estate planning for our data, and a primary way of communicating with future scientists and managers.


Here are some great options for long-term data storage, highlighting repositories friendly to coral reef science.

First, there are some important repository networks useful for coral reef data – these can unify standards and offer collective search portals: we like DataONE (members here) and bioCaddie (members here).

KNB – the Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity offers open and private data uploads; ecological orientation. DataONE network.

NOAA CoRIS: Coral Reef Information System – often free to use and can accept coral reef related data beyond NOAA’s own data; contact them first.

BCO-DMO – Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office – if you have an NSF grant that requires data storage here, you’re fortunate. Good data management guidelines and metadata templates, excellent support staff. Now a DataONE member.

Dataverse – supported by Harvard endowments. There are multiple organizational dataverses – the Harvard Dataverse is free to use. bioCaddie member.

Zenodo – free to use, supported by the European Commission (this is a small slice of CERN’s enormous repository for the Large Hadron Collider). Assigns dois. We invite you to include the “Coral Reef” community when you upload. bioCaddie member.

NCBI – the National Center for Biotechnology Information is very broadly accepted for ‘omics data of all types. A bioCaddie member.

DataCite – not a repository, but if you upload a dataset at a repository that does not assign its own doi’s, you can get one at DataCite and include it when publishing your datasets.

We’ve not listed more costly repositories such as Dryad (focused on journal requirements) or repositories restricted to institutions. What about other storage options such as GitHub, Amazon Web Services, websites? Those have important uses, but are not curated repositories with long-term funding streams, so are not the best data legacy options.

eggs-stacked-imagesMost of these repositories allow either private (closed) or public (open) access, or later conversion to open access. Some have API’s for automated access within workflows. These are repositories we really like for storing and accessing coral reef work. Share your favorite long-term data repository – or experiences with any of the repositories listed here – in the comments.

CRESCYNT Toolbox – Data Repositories – Estate Planning for your Data

WELCOME to CRESCYNT – the Coral Reef Science and Cyberinfrastructure Network

The Coral Reef Science & Cyberinfrastructure Network (CRESCYNT) is a multi-tiered and multidisciplinary network of coral reef researchers, ocean scientists, cyberinfrastructure specialists, and computer scientists, and we invite you to join us. Scope of Sciences within EarthCube

As an EarthCube Research Coordination Network, our goals are to foster a dynamic, diverse, durable, and creative community; to collectively consider and develop standards and resources for open data, research documentation, and data interoperability while making best use of work already accomplished by others; and to offer input to those groups within EarthCube who will ultimately create the data architecture for all of EarthCube. Along the way CRESCYNT expects to collect and share community resources and tools, and to offer training opportunities in topics prioritized by our members through widely accessible formats such as webinars and their recordings. We will also work to nurture unforeseen collaborative opportunities that emerge from our integrated collective work.

Because the coral reef community has exceptionally diverse data structures and analysis requirements needed to forward integrative science, it is an exemplar for cyberinfrastructure-enabled advances to other geosciences communities. The CRESCYNT network is working to match the data sources, data structures, and analysis needs of the coral reef community with current advances in data science, visualization, and image processing from multiple disciplines to advance coral reef research and meet the increasing challenges of conservation. The network has begun to assemble to coordinate, plan, and prioritize cyberinfrastructure needs within the coral reef community.

Workflows within CReSCyNT: participants to nodes to collective project outputsThe structure of CRESCYNT is a network of networks, currently including 18 disciplinary nodes and 7 technological nodes, where each network node represents an area of coral reef science (disciplinary nodes: e.g., microbial diversity, symbiosis regulation, disease, physiology & fitness, reef ecology, fish & fisheries, conservation & management, biogeochemistry, oceanography, paleontology, geology) or an area of computer science or technical practice (technological nodes: e.g., visualization, geospatial analysis & mapping, image analysis, legacy & dark data, database management). These nodes may expand, coalesce, or divide to meet the needs and interests of the subdisciplinary communities, while maintaining connections to CRESCYNT through node coordinators and ongoing network activities. We invite you to become a member of CRESCYNT, join one or more nodes that would advance your own work, collaborate on shared resources and tools for the coral reef community, and ensure that the data architecture and cyberinfrastructure of EarthCube will meet the needs of the coral reef community, and that broader data interoperability within EarthCube will benefit both coral reefs and our ability to answer complex questions.

PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE at to enroll in CRESCYNT, join a node, work on tasks, discuss data and research priorities, and help determine the future shape of cyberinfrastructure for supporting coral reef research and other geoscience work. This collaborative work is supported by the NSF EarthCube initiative. The CRESCYNT blog is written by Dr. Ouida Meier, the project’s program manager at the University of Hawaii (

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1440342. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

WELCOME to CRESCYNT – the Coral Reef Science and Cyberinfrastructure Network