NCEAS launches major upgrade to its widely used KNB Data Repository

The enhanced KNB Data Repository includes new fast spatial search, DOI citations for data, and intuitive user interface

As the National Science Foundation - and ever more scientific journals - require authors to openly store and share their research data, demand for flexible, robust long-term data management solutions has markedly increased. In response, NCEAS released a major upgrade to the KNB Data Repository (formerly known as the Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity) that improves access to and better supports the data management needs of ecological, environmental, and earth science labs and individual researchers. 

The KNB Data Repository stores data for a diverse range of topics, from Influenza A subtypes in wild birds (doi:10.5063/F1HT2M7Q), to decadal scale changes in coral reefs in the US Virgin Islands (doi:10.5063/AA/knb-csun-usvi.10700), to 60 years of plankton data from Lake Baikal (doi:10.5063/AA/nceas.290.8). Thousands of individual researchers, dozens of field stations, and even large research networks like PISCO and LTER use the KNB to collaborate with colleagues and preserve data for the benefit of science. As one of the founding Member Nodes of the DataONE network, the KNB contributes to the diverse collection of data within the network; ensuring reliable, distributed storage of valuable research data for decades to come.

FAST: The major overhaul to the KNB Data Repository improved data access by making the repository more responsive with an intuitive, multi-faceted search interface that is orders of magnitude faster than before. Queries across the entire KNB Data Repository now complete in less than a second so that finding data and potential collaborators is faster and easier than ever.

DOIs: The new KNB enables researchers to publish their data with persistent, resolvable Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), so that researchers can be easily cited in science journals, and credited for their work when other scientists use their data. Assigning a DOI in the KNB is as simple as a dataset owner clicking the 'Publish' button, which makes the dataset publicly available and registers the DOI. Researchers can use fine-grained access rules to share their data only with a small group of collaborators before making them publicly available, prior to publication.

New Interface: The new user experience of the KNB Data Repository has been popular among researchers who beta-tested the system. Reviewers “loved” the new KNB interface, especially the new search functionality that makes the Repository easier to use.

“Really slick, interface.  Great work. I love the auto-complete/matched list boxes on the (search) filter.” -- Carl Boettiger, UC Santa Cruz

“The website looks fantastic. I love the search interface too.” -- Carly Strasser, California Digital Library
“The new KNB interface is very impressive! Showing how many datasets are available is very useful, and the search filter showing how many datasets to expect will help users tailor their input.” -- Margaret O'Brien, Santa Barbara Coastal LTER site

“The KNB enables sharing data from the labs, field stations, and individual researchers who represent the ‘long-tail of science’ and collectively produce most data sets,” says Matthew B. Jones, NCEAS Director of Informatics. “These long-tail data sets are critical to collaborative synthesis at NCEAS that has had a critical impact on science and society. We are committed to providing a widely available, flexible and robust long-term data management solution for storing, sharing, and finding these smaller datasets.”

UCSB News Release

Access KNB Data Repository


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Posted on March 11, 2014