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Title:Digging into the data of the Morrow Plots: An interdisciplinary approach
Author(s):Henry, Joshua; Anderson, Bethany; Imker, Heidi J.; Luong, Hoa; Trei, Kelli; Williams, Sarah C.
Subject(s):Agriculture -- Research
Data
Morrow Plots
Morrow Plots, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Data Curation
archival preservation
Cropping systems -- History
Geographic Coverage:Urbana, Illinois
Abstract:Background: The Morrow Plots at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the longest running continuous experimental crop field in the Americas and second longest in the world. The College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) will celebrate the 150th year of the Plots in 2026. As part of the preparation, ACES is striving to make some of the longitudinal data openly available for research and educational purposes. Lessons learned from this project will serve as an example of how data from long standing experiments can be fertile ground for continued institutional improvement in supporting sound data management practices and archival preservation. Methods: The diverse project team of librarians, data curators, archivists, and college staff is working to identify, compile, curate, preserve, and openly share data and related records generated from the Plots. The team completed a bibliographic survey of major abstract and indexing databases to identify research that uses data from the Plots. Semi-structured interviews are being conducted with researchers identified through that survey, administrative contacts in the College, as well as snowball sampling. Numeric yield data and associated variables are being aggregated across the lifetime of the Plots with the goal of structuring this data into the “tidy data” format. Although the data are complex, structuring in this format will render this subset of data suitable for use in a number of applications. Results: To date, the team has collaborated with researchers to identify and gather spreadsheets, notes, personal anecdotes, and an early crop plot log book. In addition, extensive work has been done to compile and analyze the wealth of bibliographic sources that exist, enriching the context and provenance of the data set. The different types and formats of data have provided challenges and opportunities worth examining, as we work to compile, understand, and interpret this agricultural experiment. Conclusions: The results are being used to reconstruct a historical, longitudinal data set from the experiment. This data set, along with the documentation of processes and practices used to recreate it, serves as an exemplar for data and information science instruction, as well as a guide of best practices for future data management efforts. This project will culminate in an open data set and a presentation at the sesquicentennial celebration of the Morrow Plots.
Issue Date:2021-02
Citation Info:2021 AAAS Annual Meeting February 8-11, 2021
Genre:Conference Poster
Type:Image
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/112732
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-11-10


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