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The challenge of combining 176 x #otherpeoplesdata to create the Biomass And Allometry Database (BAAD)

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posted on 08.12.2015 by Daniel Falster, Rich FitzJohn, Remko Duursma, Diego Barneche

This is a rendered copy of a talk given at the Ecological Society of Australia conference, in Adelaide on Wednesday, December 2, 2015.

Abstract: Despite the hype around "big data", a more immediate problem facing many scientific analyses is that large-scale databases must be assembled from a collection of small independent and heterogeneous fragments -- the outputs of many and isolated scientific studies conducted around the globe. Together with 92 other co-authors, we recently published the Biomass And Allometry Database (BAAD) as a data paper in the journal Ecology, combining data from 176 different scientific studies into a single unified database. BAAD is unique in that the workflow -- from raw fragments to homogenised database -- is entirely open and reproducible. in this talk I introduce BAAD and illustrate solutions for some of the challenges of working with lots and lots of #otherpeople's data.

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