Keywords

provenance; quality assurance; scientific process integration; interdisciplinary; environ- mental assessment

Location

Session B1: Research Infrastructures for Integrated Environmental Modeling

Start Date

16-6-2014 2:00 PM

End Date

16-6-2014 3:20 PM

Abstract

In large-scale environmental assessments, such as the Australian Government Bioregional Assessment Programme, the science is integrated when products (scientific reports) are assembled. Product assembly involves synthesising material written by multiple authors from multiple disciplines and producing standard tables, maps and charts. High-quality products require that quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) procedures are built into the scientific and publication processes.

Further, funders and stakeholders are increasingly demanding that scientists provide sufficient infor- mation to explain and justify the evidence provided, even to the extent that an independent group can repeat the science. Recording an effective lineage of processes and data - known as provenance - requires standardised reporting that relies on potentially complex methodologies for representation. Recording of provenance is enabled by process modelling, integration of scientific processes, and automation.

These requirements, to embed QA/QC procedures and cater for provenance, have significant areas of overlap. Whilst embedding QA/QC procedures is a more pragmatic, implementation-driven activity, and provenance annotation is more theoretical, these two areas are compatible and can be comple- mentary.

This paper covers the implementation of a provenance system in the context of the Bioregional As- sessment Programme; how existing QA/QC procedures were leveraged to deliver provenance; and, in turn, how the delivery of provenance resulted in improvements in the QA/QC procedures. The future evolution of QA/QC procedures in the Programme will be discussed and general principles synthe- sised for other similar large-scale environmental assessments.

 
Jun 16th, 2:00 PM Jun 16th, 3:20 PM

Leveraging quality assurance and quality control processes to deliver provenance as a first-order scientific output in large-scale environmental assessments

Session B1: Research Infrastructures for Integrated Environmental Modeling

In large-scale environmental assessments, such as the Australian Government Bioregional Assessment Programme, the science is integrated when products (scientific reports) are assembled. Product assembly involves synthesising material written by multiple authors from multiple disciplines and producing standard tables, maps and charts. High-quality products require that quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) procedures are built into the scientific and publication processes.

Further, funders and stakeholders are increasingly demanding that scientists provide sufficient infor- mation to explain and justify the evidence provided, even to the extent that an independent group can repeat the science. Recording an effective lineage of processes and data - known as provenance - requires standardised reporting that relies on potentially complex methodologies for representation. Recording of provenance is enabled by process modelling, integration of scientific processes, and automation.

These requirements, to embed QA/QC procedures and cater for provenance, have significant areas of overlap. Whilst embedding QA/QC procedures is a more pragmatic, implementation-driven activity, and provenance annotation is more theoretical, these two areas are compatible and can be comple- mentary.

This paper covers the implementation of a provenance system in the context of the Bioregional As- sessment Programme; how existing QA/QC procedures were leveraged to deliver provenance; and, in turn, how the delivery of provenance resulted in improvements in the QA/QC procedures. The future evolution of QA/QC procedures in the Programme will be discussed and general principles synthe- sised for other similar large-scale environmental assessments.