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Historically speaking, even though it was very labor-intensive to create new datasets, it was often (relatively) easy to publish the data in a visual form, like an image, graph or table. This picture is an example of one of the earliest published datasets. It was created by Robert Hooke and dates back to 1665.


FIGURE 7-1 Suber cells and mimosa leaves.
SOURCE: Robert Hooke, Micrographia, 1665.

One of the big drivers for data citations in the earth and physical sciences is to make it easier to identify products and projects when one is comparing them.

A major example of this is a set of experiments being done by climate modelers all over the world under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) via the World Climate Research Program (WCRP). It is called CMIP5: Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. These climate model experimental runs will produce the climate model data that will form the basis of the fifth assessment report for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In particular, CMIP5 aims to:

•   Address outstanding scientific questions that arose as part of the AR4 (the most recent IPCC assessment report) process,

•  Improve understanding of climate, and

•  Provide estimates of future climate change that will be useful to those considering its possible consequences.

The method used in CMIP5 is based on a standard set of model simulations which will:

•  Evaluate how realistic the models are in simulating the recent past,

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