Iratxe Puebla joining DataCite as Make Data Count Director

DataCite is a global community that shares a common interest: to ensure that research outputs and resources are openly available and connected so that their reuse can advance knowledge across and between disciplines. As a community, we make research more effective with metadata that connects research outputs and resources–from samples and images to data and preprints.  In line with our mission, we actively work to promote responsible open research data metrics by leading Make Data Count. We are happy to announce that Iratxe Puebla is joining DataCite as Make Data Count Director.

Do you have a feeling that a lot is happening in the open data space? Then you are not alone. Over the last decade, I’ve touched on various parts of the open data world including from an editorial perspective and more recently in considering data publishing ethics. I am thrilled to be joining DataCite on June 1, 2023, to focus full-time on the adoption and recognition of open data.

Open datasets are key catalysts for accelerating research progress, and crucial to ensuring integrity and reproducibility in research. With increased adoption of research data sharing and developments in data infrastructure, the time is now to build evidence around the use and reuse of research data. Meaningful data metrics allow us to give credit to the data producers, facilitate broader and new uses of research data and enable the building of evidence for the value of data sharing. In my role as Make Data Count Director, I will work to support the adoption of open data metrics in the community, working with different stakeholders to better understand their needs around data metrics, develop relevant tools, and enable the implementation of data metrics for their specific uses.

An important aspect of my work will be to drive the Open Global Data Citation Corpus that DataCite is developing with support from the Wellcome Trust and input from the community. The corpus will store data citations from a diverse set of sources and will be made available to the community under a CC0 license. DataCite has partnered with Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, EMBL-EBI, and other organizations to identify and aggregate data citations into the corpus, and work is already underway for an initial seed corpus of ten million data citations. We will seek to expand the corpus further with additional contributions as the project develops.

I am also excited to be on the organizing committee for the inaugural Make Data Count Summit, taking place in Washington on September 12-13, 2023. The event will provide a unique opportunity to explore the current landscape and what lies ahead for data usage and data impact. I invite everyone in the research, policy and infrastructure communities to join the Summit to participate in discussions to advance the adoption and implementation of open data metrics.

Prior to DataCite, my work over the last three years focused on preprints. At ASAPbio, I worked on initiatives to promote the productive use of preprints in the life sciences and greater transparency in peer review. I led community engagement related to preprints (for example, the ASAPbio Fellows program) as well as multi-stakeholder projects such as the development of the FAST principles for preprint feedback. Before my dedication to preprints, I held editorial roles at different open-access journals and served as Deputy Editor-in-Chief at the journal PLOS ONE, where I coordinated the implementation of open science initiatives. It was during this time that my involvement with the PLOS data policy sparked my interest in open data, and I have remained engaged with community activities about data ever since. A couple of years ago, I was a co-founder of the FORCE11/COPE Research Data Publishing Ethics Working Group, which has developed community-led recommendations and resources for the handling of ethical issues that may arise in the context of data publication.

My professional path has spanned a variety of roles in different areas of open science but a commonality has always been the importance of community support and of collaboration across stakeholders to drive positive change. We should leverage the important policy and infrastructure developments around open data to catalyze community efforts and build evidence on data reuse and its impact. The work of the Make Data Count initiative over the last eight years has weaved a strong foundation for responsible open data metrics. I will seek to build on that work to continue engaging and innovating with the community around their data metrics needs.

The Open Global Data Citation Corpus is supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust (grant ID:# 226453/Z/22/Z). The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Wellcome Trust.