The NOAA NCEI marine microplastics database | Scientific Data

Abstract:  Microplastics (<5?mm) pollution is a growing problem affecting coastal communities, marine ecosystems, aquatic life, and human health. The widespread occurrence of marine microplastics, and the need to curb its threats, require expansive, and continuous monitoring. While microplastic research has increased in recent years and generated significant volumes of data, there is a lack of a robust, open access, and long-term aggregation of this data. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) now provides a global open access to marine microplastics data on an easily discoverable and accessible GIS web map and data portal ( The objective of this data portal is to develop a repository where microplastics data are aggregated, archived, and served in a user friendly, consistent, and reliable manner. This work contributes to NCEI’s efforts towards data standardization, integration, harmonization, and interoperability among national and international collaborators for monitoring global marine microplastics. This paper describes the NOAA NCEI global marine microplastics database, its creation, quality control procedures, and future directions.


NSF-Funded Project Will Expand Access to Open-Source Geospatial Program | NC State News

“Software that enables researchers to create insights from location-based information is essential for addressing many problems of societal importance. A new project led by researchers at the Center for Geospatial Analytics at North Carolina State University will modernize the infrastructure of GRASS GIS, a freely available geospatial software platform that has helped researchers create and innovate geospatial workflows for over forty years. The project will also strategically grow the GRASS community to achieve a technologically and socially sustainable open-source ecosystem. The work is supported by a two-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Pathways to Enable Open-Source Ecosystems (POSE) program.”

Can a map of the ocean floor be crowdsourced? – BBC Future

“In 2023, Seabed 2030 announced that its latest map of the entire seafloor is nearly 25% complete. The data to make the world’s first publicly available map is stored at the International Hydrography Organization (IHO)’s Data Centre for Digital Bathymetry (DCDB) in a government building in Boulder, Colorado.

So far, the DCDB holds over 40 compressed terabytes of seafloor data. The biggest contributor is the US academic fleet: 17 research vessels owned by American universities which constantly circle the globe studying the deep ocean. Other contributors include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fleet, the Geological Survey of Ireland, and Germany’s Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency. The biggest users are scientists all over the world who rely on the data to conduct research.

Seabed 2030 has made extraordinary progress by asking countries and corporations to share maps with the DCDB. But unfortunately, the map is not growing quickly enough. Between 2016 and 2021, the map leapfrogged from 6% to 20%. Since then, the pace has slowed. In 2022,  it reached just 23.3% complete; in 2023, 24.9%. The ocean mappers came up with a new plan: crowdsourcing….”

Shaping the future with Researcher-run Journals – Open Collective

“Please join us for a 3-hr workshop covering startup and longevity planning for researcher-run Diamond Open Access journals.   The workshop will cover Diamond OA basics and the state of Earth Sciences publishing as well as “under the hood” details of community building, media and branding strategies, building for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in science publishing, and Open data/code principles applied to journal design.  Participants can expect a crash course in journal-building and will be invited to contribute to a future-looking white paper representing how we, the global research community, would like to see funding agencies support Open Access. There is no fee to participate.  Refreshments provided. Limited to 50 participants.”

Dear Colleague Letter: Innovations in Open Science (IOS) Planning Workshops (nsf23141) | NSF – National Science Foundation

“The recent memo titled “Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research,” also referred to as the Nelson Memo1, issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), has provided policy guidance to federal agencies on public access requirements for federally funded research. The need for a better, innovative data and research infrastructure that embraces open science principles to serve the interconnected scientific communities has never been as urgent.

Through this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) in the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) is calling for workshop proposals2 focused on identifying critical needs for innovations in open science for data infrastructure that can serve the research community at a national-needs level, and have the potential to significantly advance research in atmospheric and geospace sciences, ensuring their research outputs, broadly defined, in compliance with the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reproducible) principles. The workshop proposals will provide the AGS community an opportunity to come together to discuss needs, best practices, and resources necessary to build a data infrastructure through which open and equitable research can be achieved….”

Wiley journal board resigns en masse after monthlong strike

“At least two-thirds of the editorial board of Wiley’s Journal of Biogeography has resigned, citing the publisher’s push toward “exorbitant” open-access fees and what they claimed was a policy to steer rejected manuscripts to other titles.

Former editor in chief Mike Dawson announced his resignation in June, and 64 of his associate editors have been refusing to handle new manuscripts since then, a move that is part of an increasing trend of journal editorial boards deciding to take action en masse.

The editors who resigned objected to the publisher flipping the journal to open access, having to deal with an increase in papers and the automatic referral of rejected manuscripts to other Wiley journals.”

Wiley journal editors resign en masse, fired chief editor speaks – Retraction Watch

“Two-thirds of the associate editors of the Journal of Biogeography, a Wiley title, have resigned in a dispute with the publisher, and more resignations are likely, according to those involved. 

Most of the resignations, reported first by Times Higher Education, were effective immediately, but a portion of the associate editors set August 28 as their effective date in hopes Wiley may negotiate with them about their concerns….

The Journal of Biogeography is not fully open access, but charges APCs of $4,800 for authors who wish to make their articles freely available.

Such fees are “excessive,” and “not affordable,” said Krystal Tolley, one of the associate editors who put in her resignation for the end of the month. Tolley is based in South Africa, and said she and other researchers in the Global South “just don’t have those kinds of funds.” 

Wiley and other major publishers often waive fees for authors in low-income countries, and “transformative agreements” in which funding agencies or universities pay publication fees rather than authors….”

IBM and NASA teamed up to build the GPT of Earth sciences | Engadget

“NASA estimates that its Earth science missions will generate around a quarter million terabytes of data in 2024 alone. In order for climate scientists and the research community efficiently dig through these reams of raw satellite data, IBM, HuggingFace and NASA have collaborated to build an open-source geospatial foundation model that will serve as the basis for a new class of climate and Earth science AIs that can track deforestation, predict crop yields and rack greenhouse gas emissions.

For this project, IBM leveraged its recently-released to serve as the foundational model using a year’s worth of NASA’s Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 satellite data (HLS). That data is collected by the ESA’s pair of Sentinel-2 satellites, which are built to acquire high resolution optical imagery over land and coastal regions in 13 spectral bands.

For it’s part, HuggingFace is hosting the model on its open-source AI platform. According to IBM, by fine-tuning the model on “labeled data for flood and burn scar mapping,” the team was able to improve the model’s performance 15 percent over the current state of the art using half as much data….”

Shifts to open access with high article processing charges hinder research equity and careers

“We, as Associate Editors (AEs) for the Journal of Biogeography, have serious concerns about the widespread shifts by John Wiley & Sons Ltd (Wiley) and other academic publishers to full Open Access (OA), which appears to be imminent for journals in the Wiley portfolio (Rieseberg et al., 2023) and has been discussed as a possibility for the Journal of Biogeography itself. We commend the philosophy of OA—to make research freely available online, but for many journals that shift to full OA, article publication is accompanied by expensive article processing charges (APCs) payable by the authors (see Laakso et al., 2011; Tennant et al., 2016). This creates a financial burden that falls heaviest on early career scientists and scientists from low- to middle-income countries, erecting barriers to equity in publishing. The typical APC fees for OA range from 2000 to 3500 USD but can even surpass 11,000 USD, while the Journal of Biogeography APC is currently 4800 USD per article. A shift from subscription-based to full OA-based business models with APCs also clearly shifts the economic incentives for journals away from quality and toward quantity. High-throughput and high-output publishing models in academia severely risk lowering research standards and jeopardise the reputation of journals that adopt this practice.

As a way of signalling the depth of our concerns, 85% of the AEs of the Journal of Biogeography recently carried out a work stoppage, during which we refused to handle any new manuscript submissions. We view this as a temporary measure, as a way of encouraging further dialogue between Wiley, the publisher of the Journal of Biogeography, and the chief editorial team charged with ensuring journal quality….

Wiley, the owner and publisher of the Journal of Biogeography, has had a reported annual revenue in recent years of over 2 billion USD per annum with a gross profit margin averaging nearly 70%….”

Overture Maps Foundation Releases Its First World-Wide Open Map Dataset – Overture Maps Foundation

“The Overture Maps Foundation (OMF), a collaborative effort to enable current and next-generation interoperable open map products, today announced the release of its first open map dataset….”

Latin American geography education research trends in open access journals from the twenty-first century: International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education: Vol 31, No 3

Abstract:  Recent projects, declarations, and articles around the globe addressed the status and development of geography education, where the discipline is standing, and what should be done to enhance the quality and quantity of research. Nevertheless, the paucity of research and limited approaches in Latin America about the type of studies published has made difficult the promotion and development of research lines, or even more an international comparative perspective. Therefore, the aim of the study is to show the spatiotemporal trends and existing research lines in geography education, extracted from 1880 articles published in 140 open access journals within the region from 2000 to 2019. The findings showed a consistent growth of research especially after 2010, just a few journals gathering most publications, and the intraregional disparity among countries on the evolution of the number and type of studies. Although Latin American researchers increased the number of publications in all research lines, the scientific production has been more prolific in five topics: theories, philosophy and debates, teacher education, teaching methodologies, instructional materials and resources, and student’s learning. In contrast, studies on assessment, technologies, fieldwork, research practices, history and educational policies have received less attention from scholars.

#BetterPublishing @jbiogeography: I – Journal of Biogeography

“In response to the #Workstoppage by #AssociateEditors of @jbiogeography, the journal’s management at Wiley rapidly issued a largely dismissive reply that resulted in the resignation of deputy editor-in-chief Ceridwen Fraser. We invited Wiley to provide a revised response, but received none. As a consequence, the editorial board has compiled our concerns and called for a dozen issues to be addressed, as described in our answer to Wiley, below….”

Journal editors resign, strike in dispute with Wiley over ‘business model that maximises profit’ | Retraction Watch

The editor in chief of a Wiley journal has resigned, saying the publisher recently has “seemed to emphasize cost-cutting and margins over good editorial practice.” 

Most of the journal’s associate editors are in the midst of a work stoppage protesting the same issues. After Wiley responded to the associate editors in a way they found “troubling,” the editors replied with a list of 12 demands, and a deputy editor in chief tendered her resignation.



The rise of preprints in earth sciences | F1000Research

Abstract:  The rate of science information’s spread has accelerated in recent years. In this context, it appears that many scientific disciplines are beginning to recognize the value and possibility of sharing open access (OA) online manuscripts in their preprint form. Preprints are academic papers that are published but have not yet been evaluated by peers. They have existed in research at least since the 1960s and the creation of ArXiv in physics and mathematics. Since then, preprint platforms—which can be publisher- or community-driven, profit or not for profit, and based on proprietary or free and open source software—have gained popularity in many fields (for example, bioRxiv for the biological sciences). Today, there are many platforms that are either disciplinary-specific or cross-domain, with exponential development over the past ten years. Preprints as a whole still make up a very small portion of scholarly publishing, but a large group of early adopters are testing out these value-adding tools across a much wider range of disciplines than in the past. In this opinion article, we provide perspective on the three main options available for earth scientists, namely EarthArXiv, ESSOAr/ESS Open Archive and EGUsphere.


Overview of ICARUS?A Curated, Open Access, Online Repository for Atmospheric Simulation Chamber Data | ACS Earth and Space Chemistry

Abstract:  Atmospheric simulation chambers continue to be indispensable tools for research in the atmospheric sciences. Insights from chamber studies are integrated into atmospheric chemical transport models, which are used for science-informed policy decisions. However, a centralized data management and access infrastructure for their scientific products had not been available in the United States and many parts of the world. ICARUS (Integrated Chamber Atmospheric data Repository for Unified Science) is an open access, searchable, web-based infrastructure for storing, sharing, discovering, and utilizing atmospheric chamber data []. ICARUS has two parts: a data intake portal and a search and discovery portal. Data in ICARUS are curated, uniform, interactive, indexed on popular search engines, mirrored by other repositories, version-tracked, vocabulary-controlled, and citable. ICARUS hosts both legacy data and new data in compliance with open access data mandates. Targeted data discovery is available based on key experimental parameters, including organic reactants and mixtures that are managed using the PubChem chemical database, oxidant information, nitrogen oxide (NOx) content, alkylperoxy radical (RO2) fate, seed particle information, environmental conditions, and reaction categories. A discipline-specific repository such as ICARUS with high amounts of metadata works to support the evaluation and revision of atmospheric model mechanisms, intercomparison of data and models, and the development of new model frameworks that can have more predictive power in the current and future atmosphere. The open accessibility and interactive nature of ICARUS data may also be useful for teaching, data mining, and training machine learning models.