A small and sophisticated data system for geochronology and geochemistry labs.
Manage geochemical data
Sparrow allows labs to organize analytical data and track project- and sample-level metadata. Its metadata management interface streamlines tasks such as controlling embargo, identifying and linking geologic and publication metadata, and generating aggregate summaries.
Link to community systems
Sparrow straightforwardly implements FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) data-management principles atop current data archives and lab analytical processes. It provides a standard API access layer for geochemical data produced by individual geochronology laboratories, which allows data to be extracted by end users and centralized archives.
Build a web presence
Sparrow's web interface enables aggregate summaries of geochemical data and metadata, driven by your data archive to convey the scope and impact of your lab's work. Useful summaries, such as a map view of sample locations, are bundled by default.
Extend and customize
All parts of Sparrow can be customized. Common metadata-management functionality comes out of the box, but it can be augmented for lab-specific needs. Sparrow is open-source software that is built to be lightweight, flexible, and standards-compliant. It's like Wordpress for geochemical data!
Best practices for data accessibility and archiving are a key concern
within the geochronology community. However, many efforts to standardize
processes have seen limited community uptake due to the extra work
entailed in uploading data into centralized repositories.
Meanwhile, evolving time-integrated digital Earth
models must be referenced against robust, global age datasets compiled
from geochronology data in geologic context.
We attempt to solve two problems at once: first, we want to make it
easier for labs to manage their data by allowing them to control
their own data system. Second, we want to allow these data systems to
be accessible, so data can be aggregated from multiple labs. Ultimately,
we hope to automate the annoying process of data archiving.
An early beta version of Sparrow has been implemented in several labs. Large
portions of the analytical archive of each lab have been ingested, and work is
progressing on building metadata management functionality.
Sparrow is supported by the NSF EarthCube program under grant EAR-1740694,
Geochronology Frontier at the Laboratory-Cyberinformatics Interface.
It's not an acronym – the name Sparrow is meant to evoke the spirit of this
tool: sparrows are small, familiar birds that come in many different types. They
blend easily into human environments.
Sparrow is designed for light weight and ease of management, and embraces
diversity — it gives labs control of data and process, within a common framework.
Like the bird, each lab's version of Sparrow will look similar to outsiders
but have unique characteristics adapted to its situation.