Site-Based Data Curation (SBDC) is an approach to managing research data that prioritizes sharing and reuse of data collected at scientifically significant sites. The SBDC framework is based on geobiology research at natural hot spring sites in Yellowstone National Park as an exemplar case of high value field data in contemporary, cross-disciplinary earth systems science. Through stakeholder analysis and investigation of data artifacts, we determined that meaningful and valid reuse of digital hot spring data requires systematic documentation of sampling processes and particular contextual information about the site of data collection. We propose a Minimum Information Framework for recording the necessary metadata on sampling locations, with anchor measurements and description of the hot spring vent distinct from the outflow system, and multi-scale field photography to capture vital information about hot spring structures. The SBDC framework can serve as a global model for the collection and description of hot spring systems field data that can be readily adapted for application to the curation of data from other kinds scientifically significant sites.
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