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May 2014

IASSIST SIGDMC Annual Report 2013-2014

By Carol Perry & Stefan Kramer, co-chairs
Last updated: 2014-05-29 by CP

  • The major activity of the Data Management & Curation Interest Group (SIGDMC) in the last year was the conceptualization, organization, submission, and offering of the June 2, 2014, morning workshop Data Management & Curation: Lessons from Government, Academia, and Research. It features seven invited presenters, and session and breakout group moderators from the SIGDMC membership, which also provided input on the breakout group topics.
  • As of May 26, 2014 SIGDMC membership is at just under 70, having been fairly steady over the year in terms of Google Group membership.  
  • The Data Management and Curation Resources page on the IASSIST website has been reviewed and updated. The list now contains 59 resources;  9 new resources were added since May 2013. Minglu Wang, Limor Peer and Wendy Mann are responsible for this resource. 
  • Progress was made in keeping the IASSIST blog active, however, we did not quite meet our goal of one blog per month. 
  • The members who attend the annual IASSIST conference in Toronto have been invited to participate in an in-person meeting on June 4, where the election outcome of the successor of Carol Perry as co-chair will first be announced, and future goals for the group be discussed.

Research Data Management Issues Across Environments

Lots of conversations going on these days in different venues where people are asking many of the same questions:  how do we teach researchers about data management with limited staff, and what data management services should we offer?  How do we find sustainable ways to manage data that leverage the efforts of many different repositories, those in government, institutions and disciplinary ones?  How do we coalesce standard practice and reasonable but effective policies at at least the national level and preferably on a global scale?  What roles should governments play?  How much can we as data professionals accomplish on our own?  The Data Management and Curation SIG will host a workshop to talk about these and other issues across different countries and environments next Tuesday. Our speakers will include:

  • Dan Gillman, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Marcel Hebing, DIW Berlin
  • Chuck Humphrey, University of Alberta
  • Steven McEachern, Australian Data Archive
  • Barry Radler, Institute on Aging, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Robin Rice, EDINA and Data Library at the University of Edinburgh
  • Kathleen Shearer, Confederation of Open Access Repositories and Research Data Canada

Looking forward to seeing many of you in Toronto!

Michele Hayslett, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill & Stefan Kramer, American University

New 'Special Issue' IQ now available!

Editor’s notes

Special issue: A pioneer data librarian

Welcome to the special volume of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ (37):1-4, 2013). This special issue started as exchange of ideas between Libbie Stephenson and Margaret Adams to collect papers relating to the work of Sue A. Dodd. Margaret Adams (Peggy) acted as the guest editor and the background and content of this volume is described in her preface to this volume on the following page. As editor I want to especially thank Peggy and Libbie for pursuing and finalizing their excellent idea. I also want to thank all the authors that contributed to produce this volume. As one of the authors I can witness that Peggy did a great job.

Articles for the IASSIST Quarterly are always very welcome. They can be papers from IASSIST conferences or other conferences and workshops, from local presentations or papers especially written for the IQ. When you are preparing a presentation, give a thought to turning your one-time presentation into a lasting contribution to continuing development. As an author you are permitted “deep links” where you link directly to your paper published in the IQ. Chairing a conference session with the purpose of aggregating and integrating papers for a special issue IQ is also much appreciated as the information reaches many more people than the session participants, and will be readily available on the IASSIST website at http://www.iassistdata.org.

Authors are very welcome to take a look at the instructions and layout:
http://iassistdata.org/iq/instructions-authors

Authors can also contact me via e-mail: kbr@sam.sdu.dk. Should you be interested in compiling a special issue for the IQ as guest editor(s) I will also be delighted to hear from you.

 

Karsten Boye Rasmussen

April 2014

Editor

One week to IASSIST 2014!

Topic:

It’s a week to go until IASSIST 2014 begins! (If you haven’t registered yet, better get to it!) Here are a few things you might like to know before you get here:

  • If you haven’t looked at them yet, please peruse the “How to get here” and “Local information” pages on the conference website
  • under ‘Visitors’ on the top menu (where you can find a map-based guide to Toronto attractions);

    • How to get here” lists ways to get to the downtown core from the airport;
    • Local information” has links to maps, information on how to get around Toronto, links to weather information from Environment Canada, plus links to guides to restaurants and drinking establishments in and around town.
    • If you’re a baseball fan, the Toronto Blue Jays are playing home games on June 1, 6, and 7; see the June schedule for details.
    • if, at any point, you want to pick up some groceries, there's a huge grocery store -- right next to the Mattamy Centre (site of the Tuesday reception) -- known as Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens; check out the 'Wall of Cheese"!
    • if your taste runs to reading, there's an Indigo store (Canada's major bookstore chain) about 10 min from the conference hotel by foot, on Yonge St.

As far as food and drink go, the variety you'll find in the city, even restricted to the downtown area, is nothing short of remarkable; there's even a multicultural food court just down the street from the conference venue. Later this week we'll be adding to the above links a personal guide to eating and drinking establishments prepared by one of our volunteers.

Your Local Arrangements Committee and volunteers will do our best to ensure you have a pleasant and productive stay in Toronto. Please let us now if you have any specific questions. We look forward to greeting you next week for IASSIST 2014!

IASSIST Africa Regional Report 2013-2014

Freeing African Data

Two regional developments have the potential to get African government data into the public domain. Putting their disaggregated data out there can benefit African governance through ensuring transparency and allowing feedback from policy analysis to support better government planning. The World Bank’s Central microdata catalog has been around since 2012 and continues to expand its listing of data sources. This is currently the only comprehensive online source for microdata produced by African official data producers, as a listing of country datasets is not available on most African government websites.

While the World Bank project supports improve data discovery, a second donor project aims for more Open Government Data. The Accelerated Data Program is an OECD project to make African government data more accessible. This project works to install data dissemination software with government data producers such as ministries and statistics offices. Currently data is available from statistics offices in several countries which are using this platform. These include Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Tunisia.

The ADP also trains data managers in African National Statistics Offices. While data expertise is necessary to leverage national data resources data curation training projects are scarce in African countries. In 2013-2014 the ADP ran data management training workshops in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia, and ADP trainers teamed up with staff from the University of Cape Town’s Data Service to conduct data curation training workshops in Botswana, Lesotho, and Rwanda.

Another move towards Openness is the establishment of a Research Data Centre at the University of the Cape Coast in Ghana.  This will make Ghanaian data more widely available to local researchers and to the wider research community. Currently Ghanaian data can be purchased from the government data producer, which may keep out researchers from poorly-resourced institutions. The University of Cape Town in South Africa and the University of Michigan in the US are working with University of Cape Coast staff to support data curation best practice at the new centre, with funding from University of Michigan’s African Social Research Initiative.

African Universities Managing their Data Assets

The University of Cape Town in South Africa has been engaged Research Data Management policymaking in 2013-2014. IASSIST member Lynn Woolfrey and a team from the University Library undertook a University data needs survey and a scoping study of policies of other universities and completed a report and draft policy document which will be built on by Stakeholders at the University to produce a university-wide policy for managing research data into the future. The policy will ensure the University is in forefront of what will become standard practice at universities in the future.

African Data Conferences

5th African Conference for Digital Scholarship and Curation was held in Durban, South Africa, in June 2013.  The Conference brought together data experts from African countries under the theme of Research data in the advance of education, research, and innovation. IASSIST’s Lynn Woolfrey gave a presentation on data curation best practice at a post-conference workshop organised by South Africa’s Network of Data and Information Curation Communities (NeDiCC).

The first Isibalo data users’ conference was organised by Statistics South Africa at the University of Stellenbosch in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in July 2013. The Conference was an opportunity for feedback on the relevance of South African data for academia and local government decision makers and augers well for future producer-user interactions around data quality issues.

The annual eResearch Africa Conference was held in Cape Town, South Africa in October 2013. Under the banner ICT Enabling Research presenters from Australia, the UK, and African countries discussed eResearch projects and brain-stormed future e-Research strategies. IASSIST member Lynn Woolfrey presented research undertaken on data accessibility for research on Africa.

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    Publications Special issue: A pioneer data librarian
    Welcome to the special volume of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ (37):1-4, 2013). This special issue started as exchange of ideas between Libbie Stephenson and Margaret Adams to collect

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