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OR2013: Open Repositories Confront Research Data

Open Repositories 2013 was hosted by the University of Prince Edward Island from July 8-12. A strong research data stream ran throughout this conference, which was attended by over 300 participants from around the globe.  To my delight, many IASSISTers were in attendance, including the current IASSIST President and four Past-Presidents!  Rarely do such sightings happen outside an IASSIST conference.

This was my first Open Repositories conference and after the cool reception that research data received at the SPARC IR meetings in Baltimore a few years ago, I was unsure how data would be treated at this conference.  I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic interest of this community toward research data.  It helped that there were many IASSISTers present but the interest in research data was beyond that of just our community.  This conference truly found an appropriate intersection between the communities of social science data and open repositories. 

Thanks go to Robin Rice (IASSIST), Angus Whyte (DCC), and Kathleen Shearer (COAR) for organizing a workshop entitled, “Institutional Repositories Dealing with Data: What a difference a ‘D’ makes!”  Michael Witt, Courtney Matthews, and I joined these three organizers to address a range of issues that research data pose for those operating repositories.  The registration for this workshop was capped at 40 because of our desire to host six discussion tables of approximately seven participants each.  The workshop was fully subscribed and Kathleen counted over 50 participants prior to the coffee break.  The number clearly expresses the wider interest in research data at OR2013.

Our workshop helped set the stage for other sessions during the week.  For example, we talked about environmental drivers popularizing interest in research data, including topics around academic integrity.  Regarding this specific issue, we noted that the focus is typically directed toward specific publication-related datasets and the access needed to support the reproducibility of published research findings.  Both the opening and closing plenary speakers addressed aspects of academic integrity and the role of repositories in supporting the reproducibility of research findings.  Victoria Stodden, the opening plenary speaker, presented a compelling and articulate case for access to both the data and computer code upon which published findings are based.  She calls herself a computational scientist and defends the need to preserve computer code as well as data to facilitate the reproducibility of scientific findings.  Jean-Claude Guédon, the closing plenary speaker, bracketed this discussion on academic integrity.  He spoke about scholarly publishing and how the commercial drive toward indicators of excellence has resulted in cheating.  He likened some academics to Lance Armstrong, cheating to become number one.  He feels that quality rather than excellence is a better indicator of scientific success.

Between these two stimulating plenary speakers, there was a number of sessions during which research data were discussed.  I was particularly interested in a panel of six entitled, “Research Data and Repositories,” especially because the speakers were from the repository community instead of the data community.  They each took turns responding to questions about what their repositories do now regarding research data and what they see happening in the future.  In a nutshell, their answers tended to describe the desire to make better connections between the publications in their repositories with the data underpinning the findings in these articles.  They also spoke about the need to support more stages of the research lifecycle, which often involves aspects of the data lifecycle within research.  There were also statements that reinforced the need for our (IASSIST’s) continued interaction with the repository community.  The use of readme files in the absence of standards-based metadata and other practices, where our data community has moved the best-practice yardstick well beyond, demonstrate the need for our communities to continue in dialogue. 

Chuck Humphrey

Ich bin ein IASSISTer

Topic:

From 28-31 May, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences hosted the 39th Annual Conference of the International Association for Social Science Information Service and Technology, aka #iassist2013

IASSIST conferences provide an overview of what’s happening in information technology and data services and allow exchange of ideas between participants working in different backgrounds - from social science and humanities to information and computer science. The aim of this year's event was to help us move closer to the dream of technical and organizational measures that make research data discoverable and accessible.

Two-hundred and eighty five participants were welcomed to Cologne by GESIS President York Sure-Vetter ahead of a program of workshops, presentations, posters and discussions around this year’s topic of "Data Innovation: Increasing Accessibility, Visibility, and Sustainability".

The first day of the conference offered eight workshops, providing participants the opportunity to look at specific topics like licensing data, data visualization or DOI assignment. Sessions on a variety of tools and methods were also offered, specifically the OLAP analysis method, R open source software, and CharmStats - GESIS’s newly developed data harmonization software which was formally launched at IASSIST.

Over the following three days there were a total of three plenaries and 32 concurrent sessions organized in three tracks.

Presentations and discussions were concentrated in the track "Research Data Management" (RDM). This embraced a spectrum of topics related to all aspects of the data lifecycle. Emphasis was on policies, strategies and tools to support researchers in managing their research data. In addition presentations demonstrated various supporting collaborative infrastructures and virtual research environments at institutional, national or international level. Another focus was data citation and publications to enhance discoverability of data and professional credit for data sharing. Additional discussion offered answers to the question of how responsible use of complex or sensitive data can be facilitated. Finally sessions in the RDM track dedicated themselves to the subject of data curation and long-term preservation.

The track "Data Developers and Tools" presented a technical point of view with offerings from those working in application development – seasoning their work with a good dash of metadata. Questions were asked and solutions presented on the topics of interoperability, interconnection and integration, and preservation of data. A special role here is played by the DDI metadata standard to which many tools and applications have been introduced to simplify the creation and management of DDI metadata or provide value-added services on setting the standard up.

The track "Data Public Services/Librarianship" confronted aspects of access to research data. Here, development of data services from country-specific perspective (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia) was highlighted, but the track also managed to look at specific data types (non-digital, historical, confidential and sensitive data).

Slides of the presentations and video recordings of selected events will be published in the coming weeks on the IASSIST website providing you an opportunity to plunge into the world IASSIST 2013. Let’s do it all again in Toronto for IASSIST 2014!

Astrid Recker, Laurence Horton, Alexia Katsanidou
GESIS Archive and Data Management Training Center 

IASSIST 2013 by the numbers

  • 285 participants from 29 countries (a new IASSIST record!)
  • Nearly two-thirds from Europe (64%), one-third from North America
  • 2 Participants from Africa and 9 from the Asia-Pacific region

Top 5 countries represented

  • Germany: 88
  • United States: 66
  • UK: 32
  • Canada: 23
  • Netherlands: 10

Activity

  • 8 workshops with 103 participants
  • 32 parallel sessions featuring 126 presentations
  • 35 Posters
  • 11 Pecha Kuchas
  • 3 Plenary Sessions
  • 2 songs
  • 1 Banquet
  • Lots of white asparagus served
  • Many glasses of Kölsch drunk
  • ∞ Complaints about the venue Wi-Fi

IASSIST needs YOU to write a blog post about some aspect of the conference

Topic:

I could say this is needed because the videos and wifi weren't working, but in fact I'd be asking anyway.

Just think how helpful it is for members who could not be with us (and potential members) to get a snapshot of views about what happened. Serious, silly, short, verbose, objective, or ridiculously opinionated impressions of one session, the social events or overall are very welcome.

Turn your personal notes into a gift that keeps on giving.

If you have any trouble posting (as a member) simply contact iassistwebmaster@gmail.com and we'll sort you out.

Robin Rice

IASSIST Communications Chair & Website Editor

IASSIST 2013 conference song

Topic:
See video

Many thanks to Kate, Dan, and especially Melanie for this year's bit of silliness. Thanks once again to Lynda Kellam for the video.

(Sung to the tune of "Lili Marlene" If anyone wonders, the connection of the melody with Cologne is that the composer, Norbert Schultze, once studied in Cologne.)

It's 2013 IASSIST, and welcome to Cologne
GESIS has endeavored to make us feel at home
Data innovation was the theme
And wifi problems made the scene
We struggled to communicate
Some tweets might turn up late

Monday was for meetings, workshops the next day
Curation, access, OLAP, and R all made their play
At the reception we all met
The Kolsch we drank helped us to set
The tone for what next came
More walking in the rain

Wednesday was the day when it all really began
Attendance at the talks at Maternushaus to plan
The talks on RDM were cool
As well as Services and Tools
Kristin's duckie charmed the crew,
Sam's rabbit joined in too

Wifi issues carried on, tweets were very few
Posters and pecha kuchas were quite enough to do
Data parachutes were opened, then
We walked to Rheinterrassen
With Spargel on the menu -
'Asparagus' to you

Friday was the day when winding down began
Next year's LAC began to talk about the plan
This year's IASSIST was really great
For next year's 40th you'll wait
Toronto welcomes you
With wifi access too.

New Latin American Open Data site!

Miguel Paz writes:

Poderomedia Foundation and PinLatam are launching OpenDataLatinoamerica.org, a regional data repository to free data and use it on Hackathons and other activities by HacksHackers chapters and other organizations.

We are doing this because the road to the future of news has been littered with lost datasets. A day or so after every hackathon and meeting where a group has come together to analyze, compare and understand a particular set of data, someone tries to remember where the successful files were stored. Too often, no one is certain. Therefore with Mariano Blejman we realized that we need a central repository where you can share the data that you have proved to be reliable: OpenData Latinoamerica, which we are leading as ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellows.

If you work in Latin America or Central America your organization can take part in OpenDataLatinoamerica.org. To apply, go to the website and answer a simple form agreeing to meet the standard criteria for open data. Once the application is approved, you will receive an account to start running and managing open data, becoming part of the community.

Registration for the Data Information Literacy Symposium is now open

Please join us for the Data Information Literacy Symposium at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, on September 23rd, and 24th 2013. 

Program:  This symposium will explore roles for practicing librarians in teaching competencies in data management and curation to graduate students.  With support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, librarians from Purdue University, Cornell University, the University of Minnesota and the University of Oregon have investigated this topic through developing and implementing “data information literacy” (DIL) instruction programs for graduate students in a range of science and engineering disciplines. 

Members of the DIL project will share their experiences in working with faculty and graduate students, with a primary focus on the practical applications of their work.  Keynote speakers will provide additional perspectives on teaching data literacy competencies.  A portion of the conference will be devoted to further exploration of selected topics of interest as determined by attendees.

Outcomes: Attendees will acquire an understanding of current issues in teaching data management and curation competencies to students.   Through presentations, discussions and hands-on activities, attendees will develop strategies for creating their own instructional programs suitable for the needs of their students and faculty.    

Intended audience: Academic librarians and others who are providing research data management instruction for students, or librarians who are interested in doing so. 

Poster Session: Attendees who have developed educational initiatives, crafted resources, or conducted research in this area are invited to submit materials for a poster session, which will be held at the pre-symposium reception on Sunday, September 22nd. Attendees will be provided with information on how to submit a poster after they have registered for the symposium.

Registration: Registration for the event is now open at:  http://www.conf.purdue.edu/data.  There is no registration fee, but the attendance is limited to the first 80 individuals that register.  After that, you may request to be placed on the waiting list.

To follow the event on Twitter and all updates from the DIL project, please search the hashtag #datainfolit.  Updates from the event will be posted throughout the day September 23-24.

More information about the Data Information Literacy Project can be found at the project’s website:  http://datainfolit.org  

Please contact Jake Carlson, Data Services Specialist at Purdue University with any questions: jakecarlson@purdue.edu.

 

New IASSIST Quarterly now available!

Editor notes: 

Data bring maps, archive brings data, and accreditation brings research

This issue (volume 36-1, 2012) of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ) is the first of the 2012 issues. This editorial is written in March 2013 when many IASSIST people have received acceptance for their papers at the upcoming conference IASSIST 2013 in Cologne. I am certain there will be many interesting presentations at the conference. However, presenters can reach a greater audience by having their paper published in forthcoming issues of the IQ.

The three papers in this issue bring reports on the presentation and availability of data in a geographical portal for geospatial data, the collection and dissemination of holdings in a data archive, and on access to trans-national data and the accreditation involved.

The first paper is Scholars GeoPortal: A new platform for geospatial data discovery, exploration and access in Ontario universities. The authors are Elizabeth Hill and Leanne Trimble (formerly Hindmarch) of University of Western Ontario and Scholars Portal, Toronto. The paper was presented at the IASSIST 2011 conference Data Science Professionals: A Global Community of Sharing at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, in the session Power of Partnerships in Data Creation and Sharing. Sharing was the theme for the conference, the session, and certainly also the paper on the Scholars GeoPortal. Data collections are no longer only numeric data collections. This paper focuses on the use of geospatial data for learning, reporting a project carried out for universities in the province of Ontario on the initiative of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). The paper describes the background - the need and the vision - and the components of the Geospatial Portal Project. The project needs to have very good metadata handling in order to provide valid results and the paper demonstrates how the GeoPortal presents the various different types of data. The portal is also used for research and has further involved policy makers and legal experts.

The second paper was presented at the IASSIST 2012 conference Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information in Washington, DC hosted by NORC. In the session National Data Landscapes: Policies, Strategies, and Contrasts, the paper Strategies of Promoting the Use of Survey Research Data Archive was presented by the Meng-Li Yang from the Center For Survey Research, RCHSS, Academia Sinica, in Taiwan. The paper is a report from the largest data archive in Asia: the Survey Research Data Archive, Taiwan, whose collection includes government statistics raw data. The data archive was established in 1994 and now has 1400 members who can draw on the facilities of the archive including direct downloading of datasets. In 2011 a survey showed that about 20% of a relevant group of researchers were members of the data archive. This result and other findings led to strategies on improving the search facility and active promotion of the service. The paper goes into details on the tasks that were necessary to improve the search facility. These details and other observations and experiences are provided for others in the data archive arena.

Paola Tubaro, University of Greenwich and CNRS has, with Marie Cros, Université de Lille and Roxane Silberman, CNRS - Réseau Quetelet, written the paper Access to official data and researcher accreditation in Europe: existing barriers and a way forward. The authors perceive that the barriers against trans-national access to data in Europe are based upon accreditation and that there are major inconsistencies across the countries. One obvious barrier is that some descriptions are available only in the national language, other barriers are at the policy-level and will require negotiation and coordination. The paper presents the information collected on European accreditation procedures based on the trio: eligibility, application, and service. Accreditation is found to involve the criteria of eligibility (who is a researcher etc.), the procedure of application (how to request access etc.), and the level of service (who approves applications etc.). This work is part of the Data without Boundaries project in the EC 7th Framework. The positive conclusion is that almost all European countries provide research access to micro-data, enabled by the Open Data movement and other factors. But there still remain areas where improvement is needed for better trans-national data access.

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. Authors 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

March 2013

Editor

IASSIST Fellows 2013

 

The IASSIST Fellows Committee is glad to announce through this post the six recipients of the 2013 IASSIST Fellowship award. We are extremely excited to have such a diverse and interesting group with different backgrounds and experience and encourage IASSISTers to welcome them at our conference in Cologne, Germany.

Please find below their names, countries and brief bios:

Chifundo Kanjala (Tanzania) 

Chifundo currently works as a Data Manager and data documentalist for an HIV research group called ALPHA network based at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's department of Population Health, Chifundo spends most of his time in Mwanza, Tanzania but do travel from time around Southern and Eastern Africa to work with colleagues in the ALPHA network.Before joining the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, he was working as a Data analyst consultant at Unicef, Zimbabwe.Currently working part time on a PhD with London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has an MPhil in Demography from university of Cape Town, South Africa and a BSc Statistics Honours degree from University of Zimbabwe.


Judit Gárdos (Hungary) 

Judit Gárdos studied Sociology and German Language and Literature in Budapest, Vienna and Berlin. She is PhD-candidate in sociology, with a topic on the philosophy, sociology and anthropology of quantitative sociology. She is young researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Judit has been working at the digital archive and research group called "voicesofthe20century.hu" that is collecting qualitative, interview-based sociological research collections of the last 50 years. She is coordinating the work at the newly-funded Research Documentation Center of the Center for Social Sciences at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.


Cristina Ribeiro (Portugal) 

Cristina Ribeiro is an Assistant Professor in Informatics Engineering at Universidade do Porto and a researcher at INESC TEC. She has graduated in Electrical Engineering, holds a Master in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Ph.D. in Informatics. Her teaching includes undergraduate and graduate courses in information retrieval, digital libraries, knowledge representation and markup languages. She has been involved in research projects in the areas of cultural heritage, multimedia databases and information retrieval. Currently her main research interests are information retrieval, digital preservation and the management of research data.


Aleksandra Bradić-Martinović (Serbia) 

Aleksandra Bradić-Martinović, PhD is the Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia. Her field of expertize is research of information and communication technology implementation in economy, especially in banking, payment system operations and stock exchange operations. Aleksandra is also engaged in education process in Belgrade Banking Academy at the following subjects: E-banking and Payment Systems, Stock Market Dealings and Management Information Systems. She was engaged at several projects in the field of education. At the FP7 SERSCIDA project she is a Serbia team coordinator.


Anis Miladi (Tunisia) 

Anis Miladi earned his Bachelor degree in computer sciences and multimedia in 2007 and a Master degree in Management of Information Systems and organizations in 2008 and he is currently finalizing his master degree in project management(projected date summer 2013). Before joining the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute at Qatar University as Survey Research technology specialist in 2009, he worked as a programmer analyst in a private IT services company In Tunisia. His Area of expertise includes managing computer assisted surveys CAPI,CATI(Blaise surveying system)  in addition to Enterprise Document Management Systems, Enterprise Portals (SharePoint).


Lejla Somun-Krupalija (Sarajevo) 

Lejla currently serves as the Senior Program and Research Officer at the Human Rights Centre of the University of Sarajevo. She has over 15 years of experience in research, policy development in social inclusion issues. She is the Project Coordinator of the SERSCIDA FP7 project that aims to open data services/archives in the Western Balkan region in cooperation with CESSDA members. She had been engaged in the NGO sector previously, particularly on issues of capacity building and policy development in the areas of gender equality, the rights of persons with disabilities and issues of social inclusion and forced migration. She teaches academic writing, qualitative research, and gender and nationalism at the University of Sarajevo. 

IASSIST 2013 - Early bird registration rates until April 30!

GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences is proud to host the IASSIST 2013 Conference at Maternushaus in Cologne, Germany from May 28-31.  The IASSIST 2013 theme is Data Innovation: Increasing Accessibility, Visibility and Sustainability.  In line with the theme, the IASSIST Program is streamed into three tracks this year: Research Data Management, Data Developers and Tools and Data Public Services.  Presentations cover topics such as standards and processes in data management, metadata extensions and tools, data citation practices, sensitive data and much more! To see the full program and to register visit the website here: http://www.iassist2013.org/iassist-2013-home/.  Early bird registration rates are still available until April 30th.  See you in Cologne! (IASSIST 2013 Program and Local Arrangements Committees)

Newly elected IASSIST officials

Dear IASSISTers,

With a 59% voter turnout, the following people have been elected as our IASSIST Officers, whose terms begin at the end of the Annual Business Meeting of the Association, at lunchtime on Thursday 30 May 2013:

President: Bill Block

Vice President: Tuomas J. Alaterä

Treasurer: Thomas Lindsay

Secretary: Kristin Partlo

African Regional Secretary: Lynn Woolfrey

Asia-Pacific Regional Secretary: Sam Spencer

Canadian Regional Secretary: Michelle Edwards

European Regional Secretary: Tanvi Desai

US Regional Secretary: San Cannon

Admin committee member-at-large, Canada: Maxine Tedesco

Admin committee member-at-large, Europe: Laurence Horton

Admin committee members-at-large, USA: Amy Pienta, Lynda Kellam and Harrison Dekker

Congratulations to our newly elected officials, and I hope more people are encouraged to come forward and stand for positions in the next IASSIST election, which will be held in March 2015!

Melanie Wright

IASSIST Past President and Elections Chair

  • IASSIST Quarterly

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