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IASSIST 2014

IASSIST 2014 conference song

Topic:

Sung to the tune of Gordon Lightfoot's  "If You Could Read My Mind"; thanks to San, Paula, Bill, and Vince for their suggestions, and Vince, Dan and Kate for helping to drown out my own voice :) If anyone has a video version of this, send me the link, so I can add it here:


If you could read my data
What a tale these points would tell
At Toronto's IASSIST 40
Data folk began to dwell
At the hockey game
We began to meet
With colleagues and old friends
These meetings never end
Aligning data with infrastructure of research is what it's all about

If you were at this IASSIST
Many fantastic talks you heard
All of the sexy specialists
Seemed to tweet on what they heard
When you reached the talk 'bout the data dude
The seating was all gone
The tweeting would go on
We don't want the talks to end
Because excitement's just too hard to fake

Chuck walked away with the plenary
When the speaker didn't show
Improv -- way to go!
IASSIST's big tent will cover everyone who works with data now
We will show them how
The Steam Whistle banquet was great
Where we could get more beer with tickets
Myron's talk went slightly wrong, his script was gone but he managed to get it back

If you could read my hashtag
You'd have seen some tweets galore
How Justin Hayes raps data
Declare variables not war
Robin's free at last, 'cause her session's done
And Bit Rot Bitter's cool
The tweeting never ends
If you read the twitter feed
You soon will see the many things we do
The talent's always there
We always seem to feel this way
And we've got to say that we really get it
The only thing that seems so wrong
Is the long time before we meet again.


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

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.

IASSIST Fellows 2014

The IASSIST Fellows Committee is glad to announce through this post the four recipients of the 2014 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 Toronto, Canada.
Please find below their names, countries and brief bios:

Antonin Benoit, Head Librarian at the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning. Dakar, Senegal.

"As the head Librarian I am the manager of our Online Database called IDEP document server (http://www.unidep.org/library). We provide via this tool an access to bibliographical and textual references. In another hand I am the a focal point of IDEP to work with African Centre of Statistics (ACS) to compile an Inventory of all existing data resources in my Institute. The ACS is a division of UNECA and it is located in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). I am then devoted to provide data used for statistical analysis and publications in the Existing Data Resources of UNECA (http://ecastats.uneca.org/cdsr/). I am also very familar with metadata standards like MarcXML and Dublin Core that I use frequently in my job through our Document server. My main objective is to make our Institute the first African Library catalog to enter the Open Linked Data project. So, attending the IASSIST conference could improve my capacities on data management, because my initial professional background is Librarianship and I still have some weaknesses on data management"

Fei Yu, Acting Manager of Research Data Collections  at the University of Queensland Library. Brisbane, Australia.

"Fei has gained a wide range of experience in academic libraries including bibliometrics and research data management.  She was recently successful in being appointed as Manager, Research Data Collections.  This has involved drafting  the Research Data Management Procedures which will underpin the University of Queensland Research Data Management Policy that was approved at the end of 2013.  She is involved in promoting best practice in data management for all of UQ and has established a wide range of Data Information Literacy training courses for UQ researchers and ensuring that their research data collection metadata is accurate and available on the institutional repository - UQ eSpace.  She is presently rolling out the online data management tool (based on the UK Digital Curation Center (DCC) tool) university wide to ensure that all university researchers and research students have an easy and accessible tool to create their data management plans.  The Research Data Collections team lead by Fei created the Research Data Management Guide  - a one stop shop – containing detailed information on all aspects of data management.  Fei also works collaboratively with the University's Research Computing Centres and the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure to ensure that staff are aware of the many data storage options. "

Aileen O'Carroll, Policy Manager of the Digital Repository at the Digital Repository of Ireland. Dublin, Ireland.

"I am currently Policy Manager of the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI). DRI is a newly established national organisation (the project was established in September 2011) whose remit is to link together and preserve the rich and varied cultural, historical, and qualitative social science data held by Irish Institutions. It will be a central access point to this digital data and provide multimedia tools to research and interact with archived data. My role requires me to have a thorough understanding of international best practice in licensing frameworks, digitisation policy, archival management, and an understanding of the different needs and perspectives of a wide range of stalk-holders and users. It is of key importance that this emerging national infrastructure is aligned both with European and International best practice along with practice and policy already in place in a diverse field of Irish cultural, educational and social scientific organisations."

Winny Nekesa, Senior Library and Documentation Officer at the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority. Kampala, Uganda.

"Winny Nekesa Akullo obtained a Bachelors degree in Library and Information Science in 2003, Postgraduate Diploma in Demography in 2014 from Makerere University and finalized her thesis for the  Masters Degree in Information Science. Before joining the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority as a Senior Library and Documentation Officer in 2014, she worked as an Information Officer/Librarian at Uganda Bureau of Statistics where she was in charge of information management and data dissemination and was spearheading the establishment of a UBOS Digital Library and a School Senior Librarian. She has international training and exposure in establishing digital libraries, preservation and construction and application of information systems. She is the Country Coordinator of the International Librarians’ Network, Publicity Secretary, Uganda Library and Information Association and the General Secretary, Uganda Textbook-Academic and Non-Fiction Authors’ Association.  Her area of expertise is digital preservation and data dissemination. Currently her main research interests are information retrieval, digital preservation and open access repositories. She presented at the 2013 IASSIST Conference “Establishing a National Statistical Information Repository in Uganda; Challenges and Opportunities”  she got a lot of exposure, and new ideas about data and information management. This year, I hope to gain more information which I can apply to my new institution especially in the area of data management which is still virgin."

  • IASSIST Quarterly

    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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    Resources

    A space for IASSIST members to share professional resources useful to them in their daily work. Also the IASSIST Jobs Repository for an archive of data-related position descriptions. more...

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