Already a member?

Sign In
Syndicate content

Community of Data Professionals

New about IASSIST members.

IASSISTers and librarians are doin' it for themselves

See video

 

Hey IASSISTers (gents, pardon for the video pun - couldnt' resist),

Are librarians at your institutions struggling to get up to speed with research data management (RDM)? If they're not, they probably should be. Library organisations are publishing reports and issuing recommendations left and right, such as the LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries) 2012 report, "Ten Recommendations for Libraries to Get Started with Research Data Management" (PDF). Just last week Nature published an article highlighting what the Great and the Good are doing in this area: Publishing Frontiers: The Library Reboot.

So the next question is, as a data professional, what are you doing to help the librarians at your institution get up to speed with RDM? Imagine (it isn't that hard for some of us) having gotten your Library masters degree sometime in the last century and now being told your job includes helping researchers manage their data? Librarians are sturdy souls, but that notion could be a bitter pill for someone who went into librarianship because of their love of books, right?

So you are a local expert who can help them. No doubt there will be plenty of opportunities for them to return the favour.

If you don't consider yourself a trainer, that's okay. Tell them about the Do-It-Yourself Research Data Management Training Kit for Librarians, from EDINA and Data Library, University of Edinburgh. They can train themselves in small groups, making use of reading assignments in MANTRA, reflective writing questions, group exercises from the UK Data Archive, and plenty of discussion time, to draw on their existing rich professional experience.

And then you can step in as a local expert to give one or more of the short talks to lead off the two hour training sessions in your choice of five RDM topics.Or if you're really keen, you can offer to be a facilitator for the training as a whole.Either way it's a great chance to build relationships across the institution, review your own knowledge, and raise your local visibility. If you're with me so far, read on for the promotional message about the training kit.

DIY Research Data Management Training Kit for Librarians

EDINA and Data Library, University of Edinburgh is pleased to announce the public release of the Do-It-Yourself Research Data Management Training Kit for Librarians, under a CC-BY licence:

http://datalib.edina.ac.uk/mantra/libtraining.html.

 The training kit is designed to contain everything needed for librarians in small groups to get themselves up to speed on five key topics in research data management - with or without expert speakers.

 The kit is a package of materials used by the Data Library in facilitating RDM training with a small group of librarians at the University of Edinburgh over the winter of 2012-13. The aim was to reuse the MANTRA course developed by the Data Library for early career researchers in a blended learning approach for academic liaison librarians.

 The training comprises five 2-hour face-to-face sessions. These open with short talks followed by group exercises from the UK Data Archive and long discussions, in a private collegiate setting. Emphasis is placed on facilitation and individual learning rather than long lectures and passive listening. MANTRA modules are used as reading assignments and reflective writing questions are designed to help librarians 'put themselves in the shoes of the researcher'. Learning is reinforced and put into practice through an independent study assignment of completing and publishing an interview with a researcher using the Data Curation Profile framework developed by D2C2 at Purdue University Libraries.

 The kit includes:

 * Promotional slides for the RDM Training Kit

* Training schedule

* Research Data MANTRA online course by EDINA and Data Library, University of Edinburgh: http://datalib.edina.ac.uk/mantra

* Reflective writing questions

* Selected group exercises (with answers) from UK Data Archive, University of Essex - /Managing and sharing data: Training resources./ September, 2011 (PDF). Complete RDM Resources Training Pack available: http://data-archive.ac.uk/create-manage/training-resources

* Podcasts (narrated presentations) for short talks by the original Edinburgh speakers (including from the DCC) if running course without ‘live’ speakers.

* Presentation files - if learners decide to take turns presenting each topic.

* Evaluation forms

* Independent study assignment: Data Curation Profile, from D2C2, Purdue University Libraries. Resources available: http://datacurationprofiles.org/

 As data librarians, we are aware of a great deal of curiosity and in some cases angst on the part of academic librarians regarding research data management. The training kit makes no assumptions about the role of librarians in supporting research data management, but aims to empower librarians to support each other in gaining confidence in this area of research support, whether or not they face the prospect of a new remit in their day to day job. It is aimed at practicing librarians who have much personal and professional experience to contribute to the learning experience of the group.

Become rich and famous: publish in the IQ!

These days many IASSIST members have received acceptance for their papers to the upcoming conference IASSIST 2013 in Cologne. There will be many interesting presentations at the conference. The conference presentation is your chance to present a project you are involved in, to air your argumentation for special areas, and in general to add to the IASSIST knowledge bank.

Projects are typically focused on support of social science research but the IASSIST related support now takes many forms with the developments of technology and applications. With your presentation at the conference you will have discussions and improvements of your work. After the conference you can in addition to the presentation at the conference reach a greater audience by publishing a revised paper in a coming issue of the IQ. 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.

If you are chairing a conference session you have the opportunity to become guest editor and to aggregate and integrate papers on a common subject for a special issue of the IQ.

Authors are very welcome to take a look at the instructions and article template on the IASSIST website. Authors and guest editors can also contact the editor via e-mail: kbr@sam.sdu.dk.

Karsten Boye Rasmussen     -    March 2013

IASSIST 2013 Fellows update

This year the IASSIST Fellows Committee received a grand total of 44 Fellows applications from a strong range of candidates from 28 countries around the globe: 
  • 18 Asia    

  • 13 Africa

  • 7 Europe

  • 3 North America

  • 2 Latin America

  • 1 Australia

Applications have been evaluated by the IASSIST Fellows Committee and offers have been made to a number of prospective Fellows to attend the annual conference in Cologne, Germany. We shall announce the names of those who have accepted the Fellows awards shortly.

We look forward to welcoming the new members at what will no doubt be the best IASSIST ever!

Best Wishes

Co-Chairs of the Fellows Committee

Some reflections on research data confidentiality, privacy, and curation by Limor Peer

Some reflections on research data confidentiality, privacy, and curation

Limor Peer

Maintaining research subjects’ confidentiality is an essential feature of the scientific research enterprise. It also presents special challenges to the data curation process. Does the effort to open access to research data complicate these challenges?

A few reasons why I think it does: More data are discoverable and could be used to re-identify previously de-identified datasets; systems are increasingly interoperable, potentially bridging what may have been insular academic data with other data and information sources; growing pressure to open data may weaken some of the safeguards previously put in place; and some data are inherently identifiable

But these challenges should not diminish the scientific community’s firm commitment to both principles. It is possible, and desirable, for openness and privacy co-exist. It will not be simple to do, and here’s what we need to keep in mind:

First, let’s be clear about semantics. Open data and public data are not the same thing. As Melanie Chernoff observed, “All open data is publicly available. But not all publicly available data is open.” This distinction is important because what our community means by open (standards, format) may not be what policy-makers and the public at large mean (public access). Chernoff rightly points out that “whether data should be made publicly available is where privacy concerns come into play. Once it has been determined that government data should be made public, then it should be done so in an open format.” So, yes, we want as much data as possible to be public, but we most definitely want data to be open.

Another term that could be clarified is usefulness. In the academic context, we often think of data re-use by other scholars, in the service of advancing science. But what if the individuals from whom the data were collected are the ones who want to make use of it? It’s entirely conceivable that the people formerly known as “research subjects” begin demanding access to, and control over, their own personal data as they become more accustomed to that in other contexts. This will require some fresh ideas about regulation and some rethinking of the concept of informed consent (see, for example, the work of John Wilbanks, NIH, and the National Cancer Institute on this front). The academic community is going to have to confront this issue.

Precisely because terms are confusing and often vaguely defined, we should use them carefully. It’s tempting to pit one term against the other, e.g., usefulness vs. privacy, but it may not be productive. The tension between privacy and openness or transparency does not mean that we have to choose one over the other. As Felix Wu says, “there is nothing inherently contradictory about hiding one piece of information while revealing another, so long as the information we want to hide is different from the information we want to disclose.” The complex reality is that we have to weigh them carefully and make context-based decisions.

I think the IASSIST community is in a position to lead on this front, as it is intimately familiar with issues of disclosure risk. Just last spring, the 2012 IASSIST conference included a panel on confidentiality, privacy and security. IASSIST has a special interest group on Human Subjects Review Committees and Privacy and Confidentiality in Research. Various IASSIST members have been involved with heroic efforts to create solutions (e.g., via the DDI Alliance, UKDA and ICPSR protocols) and educate about the issue (e.g., ICPSR webinar , ICPSR summer course, and MANTRA module). A recent panel at the International Data Curation Conference in Amsterdam showcased IASSIST members’ strategies for dealing with this issue (see my reflections about the panel).

It might be the case that STEM is leading the push for open data, but these disciplines are increasingly confronted with problems of re-identification, while the private sector is increasingly being scrutinized for its practices (see this on “data hops”). The social (and, of course, medical) sciences have a well-developed regulatory framework around the issue of research ethics that many of us have been steeped in. Government agencies have their own approaches and standards (see recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability office). IASSIST can provide a bridge; we have the opportunity to help define the conversation and offer some solutions.

Now Accepting Proposals for IASSIST 2013

IASSIST 2013 will be hosted by GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences at Maternushaus in Cologne, Germany from May 28-31.

The Conference Website can be accessed here: http://www.iassist2013.org/iassist-2013-home/

As announced previously, the theme of this year’s conference is Data Innovation: Increasing Accessibility, Visibility and Sustainability

This theme reflects recent efforts across the globe by the largest government agencies down to the smaller independent research units to make data (be it survey, administrative, geospatial, or scientific) more open, accessible and understandable for all.

With an ever-increasing availability of new technologies offering unparalleled opportunities to sustainably deliver, share, model and visualize data, we anticipate that there is much to share with and much to learn from one another.  Interdisciplinarity is a large part of where innovation comes from, and we hope to receive submissions from those in the social sciences, humanities, sciences, and computer science fields.

We welcome submissions on the theme outlined above, and encourage conference participants to propose papers and sessions that would be of interest to a diverse audience. In order to make session formation and scheduling more streamlined, we have created three distinct tracks.  If you are not sure where your submission fits, or feel that it fits into more than one track, that’s perfectly fine. Please do still make your submission, and if accepted, we will find an appropriate fit.

Online submission forms and guidelines for BOTH conference content and workshops are be found here: http://www.iassist2013.org/conference/calls/

NOTE: The top of the page is for sessions/papers/posters/round tables/pecha kuchas the bottom is for workshops – please note that the submission forms are completely separate.

All submissions are due by December 5, 2012.  Notification of acceptance will be made by February 5, 2012

Questions about session/paper submissions may be sent to iassist.twentythirteen@gmail.com
Questions about workshop submission may be sent to the Workshop Coordinator, Lynda Kellam at lmkellam@uncg.edu

Data-related blog posts coming out of Open Repositories 2012 conference

I 'd been meaning to write an IASSIST blog post about OR 2012, hosted by the University of Edinburgh's Host Organising Committee led by Co-Chair and IASSISTer Stuart Macdonald in July, because it had such good DATA content.

Fortunately Simon Hodson, the UK's JISC Managing Research Data Programme Manager, has provided this introduction and has allowed me to post it here, with further links to his analytic blog posts, and even those contain further links to OTHER blog posts talking about OR2012 and data!

There are also more relevant pointers from the OR 2012 home page here: http://or2012.ed.ac.uk/2012/08/20/another-round-of-highlights/

I think there's enough here to easily keep people going until next year's conference in Prince Edward Island next July. Oh, and Peter Burnhill, Past President IASSIST, made a good plug for IASSIST in his closing keynote, pointing it out to repository professionals as a source of expertise and community for would-be data professionals.

Enjoy! - Robin Rice, University of Edinburgh

---Forward----

It has been widely remarked that OR 2012 saw the arrival of research data in the repository world.  Using a wordle of #or2012 tweets in his closing summary, Peter Burnhill noted that ‘Data is the big arrival. There is a sense in which data is now mainstream.’  (See Peter’s summary on the OR2012 You Tube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jQRDWq-dhc&feature=plcp).

I have written a series of blog posts reflecting on the contributions made by *some* those working on research data repositories, and particularly the development of research data services http://or2012.ed.ac.uk/2012/08/20/another-round-of-highlights/.

These posts may be of interest to subscribers to this list and are listed below.

Institutional Data Repositories and the Curation Hierarchy: reflections on the DCC-ICPSR workshop at OR2012 and the Royal Society’s Science as an Open Enterprise report
http://researchdata.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2012/08/06/institutional-data-repositories-and-the-curation-hierarchy-reflections-on-the-dcc-icpsr-workshop-at-or2012-and-the-royal-societys-science-as-an-open-enterprise-report/

‘Data is now Mainstream’: Research Data Projects at OR2012 (Part 1…)
http://researchdata.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2012/08/13/data-is-now-mainstream-research-data-projects-at-or2012-part-1/

Pulling it all Together: Research Data Projects at OR2012 (Part 2…)
http://researchdata.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2012/08/14/pulling-it-all-together-research-data-projects-at-or2012-part-2/

Making the most of institutional data assets: Research Data Projects at OR2012 (Part 3…)
http://researchdata.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2012/08/15/making-the-most-of-institutional-data-assets-research-data-projects-at-or2012-part-3/

Manage locally, discover (inter-)nationally: research data management lessons from Australia at OR2012
http://researchdata.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2012/08/16/manage-locally-discover-inter-nationally-research-data-management-lessons-from-australia-at-or2012/

Simon Hodson [reposted with permission]

Knight Foundation Data Challenge (FYI)

The Knight Foundation announced a data-related grant opportunity in a kind of "tweet your grant proposal" format.   The call has closed but over 800 of the applications are viewable through Tumblr.   

In a simple search of the applications with the words "data professionals" returned 148 results.  Of these, some of the more related are: 

  1. My submission:  A passion for data, and the professionals who keep it alive
  2. A proposal for a dating service for data professionals :} DATABLE | Data based dating
  3. MetaLayer Turns Anyone into a Data Scientist

Have a look and see if there might be someone or some group out there you could be in collaboration with! 

IASSIST Fellows application now closed

The application for IASSIST Fellows is now closed. Over 40 applications from 23 different countries have been received with the following number of applications by region:

  • 23 Latin America
  • 12 Africa
  • 6 Asia

The Fellows Committee is now working to evaluate the applications and will make the decisions in the following weeks. Good luck to all participants.

IASSIST 2012 Fellows Program

The IASSIST Fellows Program is now accepting applications for financial support to attend the IASSIST 2012 conference in Washington [http://www.iassist2012.org/], from data professionals from countries with emerging economies who are developing and managing data infrastructures at their home institutions.

Please be aware that funding is not intended to cover the entire cost of attending the conference. The applicant’s home institution must provide some level of financial support to supplement the IASSIST Fellow award. Strong preference will be given to first time participants, and applicants from Latin-American countries. Only fully completed applications will be accepted. Applicants submitting a paper for the conference will be given priority consideration for funding.

 You may apply for funding via this form.

For more information, to apply for funding or nominate a person for a Fellowship, please send an email to the Fellows Committee chair, Luis Martínez-Uribe.

 

  • 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

    more...

  • Resources

    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...

  • community

    • LinkedIn
    • Facebook
    • Twitter

    Find out what IASSISTers are doing in the field and explore other avenues of presentation, communication and discussion via social networking and related online social spaces. more...