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Professional Development

Issues related to training and education in data services and data libraries

Data Workshop at the National Library of Australia, sponsored by IASSIST

 Posted on behalf of Jade Koekoe

In February I won sponsorship money from IASSIST for a Data Workshop I had in mind. On the 18 November this year I saw my idea come to life. This Data Workshop was aimed at Library student and newgrads and was held in the Ferguson Room of the National Library of Australia. 26 people attended and there were five speakers from industries adjacent to librarianship.

  1. Sam Spencer from Data61, CSIRO
  2. Steven McEachern from the Australian Data Archive
  3. Karen Visser from the Australian National Data Service
  4. Ingrid Mason from the Australian Academic and Research Network
  5. Riley Post a PhD Candidate from University of Canberra

My goal for this workshop was to get students, newgrads and those new to data to start thinking about the fundamentals when it comes to managing data. Those fundamentals are things like:

  • Where are you storing your data, do you know where your servers a located, have you checked your backups lately?
  • What are the types of data librarians manage today?
  • Getting an idea of the big collaborations in place, the ways people are using data and organisations/platforms that manage data for users.

 Sam and Ingrid presented attendees with a sample of the vast amount of standards for managing topic and profession specific data. Attendees engaged quite well with these speakers and asked technical questions and wanted to know their expectations from librarians in their current role.

Steven highlighted the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy program, and its National Research Infrastructure roadmap. I could see attendees were interested in how organisations like the Australian Data Archive fit into such programs. Steven said that a lot of work is still going on at the digitisation stage and I saw many of the library students realise that digitisation skill is worth developing.  

Karen demonstrated how easy (within three minutes) it is for people to find their own research data. She then enforced that our job as current or aspiring data librarians is to add value. We should be data connectors and be ready and poised to share that knowledge with people, for example, “Oh you are looking for biodiversity data? Do you know about Atlas of Living Australia or the Biodiversity Heritage Library?”

Many commented they enjoyed having Riley speak last as his presentation was a great visual representation of what can be done with data. He is working in the field of “generous interfaces” and he demonstrated what people like him can do with data if it is created well. I was particularly thankful that he linked his presentation back to “I wouldn’t have been able to create this, if the data wasn’t created to this standard”. After Sam’s presentation where he laid out most of the standards it helped people to realise how far well created data can actually go.

Check out the hashtag #ALIADW2017 on twitter to see what people were tweeting on the day.

The International Workshop on Social Science Data Archives, held in Taiwan, sponsored by IASSIST

The International Workshop on Social Science Data Archives, sponsored by IASSIST, was held on September 15 in Conference Room II, Research Center for Humanities and Social Science (RCHSS), Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. The invited speakers included Prof. Dr. Christof Wolf from GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences, Dr. Yukio Maeda and Dr. Kaoru Sato from Social Science Japan Data Archive (SSJDA), University of Tokyo, and Dr. Won-ho Park, Dr. Seokho Kim from Korea Social Science Data Archive (KOSSDA), Seoul National University.

The finalized workshop agenda is listed in the following. We also had Dr. Ruoh-rong Yu introduce the Survey Research Data Archive of Taiwan. The topics of the presentations covered data curation, preservation, and dissemination services provided by each data archive. 

09:00~09:30

Registration

09:30~09:40

Opening Remarks

Dr. Ching-Ching Chang
Chair Professor
Department of Advertising
National Cheng-Chi University, Taiwan

Morning Session

Session Chair: Dr. Ching-ching Chang

09:40~10:20

Curating, Preserving, and Disseminating Social Science Micro Data at Social Science Japan Data Archive

Dr. Yukio Maeda
Professor
Institute of Social Science
University of Tokyo, JAPAN

10:20~11:00

Introduction to Korea Social Science Data Archive

Dr. Won-ho Park
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science and International Relations
Seoul National University, KOREA

Dr. Seokho Kim
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Seoul National University, KOREA

Dr. In Chol Shin
Senior Researcher
Korea Social Science Data Archive
Seoul National University Asia Center, KOREA

11:00~11:20

Tea Break

 

11:20~12:00

Introduction to Survey Research Data Archive of Taiwan

Dr. Ruoh-Rong Yu
Research Fellow and Executive Director
Center for Survey Research
Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica, TAIWAN

12:00~14:00

Lunch

 

Afternoon Session

Session Chair: Dr. Chyi-In Wu. (Research Fellow, Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica)

14:00~15:00

Services for Survey Data: The GESIS Perspective

Dr. Christof Wolf
President
GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, GERMANY

15:00~15:20

Closing Remarks

 

The registration of the workshop started May 1, 2017. The registration fee was NT$200, which included conference printed materials, lunch and light refreshments.  69 researchers attended the workshop. Most of the attendants were local scholars, while others were from Thailand, Turkey or other countries.

In the opening remarks, Dr. Chang stressed the importance of data archives, and gave a brief introduction to the speakers of the morning sessions.

The speaker of first session, Dr. Maeda, introduced the development and current practice of SSJDA. In addition, he also introduced some other data centers in Japan, including Leviathan Data Bank, Rikkyo University Data Archive, and Research Centre for Information and Statistics of Social Science at Hitotsubashi University.

SSJDA was started in 1998, with deposits amounting to 2,018 datasets. Its main collections include the Japanese General Social Surveys, Japanese Life Course Panel Surveys, Japanese Election Studies, National Family Research of Japan, Working Persons Survey, and Elementary School Students Survey. Researchers affiliated with academic institutions and graduate students can get access to SSJDA datasets for academic purposes. Applicants should sign an agreement (pledge) and get permission from PI in advance. Under the supervision of professors, undergraduate students are allowed to access certain data for paper writing. Such usage is classified as educational use, instead of research use. Some datasets are for research use only, and are not available for educational use.

SSJDA also offers several seminars on data usage and a one-week seminar on quantitative analysis every year. SSJDA built a desktop application for managing metadata based on the DDI lifecycle named Easy DDI Organizer (EDO). EDO can be used to edit metadata, import metadata and variable information from statistical software, and export documents. It is a useful tool for researchers, data users, and data archives. However, this system only has a Japanese version.

The second speaker was Dr. Park from KOSSDA. KOSSDA is Korea’s leading data archive, with expertise in the collection, dissemination, and promotion of research materials through various academic events and methodology education programs. Started in 1983 as a non-profit social science library, KOSSDA began to collect survey data in 2003, and moved to Seoul National University Asia Center in 2015.

KOSSDA collects survey data, statistical tables, qualitative interviews and narrative history data, documents, observation records, and other kinds of data produced by research institutes and individuals. KOSSDA also establishes digital databases, and provides access to the data. Its main collections include the Korean General Social Survey, ISSP Annual Topical Module Survey, Gallup Omnibus Survey, etc. KOSSDA has translated 250 survey datasets to English, including their questionnaires and codebooks.

KOSSDA is now rebuilding its website to enhance its data searching function and to improve web design. KOSSDA offers methodology training programs, data fairs, and a research paper competition every year.

After a 20-minute tea break, the presentation on SRDA kicked off. The speaker, Dr. Yu, is the Executive Director of the Center for Survey Research at Academia Sinica. SRDA was established in 1994. There are now eleven full-time workers in SRDA, including two IT staff members. The data archived by SRDA include survey data, census data, and in-house value-added data.

SRDA curates academic survey data such as the Taiwan Social Change Survey, Panel Study of Family Dynamic, Taiwan Social Image Survey, Taiwan Youth Project, Taiwan Education Panel Survey, and Taiwan’s Election and Democratization Study. In addition, SRDA also curates government survey data including the Manpower Survey, Manpower Utilization Survey, Woman’s Marriage, Fertility and Employment Survey, Survey of Family Income and Expenditure, Digital Opportunity Survey for Individuals and Households, Survey on Workers’ Living and Employment Conditions, etc. The number of datasets dissimilated by SRDA exceeds 2,800, in which 315 datasets have English versions.

A membership scheme is adopted by SRDA. Academia Sinica members are researchers at Academia Sinica. Regular members are faculty, researchers, students, or research assistants at colleges or research institutes. There are now about 2,302 members. A member can get access to most of the archived data by direct downloading from the SRDA website.

SRDA members can also apply for data with restricted access. The restricted datasets can be used via on-site access or remote access. All services provided by SRDA are now free of charge.

SRDA offers workshops, webinars, and on-campus lectures to promote data usage. In addition, SRDA maintains some social media websites such as a Facebook fan page, Youtube Channel, and SRDA blog.

SRDA has been constructing a data-based bibliography for years. Since 2016, SRDA has begun to register DOI via da|ra. One task in progress is to construct a data integration platform for Taiwan Social Change Survey data of various years. Other main tasks include enlarging data storage, broadening membership, remodeling the website, developing data management plans, and constructing an evaluation scheme for data disclosure risk.

In the afternoon session, Dr. Chi-in Wu was the chair. The presenter, Dr. Wolf, introduced the development and current progress of GESIS. Relative to data archives of Asia countries, the budget and personnel of GESIS are very large. GESIS was founded in 1960, and the data archive for social science is one of the five research departments of GESIS. There are about 70 staff members in the data archive for social science, belonging to seven teams.

GESIS currently has about 6,000 datasets, which mainly focus on migration, election, values and attitudes, and social behavior. ISSP, CSES, EVS, and ALLBUS are some well-known social science survey programs. It is easy for PIs to upload datasets through the Datorium system, which is a self-deposit service for sharing data.

Dr. Wolf stressed the importance of DOI (Digital Object Identifiers), and introduced the DOI registration service built by GESIS  da|ra. Da|ra has 576,297 registered DOI names and 88 data providers worldwide, including ICPSR, SRDA, etc. In addition to hosting da|ra, GESIS is devoted to developing international standards for data documentation and data archiving, and providing training and consulting services to researchers.

In the presentation, Dr. Wolf also talked about the secure data center of GESIS. The secure data center enables researchers to access sensitive, and weakly anonymized data. It is a locked room without internet. Users have to sign contracts in advance. Any inputs and outputs are required to be checked for disclosure risk. In the future, the secure data center will establish a remote access system, which can provide secure access to the data curated in CESSDA.

A business meeting was kicked off on the next day (September 16). Besides the guests from GESIS, KOSSDA and SSJDA, participants of the meeting included researchers at the Center for Survey Research, and all the staff of SRDA. The agenda was as below.

Development of Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA)

Christof Wolf (GESIS)

Connections among SSJDA, KOSSDA and SRDA in Recent Years

Ruoh-rong Yu (SRDA)

Possible Future Collaboration among Data Archives

All Participants

There have been frequent connections among KOSSDA, SSJDA and SRDA in recent years. Conferences and/or workshops were hosted in rotation in 2008, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

In 2016, KOSSDA organized an international conference with invited guests from SSJDA at the University of Tokyo (Japan), CNSDA at Renmin University (China), and SRDA at Academia Sinica (Taiwan). In this conference, a consensus was reached to develop a regional association of data archives in Asian countries, namely the Networks of Asian Social Science Data Archive (NASSDA).

The main purpose of the business meeting this year was to discuss possible future collaboration among data archives in Asia countries. The brief conclusions are listed in the following:

  1. To build a joint data catalogue for the archives involved.
  2. To construct web linkages and brief introduction among archives.
  3. To have a contact person for each data archive for future cooperation.

NASSDA members will hold annual workshop or conferences on a rotating basis. Further collaboration will be discussed in the near future. 

IASSIST's Statement in Response to President’s Executive Order on Visas and Immigration


February 13, 2017

Statement of the International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST at http://iassistdata.org) in response to President Trump's January 27 Executive Order on Visas and Immigration, titled "PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES".

The recent executive order on visas and immigration issued on January 27th by US President Trump is of grave concern to IASSIST as an organization. IASSIST, the International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology, is an international organization of professionals working in and with information technology, libraries, data services and research & higher education to support open science, advocate for responsible data management and use, build a broader community surrounding research data, and encourage the development of data professionals. Our membership is international, and we greatly value the ability to travel and meet to share knowledge at locations around the world. Our international fellows program and other initiatives are specifically designed to encourage participation from underrepresented regions, including the Muslim-majority countries targeted by the executive order.

While recognizing the authority of the United States over its borders, there are several aspects of this order that are troubling, viz.:

  1. Its sudden and chaotic implementation has led to severe uncertainty over whether rules and practices for entering the United States will be subject to rapid and arbitrary change.
  2. It has led to the detention of lawful permanent residents of the United States, the revocation of visas previously granted under proper vetting procedures, the perception of potential discrimination on the basis of religion, and the humanitarian crisis caused by ceasing to accept refugees.
  3. Its introduction of several restrictive elements into the domain of visas and immigration, such as the statement that those entering the US, including temporary visitors, must "support the Constitution".

For these reasons, the order generates a hostile climate for the open, collaborative scientific work of our organization, both for non-US persons seeking to work and collaborate with Americans, and for Americans traveling and working outside of the US to collaborate who may face retributive actions from other states. Our membership has legitimate concerns about whether travel to the US is possible under such conditions. The order also may have long-term repercussions that damage the reputation of the US as a location that is open to visitors and immigrants, supporting the open exchange of ideas, and protected under the rule of law from arbitrary changes impacting human freedom. In response, IASSIST will continue to speak out in favor of our organization's goals, and against such threats to international collaboration in research and data sharing.

Our May 2017 annual conference will be held in Lawrence, Kansas. Arrangements were begun long before the Executive Order on Visas and Immigration, and it is impossible to change the venue at this date. IASSIST stands in solidarity with its members and encourages them to attend the conference and participate in the international exchange of ideas that is the purpose of our association. We hope that no member will be denied entry into the US due to the administration's recent actions. IASSIST will assist its membership with visa issues and other concerns emanating from this order. We also reaffirm that we are committed to an environment free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, at the annual conference and all IASSIST activities.

 Tuomas J. Alaterä, President
 Jen Green, Vice-President
 Ryan Womack, Secretary
 Thomas Lindsay, Treasurer

International Association for Social Science Information Service and Technology (IASSIST)

IQ 40:1 Now Available!

Our World and all the Local Worlds
Welcome to the first issue of Volume 40 of the IASSIST
Quarterly (IQ 40:1, 2016). We present four papers in this issue.
The first paper presents data from our very own world,
extracted from papers published in the IQ through four
decades. What is published in the IQ is often limited in
geographical scope and in this issue the other three papers
present investigations and project research carried out at
New York University, Purdue University, and the Federal
Reserve System. However, the subject scope of the papers
and the methods employed bring great diversity. And
although the papers are local in origin they all have a strong
focus for generalization in order to spread the information
and experience.


We proudly present the paper that received the 'best
paper award' at the IASSIST conference 2015. Great thanks
are expressed to all the reviewers who took part in the
evaluation! In the paper 'Social Science Data Archives: A
Historical Social Network Analysis' the authors Kristin R.
Eschenfelder (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Morgaine
Gilchrist Scott, Kalpana Shankar, and Greg Downey
are reporting on inter-organizational influence and
collaboration among social science data archives through
data of articles published in IASSIST Quarterly in 1976
to 2014. The paper demonstrates social network analysis
(SNA) using a web of 'nodes' (people/authors/institutions)
and 'links' (relationships between nodes). Several types
of relationships are identified: influencing, collaborating,
funding, and international. The dynamics are shown in
detail by employing five year sections. I noticed that from
a reluctant start the amount of relationships has grown
significantly and archives have continuously grown better
at bringing in 'influence' from other 'nodes'. The paper
contributes to the history of social science data archives and
the shaping of a research discipline.


The paper 'Understanding Academic Patrons’ Data Needs
through Virtual Reference Transcripts: Preliminary Findings
from New York University Libraries' is authored by Margaret
Smith and Jill Conte who are both librarians at New York
University, and Samantha Guss, a librarian at University
of Richmond who worked at New York University from
2009-14. The goal of their paper is 'to contribute to the
growing body of knowledge about how information
needs are conceptualized and articulated, and how this
knowledge can be used to improve data reference in an
academic library setting'. This is carried out by analysis of
chat transcripts of requests for census data at NYU. There is
a high demand for the virtual services of the NYU Libraries
and there are as many as 15,000 annual chat transactions.
There has not been much qualitative research of users'
data needs, but here the authors exemplify the iterative
nature of grounded theory with data collection and analysis
processes inextricably entwined and also using a range of
software tools like FileLocator Pro, TextCrawler, and Dedoose.
Three years of chat reference transcripts were filtered down
to 147 transcripts related to United States and international
census data. The unique data provides several insights,
shown in the paper. However, the authors are also aware of
the limitations in the method as it did not include whether
the patron or librarian considered the interaction successful.
The conclusion is that there is a need for additional librarian
training and improved research guides.


The third paper is also from a university. Amy Barton, Paul
J. Bracke, Ann Marie Clark, all from Purdue University,
collaborated on the paper 'Digitization, Data Curation,
and Human Rights Documents: Case Study of a Library
Researcher-Practitioner Collaboration'. The project
concerns the digitization of Urgent Action Bulletins of
Amnesty International from 1974 to 2007. The political
science research centered on changes of transnational
human rights advocacy and legal instrumentation, while
the Libraries’ research related to data management,
metadata, data lifecycle, etcetera. The specific research
collaboration model developed was also generalized for
future practitioner-librarian collaboration projects. The
project is part of a recent tendency where academic
libraries will improve engagement and combine activities
between libraries and users and institutions. The project
attempts to integrate two different lifecycle models thus
serving both research and curatorial goals where the
central question is: 'can digitization processes be designed
in a manner that feeds directly into analytical workflows
of social science researchers, while still meeting the
needs of the archive or library concerned with long-term
stewardship of the digitized content?'. The project builds
on data of Urgent Action Bulletins produced by Amnesty
International for indication of how human rights concerns
changed over time, and the threats in different countries
at different periods, as well as combining library standards
for digitization and digital collections with researcher-driven
metadata and coding strategies. The data creation
started with the scanning and creation of the optical
character recognized (OCR) version of full text PDFs for text
recognition and modeling in NVivo software. The project
did succeed in developing shared standards. However, a
fundamental challenge was experienced in the grant-driven
timelines for both library and researcher. It seems to me that
the expectation of parallel work was the challenge to the
project. Things take time.


In the fourth paper we enter the case of the Federal Reserve
System. San Cannon and Deng Pan, working at the Federal
Reserve Bank in Kansas City and Chicago, created a pilot
for an infrastructure and workflow support for making the
publication of research data a regular part of the research
lifecycle. This is reported in the paper 'First Forays into
Research Data Dissemination: A Tale from the Kansas City
Fed'. More than 750 researchers across the system produce
yearly about 1,000 journal articles, working papers, etcetera.
The need for data to support the research has been
recognized, and the institution is setting up a repository
and defining a workflow to support data preservation
and future dissemination. In early 2015 the internal Center
for the Advancement of Research and Data in Economics
(CADRE) was established with a mission to support, enhance,
and advance data or computationally intensive research,
and preservation and dissemination were identified as
important support functions for CADRE. The paper presents
details and questions in the design such as types of
collections, kind and size of data files, and demonstrates
influence of testers and curators. The pilot also had to
decide on the metadata fields to be used when data is
submitted to the system. The complete setup including
incorporated fields was enhanced through pilot testing and
user feedback. The pilot is now being expanded to other
Federal Reserve Banks.


Papers for the IASSIST Quarterly are always very welcome.
We welcome input 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. We permit authors
'deep links' into the IQ as well as deposition of the paper in
your local repository. 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
June 2016
Editor

IASSIST 2016 Program At-A-Glance, Part 2: Data infrastructure, data processing and research data management

 

Here's another list of highlights from IASSIST2016 which is focusing on the data revolution. For previous highlights, see here.

Infrastructure

  • For those of you with an interest in technical infrastructure, the University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur will showcase an early protype MMRepo (1 June, 3F), whose function is to store qualitative and quantitative data into one big data repository.
  • The UK Data Service will present the following panel "The CESSDA Technical Framework - what is it and why is it needed?", which elaborates how the CESSDA Research Infrastructure should have modern data curation techniques rooted in sophisticated IT capabilities at its core, in order to better serve its community.

  • If you have been wondering about the various operational components and the associated technology counterparts involved with running a data science repository, then the presentation by ICPSR is for you. Participants in that panel will leave with an understanding of how the Archonnex Architecture at ICPSR is strengthening the data services offered to new researchers and much more.

Data processing

Be sure to check out the aforementioned infrastructure offerings if you’re interested in data processing, but also check out a half-day workshop on 31 May, “Text Processing with Regular Expressions,” presented by Harrison Dekker, UC Berkeley, that will help you learn regular expression syntax and how to use it in R, Python, and on the command line. The workshop will be example-driven.

Data visualisation

If you are comfortable working with quantitative data and are familiar with the R tool for statistical computing and want to learn how to create a variety of visualisations, then the workshop by the University of Minnesota on 31 May is for you. It will introduce the logic behind ggplot2 and give participants hands-on experience creating data visualizations with this package. This session will also introduce participants to related tools for creating interactive graphics from this syntax.

Programming

  • If you’re interesting in programming there’s a full-day Intro to Python for Data Wrangling workshop on 31 May, led by Tim Dennis, UC San Diego,  that will provide tools to use scientific notebooks in the cloud, write basic Python programs, integrate disparate csv files and more.

  • Also, the aforementioned Regular Expressions workshop also on 31 May will offer  in-workshop opportunities  to working with real data and perform representative data cleaning and validation operations in multiple languages.

Research data management

  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at data management and see how an organization such as the Odum Institute manages its archiving workflows, head to “Automating Archive Policy Enforcement using Dataverse and iRODS” on 31 May with presenters from the UNC Odom Institute, UNC Chapel Hill. ’Participants will see machine actionable rules in practice and be introduced to an environment where written policies can be expressed in ways an archive can automate their enforcement.

  • Another good half-day workshop, targeted to for people tasked with teaching good research data management practices to researchers is  “Teaching Research Data Management Skills Using Resources and Scenarios Based on Real Data,” 31 May, with presenters from ICPSR, the UK Data Archive and FORS. The organisers of this workshop will showcase recent examples of how they have developed teaching resources for hands-on-training, and will talk about successes and failures in this regard.

Tools

If you’re just looking to add more resources to your data revolution toolbox, whether it’s metadata, teaching, data management, open and restricted access, or documentation, here’s a quick list of highlights:

  • At Creating GeoBlacklight Metadata: Leveraging Open Source Tools to Facilitate Metadata Genesis (31 May), presenters from New York University will provide hands-on experience in creating GeoBlacklight geospatial metadata, including demos on how to capture, export, and store GeoBlacklight metadata.

  • DDI Tools Demo (1 June). The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) is an international standard for describing statistical and social science data.

  • DDI tools: No Tools, No Standard (3 June), where participants will be introduced to the work of the DDI Developers Community and get an overview of tools available from the community.

Open-access

As mandates for better accessibility of data affects more researchers, dive into the Conversation with these IASSIST offerings:

Metadata

Don’s miss IASSIST 2016’s offerings on metadata, which is the data about the data that makes finding and working with data easier to do. There are many offerings, with a quick list of highlights below:

  • Creating GeoBlacklight Metadata: Leveraging Open Source Tools to Facilitate Metadata Genesis (Half-day workshop, 31 May), with presenters from New York University

  • At Posters and Snacks on 2 June, Building A Metadata Portfolio For Cessda, with presenters from the Finnish Social Science Data Archive; GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences; and UK Data Service

Spread the word on Twitter using #IASSIST16. 


A story by Dory Knight-Ingram (
ICPSR)

Interested in the “data revolution” and what it means for research? Here’s why you should attend IASSIST2016

 

Part 1: Data sharing, new data sources and data protection

IASSIST is an international organisation of information technology and data services professionals which aims to provide support to research and teaching in the social sciences. It has over 300 members ranging from data archive staff and librarians to statistical agencies, government departments and non-profit organisations.

The theme of this year’s conference is Embracing the ‘data revolution’: opportunities and challenges for research” and it is the 42nd of its kind, taking place every year. IASSIST2016 will take place in Bergen, Norway, from 31 May to 3 June, hosted by NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data.

Here is a first snapshot of what is there and why it is important.

Data sharing

If you have ever wondered whether data sharing is to the advantage of researchers, there will be a session led by Utrecht University Library exploring the matter. The first results of a survey which explores personal beliefs, intention and behaviour regarding the sharing of data will also be presented by GESIS. The relationship between data sharing and data citation, relatively overlooked until now, will then be addressed by the Australian Data Archive.

If you are interested in how a data journal could incentivise replications in economics, you should think about attending a session by ZBW Leibniz Information Centre for Economics which will present some studies describing the outcome of replication attempts and discuss the meaning of failed replications in economics.

GESIS will then look into improving research data sharing by addressing different scholarly target groups such as individual researchers, academic institutions, or scientific journals, all of which place diverse demands on a data sharing tool. They will focus on the tools offered by GESIS as well as a joint tool, “SowiDataNet”, offered together with the Social Science Centre Berlin, the German Institute for Economic Research, and the German National Library of Economic.

The UKDA and UKDS will present a paper which seeks to explore the role that case studies of research can play in regard to effective data sharing, reuse and impact.

The Data Archive in Finland (FSD) will also be presented as a case study of an archive that is broadening its services to the health sciences and humanities, disciplines in which data sharing practices have not yet been established.

If you’d like to know more about data accessibility, which is being required by journals and mandated by government funders, join a diverse group of open data experts as IASSIST dives into open data dialogue that includes presentations on Open Data and Citizen Empowerment and 101 Cool Things to do with Open Data as part of the “Opening up on open data workshop.” Presenters will be from archives from across the globe.

New data sources

A talk entitled “Data science: The future of social science?” by UKDA will introduce its conceptual and technical work in developing a big data platform for social science and outline preliminary findings from work using energy data.

If you have been wondering about the role of social media data in the academic environment, the session by the University of California will include an overview of the social media data landscape and the Crimson Hexagon product.

The three Vs of big data, volume, variety and velocity, are being explored in the “Hybrid Data Lake” being built by UKDA using the Universal Decimal Classification platform and expanding “topics” search while using big data management. Find out more about it as well as possible future applications.

Data protection

If you follow data protection issues, the panel on “Data protection: legal and ethical reviews” is for you, starting off with a presentation of the Administrative Data Research Network's (ADRN) Citizen's Panel, which look at public concerns about research using administrative data, the content of which is both personal and confidential. The ADRN was set up as part of the UK Government’s Big Data initiative as a UK-wide partnership between universities, government bodies, national statistics authorities and the wider research community.

The next ADRN presentation within this session will outline their application process and the role of the Approvals Panel in relation to ethical review. The aim is “to expand the discussion towards a broader reflection on the ethical dilemmas that administrative data pose”, as well as present some steps taken to address these difficulties.

NSD will then present the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), recently adopted at EU level, and explain how it will affect data collection, data use, data preservation and data sharing. If you have been wondering how the regulation will influence the possibilities for processing personal data for research purposes, or how personal data are defined, what conditions apply to an informed consent, or in which cases it is legal and ethical to conduct research without the consent of the data subjects, this presentation is for you.

The big picture

Wednesday 1 June will kick-off with a plenary entitled “Data for decision-makers: Old practice - new challenges” by Gudmund Hernes, the current president of the International Social Science Council and Norway’s former Minister of Education and Research 1990-95, and Minister of Health 1995-97.

The third day of the conference (2 June) will begin with a plenary - “Embracing the ‘Data Revolution’: Opportunities and Challenges for Research’ or ‘What you need to know about the data landscape to keep up to date”, by Matthew Woollard, Director of the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex and Director of the UK Data Service.

If you want to know more about the three European projects under the framework of the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission that CESSDA is involved in, one on big data (Big Data Europe - Empowering Communities with Data Technologies), another on - strengthening and widening the European infrastructure for social science data archives (CESSDA SaW) and a third on synergies for Europe's Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences (SERISS), this panel is for you.  

"Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game": Strategies for Discussing and Communicating Data Services” considers how libraries might strategically reconsider communications about data services.

Keep an eye on this blog for more news in the run-up to IASSIST2016.

Find out more on the IASSIST2016 website.

Spread the word on Twitter using #IASSIST16.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Bergen! 


A story by Eleanor Smith (CESSDA)

IASSIST Fellows Program 2015-16

The IASSIST Fellows Program is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for financial support to attend the IASSIST 2016 conference in Bergen [http://iassist2016.org/] from data professionals who are developing, supporting 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 an IASSIST Fellow award. Strong preference will be given to first time participants and applicants from those countries currently with insufficient representation at IASSIST. Only fully completed applications will be considered. Applicants submitting a paper for the conference will be given priority consideration for funding.

You may apply for funding via this form<http://tinyurl.com/jsutx9z>. The deadline for applications is the 31st of January 2016.

For more information, to apply for funding or nominate a person for a Fellowship, please send an email to the Fellows Committee chairs, Florio Arguillas (foa2@cornell.edu) and Stuart Macdonald (stuart.macdonald@ed.ac.uk)

All best wishes
Stuart Macdonald & Florio Arguillas

IQ double issue 38(4)/39(1) is up, and so is vol 39(2)!

Hi folks!  A lovely gift for your reading pleasure over the holidays, we present two, yes, TWO issues of the IASSIST Quarterly.  The first is the double issue, 38(4)/39(1) with guest editors, Joachim Wacherow of GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Germany and Mary Vardigan of ICPSR at the University of Michigan, USA.  This issue focuses on the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) and how it makes meta-analysis possible.  The second issue is 39(2), and is all about data:  avoiding statistical disclosure, using data, and improving digital preservation.  Although we usually post the full text of the Editor's Notes in the blog post, it seems lengthy to do that for both issues.  You will find them, though, on the web site: the Editor's Notes for the double issue, and the Editor's Notes for issue 39(2).

Michele Hayslett, for the IQ Publications Committee

Data-related webinars available

See video
The North Carolina Library Association's Government Resources Section runs a webinar series. In addition to having some data-related webinars on YouTube, our upcoming August webinar may be of interest to IASSIST members.

Help! I’m an Accidental Government Information Librarian presents ... Accessing Datasets for the Data Curious

The Government Resources Section of the North Carolina Library Association welcomes you to a series of webinars designed to help us increase our familiarity with government information. All are welcome because government information wants to be free.

Directing patrons to subscription repositories of data like ICPSR and Roper is a useful service that any reference librarian can learn to do. But can the generalist take data-seeking patrons just a little bit further before referring to the data librarian? This webinar will help the generalist or subject librarian learn ways to help patrons download data successfully, use documentation to explore the relevance of a dataset to answer a question, and alert patrons to common pitfalls and patterns. Participants will learn strategies to apply their librarian expertise for finding and accessing information to the rarified realm of datasets.

Presenter Kristin Partlo is the Reference & Instruction Librarian for Social Science and Data at Carleton College in Minnesota. She has been helping undergraduates find and evaluate data for over ten years and especially enjoys looking for connections between research data services and other areas of librarianship. Her MA of LIS is from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

We will meet for Session #49, online on Wednesday, August 12 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (Eastern). Please RSVP for the session by August 12 at 10:00 am using this link:  http://tinyurl.com/grs-session49

Technical requirements: We will be using collaborative software called Blackboard Collaborate. It requires that you be able to download Java onto your computer, but you do not need any special software. After you RSVP, we will send you a link that you can use to test the software. If you have any questions, please contact Lynda Kellam (lmkellam@uncg.edu). You do not need a microphone as a chat system is available in the software, but you do need speakers or headphones.

We make recordings available on our website (http://www.nclaonline.org/government-resources/help-im-accidental-government-information-librarian-webinars) and our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6CfualeU8N77us06prY10Q)

Linda Kellam

“You can’t have a democratic society, without having a good data base.”

Janet L. Norwood, former US Bureau of Labor Statistics commissioner, dies

On the passing of this iconic defender of the neutrality of public data, I am struck how important Janet Norwood was to establishing a sound path for data advocacy as well as reminded of how necessary it is to have continuous education about this topic.  In fact, swimming in ready-access to data as we are today, it's especially important that we, as data professionals, remain alert to and defend a couple of aphorisms:

  • Stay true to the facts; Zealously retain non-partisan associations in the recording of all public data, analyses and reporting.
  • Use it for GOOD -- never for EVIL”  Encourage the use of public data for the public good.

 In reviewing the memorials to Janet Norwood, a couple of succinct statments seem apt (in addition to the heading of this post).

Simply put, all U.S. policy makers, businesses and families can make better decisions every day because of Janet Norwood’s work at B.L.S. ~Erica L. Groshen, the bureau’s current commissioner

“I believe strongly,” said economist Janet L. Nowood, “that an objective, scientifically created system of data is essential for a democracy to flourish.” ~ Democracy’s Statistician: Janet L. Norwood, 1923-2015 By Social Science Space.

~Paula Lackie (Carleton College & cochair of the IASSIST Professional Development Committee)

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