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Articles and news of interest to IASSIST members

New 'Special Issue' IQ now available!

Editor’s notes

Special issue: A pioneer data librarian

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

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

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

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

 

Karsten Boye Rasmussen

April 2014

Editor

New IASSIST Quarterly now available!

Editor’s notes

Special issue: The organizational dimension of  digital preservation

Welcome to the special double issue 3 & 4 of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ) volume 36 (2012). This special issue addresses the organizational dimension of digital preservation as it was presented and discussed at the IASSIST conference in May 2013 in Cologne, Germany.

The two guest editors Astrid Recker and Natascha Schumann from the GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Cologne have earned special thanks. If you find their names familiar it is because they co-wrote a paper in the IQ 36-2. They are concerned with data preservation and curation at the Data Archive for the Social Sciences, and as a member of the Archive and Data Management Training Center, Astrid also trains others in these areas. Furthermore, they co-chaired the  panel on ‘Beyond Bits and Bytes: the Organizational Dimension of Digital Preservation’ at IASSIST 2013, both also participating as panelists in the session. They have now persuaded the other panelists to contribute to this combined special issue. Thanks also therefore to Michelle Lindlar, Stefan Strathmann and Achim Oßwald, and Yvonne Friese.

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

January 2014

Editor

IASSIST Fellows Program 2013-14

The IASSIST Fellows Program is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for financial support to attend the IASSIST 2014 conference in Toronto [http://www.library.yorku.ca/cms/iassist/], 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.The deadline for applications is the 31st of January 2014.

For more information, to apply for funding or nominate a person for a Fellowship, please send an email to the Fellows Committee chairs, Luis Martínez-Uribe (
lmartinez@march.es) and Stuart Macdonald (srm262@cornell.edu).

IASSIST 2014 Call for Papers

ALIGNING DATA AND RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE
IASSIST 2014 Annual Conference Call for Paper and Session Proposals

This year’s conference theme touches upon the international and interdisciplinary requirements of aligning data and research infrastructure. The 2013 OECD Global Science Forum report on New Data for Understanding the Human Condition identifies key challenges for international data collaboration that beg for new solutions. Among these challenges is the mounting pressure for new forms of social science data. In today’s abundance of personal data, new methods are being sought to combine traditional social science data (administrative, survey, and census data) with new forms of personal data (social networking, biomarkers or transaction data) or with data from other domains. Similarly, the need for open data, archiving, and long-term curation infrastructures has been identified for research data in the natural, physical, and life sciences. Funders in all areas are pushing to enable the replication and/or reuse of research data. What alignments are needed between data and research infrastructure to enable these possibilities?

The international research community is in the midst of building a global data ecosystem that consists of a mixture of domain data repositories, data archives, data libraries, and data services and that seeks ways to facilitate data discovery, integration, access, and preservation. Evidence of this transformation is found in the recently established ICSU World Data System and in the Research Data Alliance. Like IASSIST, these organisations are contributing to the development of a global data ecosystem. Alignment or unification of strategies must take place at many levels to achieve this. How do we proceed? What advancements are needed in research data management, research infrastructure, and the development of new expertise?

Conference Tracks

We welcome submissions on the theme outlined above and encourage conference participants to propose papers and sessions that will be of interest to a diverse audience. To facilitate the organisation and scheduling of sessions, three distinct tracks have been established. If you are unsure which track your submission belongs or you feel that it applies to more than one track, submit your proposal and if accepted, the Programme Committee will find an appropriate fit.

Track 1: Research Data Management

  • New data types and their management
  • Challenges in exchanging research data across disciplines
  • Using social science data with data from other domains
  • Data linkage in the creation of new social science data
  • Data management within the global research data ecosystem
  • Data archives and repositories in the global data ecosystem
  • Best practices in the global data ecosystem
  • Metadata enabling the interoperability of research data
  • Application of DDI, SDMX, other metadata schema, taxonomies or ontologies in research data management
  • Data management policies and workflow systems
  • Data attribution and citation systems

Track 2: Professional Development

  • Training challenges given the growing number of professional positions within the global data ecosystem, which includes data curators, data scientists, data librarians, data archivists, etc.
  • Teaching end-users to work with research data
  • Data and statistical literacy
  • Data collection development in libraries and other institutions
  • Explorations of data across subject areas and geographic regions
  • Copyright clearance, privacy and confidential data
  • Working with ethics review boards and research service offices
  • Interdisciplinarity – promoting the cross-use of data
  • Training researchers about research data management planning
  • Liaison librarians’ roles in research data

Track 3: Data Developers and Tools

  • New infrastructure requirements in the global data ecosystem
  • Infrastructure supporting Data Without Borders
  • Tools to develop and support new social science data
  • Crowdsourcing applications in producing new social science data
  • Data dives or hackathons
  • API development supporting research data management
  • Open data web services
  • Applications of research data visualisation in the social sciences
  • Preservation tools for research data
  • Tools for data mining
  • Data technology platforms: cloud computing and open stack storage
Conference Formats

The Programme Committee welcomes submissions employing any of the following formats:

Individual proposal
This format consists of a 15 to 20 minute talk that is typically accompanied with a written paper. If your individual proposal is accepted, you will be grouped into an appropriate session with similarly themed presentations.
Session proposal
Session proposals consist of an identified set of presenters and their topics. Such proposals can suggest a variety of formats, e.g. a set of three to four presentations, a discussion panel, a discussion with the audience, etc. If accepted, the person who proposed the session becomes the session organiser and is responsible for securing speakers/participants and a chair/moderator (if not standing in that role him/herself).
Pecha Kucha proposal
A proposal for this programme event consists of a presentation of 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each, with heavy emphasis on visual content. Presentations in this event are timed and speakers are restricted to seven minutes.
Poster or demonstrations proposal
Proposals in this category should identify the message being conveyed in a poster or the nature of the demonstration being made.
Round table discussion proposal
Round table discussions typically take place during lunch and have limited seating. Please indicate how you plan to share the output of your round table discussion with all of IASSIST.

Session formats are not limited to the ideas above and session organisers are welcome to suggest other formats.

All submissions should include the proposed title and an abstract no longer than 200 words (note: longer abstracts will be returned to be shortened before being considered). Please note that all presenters are required to register and pay the registration fee for the conference. Registration for individual days will be available.

Please use this online submission form to submit your proposal. If you are unsure which track your submission fits or if you feel it belongs in more than one track, the Program Committee will find an appropriate place.

We also welcome workshop proposals around the same themes. Successful proposals will blend lecture and active learning techniques. The conference planning committee will provide the necessary classroom space and computing supplies for workshops. For previous examples of IASSIST workshops, please see the descriptions of 2011 workshops and 2013 workshops. Typically workshops are half-day with 2-hour and 3-hour options.

  • Deadline for submission: December 9, 2013 (2013.12.09)
  • Notification of acceptance: February 7, 2014 (2014.02.07).
Program Chairs
  • Johan Fihn
  • Jen Green
  • Chuck Humphrey

Announcing the Release of the CRDCN Dataset Builder

The Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN) is pleased to announce the release of the CRDCN Dataset Builder.

In collaboration with Statistics Canada and Metadata Technology North America, the Dataset Builder allows researchers working (or intending to work) in a Canadian RDC the ability to browse, search for and select variables in the Statistics Canada surveys currently housed in the RDCs. 

Utilizing DDI Lifecycle metadata, the Dataset Builder allows researchers to find and select variables, as well as produce SAS, SPSS or Stata syntax to help read in and format the variables, and produce customized documentation (Layout and Codebooks) for the dataset they create using the app. 

 A one-page installation, setup and use guide can be found at this link, with a link to more descriptive documentation if necessary: https://docs.google.com/document/d/135Eq2fwVRtlMdENpQjmZe5Zjm1OFGImCxtyWeV_7sdI [docs.google.com]

The application is open-source software, so please contact Metadata Technology NA if you're interested in contracting them to customize this application for your own organization.

Please contact Dave Haans (dave.haans@utoronto.ca) for more information.

Scientific Data Repositories Issue Call for Change on Funding Models for Data Archives

For Immediate Release
September 16, 2013
Contact: Mark Thompson-Kolar, 734-615-7904
mdmtk@umich.edu

(Ann Arbor, MI) — Representatives of 25 organizations that archive scientific data today released a Call for Action urging the creation of sustainable funding streams for domain repositories — data archives with close ties to scientific communities.

The document was developed after a meeting of data repositories across the social and natural sciences June 24-25, 2013, in Ann Arbor. The meeting was organized by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan and supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to discuss challenges facing domain repositories, particularly in light of the February 2013 memorandum from the U.S. Government’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) requiring public access to federally funded data.

Domain repositories in the natural and social sciences are built upon close relationships to the scientific communities that they service. By leveraging in-depth knowledge of the subject matter, domain repositories add value to the stored data beyond merely preserving the bits. As a result, repositories contribute to scientific discovery while ensuring that data curation methods keep pace as science evolves. “However, the systems currently in place for funding repositories in the US are inadequate for these tasks,” the document states.

The Call for Action argues that “Domain repositories must be funded as the essential piece of the US research infrastructure that they are,” emphasizing the importance of:

•    Ensuring funding streams that are long-term, uninterrupted and flexible
•    Creating systems that promote good scientific practice
•    Assuring equity in participation and access

The document expresses concerns regarding current and future funding models in consideration of the OSTP rules. “The push toward open access, while creating more equity of access for the community of users, creates more of a burden for domain repositories because it narrows their funding possibilities.”

“We are memory institutions,” ICPSR Director George Alter said. “One of our missions is to ensure data will be available for a long time, yet we’re being funded by short-term grants. There is a mismatch between our mission and the way we are funded. Widening access to data is a good thing. Everyone agrees on that. But it has to be done in a way that provides sustainable funding to the organizations that preserve and distribute the data.”

Repositories may require varied funding models, based on their scientific domain, the document states. “But in every case, creating sustainable funding streams will require the coordinated response of multiple stakeholders in the scientific, archival, academic, funding, and policy communities.”

The statement is endorsed by 30 domain repository representatives. It can be viewed on the ICPSR’s website at http://tinyurl.com/dataarchives.

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), based in Ann Arbor, MI, is the largest archive of behavioral and social science research data in the world. It advances research by acquiring, curating, preserving, and distributing original research data. www.icpsr.umich.edu

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grantmaking institution based in New York. Established in 1934, the Foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economic performance. www.sloan.org

Posted by request to the editor, in line with IASSIST members' interests.

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

    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

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    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...