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Reports & Studies

Recent reports and studies of relevance to IASSIST

IASSIST Geospatial Interest Group 2017 Report

 

2016-2017 Report on the IASSIST Geospatial Interest Group

The group was founded in the Spring/Summer of 2016 and met at the 2016 Bergen conference. The central purpose of the IASSIST Geospatial Interest Group is to create a network for members focused on issues of geospatial data as related to the social sciences. The current chair is Jennifer Moore (Washington University in St. Louis)

At the meeting in Bergen (review notes) we discussed the merits of an IASSIST geospatial interest group in relation to existing groups (e.g. ALA), recommending geospatial resources and tools for institutions with limited resources available to support GIS, and whether the interest group needs to be laser focused on the social sciences.

 

As a result of the discussions, we developed lists of resources and tools, which are not exhaustive.

For communication we established a Google Group, but traffic has been light. In 2017/2018 the group may explore a more effective communication tool.

Share Your Story: Case Studies of Data Reuse

Late last year, a colleague at Innovations for Poverty Action, Stephanie Wykstra, and I started having conversations about reuse of open data and what we do and don’t know about the re-use of existing data sets, particularly which data sets and how they are used.  We are also interested in the specific challenges researchers face as they try to re-use data sets collected for other research purposes.  Stephanie and I would like to start filling this gap so we are putting out a call for case studies.

If you have re-used data for your own research (or know someone else who has), we would love to hear about it! The parameters and further details for the call can be found in this blog post on the Mozilla Science Lab blog: https://www.mozillascience.org/share-your-story.

We are particularly interested in stories of data re-use that are not from large-scale surveys or census data sets as there are many examples of those.  We are also aware of some instances where large data repositories collect information on use of data sets housed in their collections (see ICPSR Bibliography of Data-related Literature and UK Data Archive).  While we will be incorporating some of those cases in our report, we’d like to hear more about stories that may not be included in those collections.

There is a very simple form at the blog post linked above.  We are basically interested in:

1) What made the data that you re-used valuable for your own research?

2) What made the data easy or challenging to re-use?

and

3) Your advice to researchers who are sharing their data for re-use.  

The deadline for submitting case studies is March 10, 2016.  We will make all responses publicly available in a report after an analysis of the responses (with your permission). Depending on funding, we may be able to sponsor researchers who provide case studies to a workshop on data re-use.  Please spread this call far and wide to any you think would be interested in participating.  

If you have questions, feel free to tweet or email either Stephanie Wykstra (@Swykstr) or myself, Stephanie Wright (@shefw).  We appreciate any support you can provide!

Version 4, Research Data Curation Bibliography & the IQ

Another reason to write for the IQ: you might get yourself into Charles Bailey's prestigious bibliography, at

http://digital-scholarship.org/rdcb/rdcb.htm

I'm pleased to see no less than 7 IQ articles in the latest version. I didn’t count IASSISTers who published elsewhere but several of those were in the list as well.

Research Data Curation Bibliography

Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Houston: Digital Scholarship

Version 4: 6/23/2014

Altman, Micah, and Mercè Crosas. "The Evolution of Data Citation: From Principles to Implementation" IASSIST Quarterly 37, no. 1-4 (2013): 62-70. http://www.iassistdata.org/iq/evolution-data-citation-principles-implementation

Bender, Stefam, and Jorg Heining. "The Research-Data-Centre in Research-Data-Centre Approach: A First Step towards Decentralised International Data Sharing." IASSIST Quarterly 35, no. 3 (2011): 10-16. http://www.iassistdata.org/iq/research-data-centre-research-data-centre-approach-first-step-towards-decentralised-international

Mooney, Hailey. "A Practical Approach to Data Citation: The Special Interest Group on Data Citation and Development of the Quick Guide to Data Citation." IASSIST Quarterly 37, 1-4 (2013): 71-77. http://iassistdata.org/iq/practical-approach-data-citation-special-interest-group-data-citation-and-development-quick-guide

 Ribeiro, Cristina, Maria Eugénia, and Matos Fernandes. "Data Curation at U. Porto: Identifying Current Practices across Disciplinary Domains." IASSIST Quarterly 35, no. 4 (2011): 14-17. http://www.iassistdata.org/iq/data-curation-uporto-identifying-current-practices-across-disciplinary-domains

 Schumann, Natascha. "Tried and Trusted: Experiences with Certification Processes at the GESIS Data Archive." IASSIST Quarterly 36, no. 3/4 (2012): 24-27. http://www.iassistdata.org/iq/tried-and-trusted-experiences-certification-processes-gesis-data-archive-0.

 Schumann, Natascha, and Astrid Recker. "De-mystifying OAIS compliance: Benefits and challenges of mapping the OAIS reference model to the GESIS Data Archive." IASSIST Quarterly 36, no. 2 (2012): 6-11. http://www.iassistdata.org/iq/de-mystifying-oais-compliance-benefits-and-challenges-mapping-oais-reference-model-gesis-data-arc

 Yoon, Ayoung, and Helen Tibbo. "Examination of Data Deposit Practices in Repositories with the OAIS Model." IASSIST Quarterly 35, no. 4 (2011): 6-13. http://www.iassistdata.org/downloads/iqvol35_tibbo.pdf

 Congratulations to the authors.

Robin Rice, IASSIST Web Editor

IASSIST SIGDMC Annual Report 2013-2014

By Carol Perry & Stefan Kramer, co-chairs
Last updated: 2014-05-29 by CP

  • The major activity of the Data Management & Curation Interest Group (SIGDMC) in the last year was the conceptualization, organization, submission, and offering of the June 2, 2014, morning workshop Data Management & Curation: Lessons from Government, Academia, and Research. It features seven invited presenters, and session and breakout group moderators from the SIGDMC membership, which also provided input on the breakout group topics.
  • As of May 26, 2014 SIGDMC membership is at just under 70, having been fairly steady over the year in terms of Google Group membership.  
  • The Data Management and Curation Resources page on the IASSIST website has been reviewed and updated. The list now contains 59 resources;  9 new resources were added since May 2013. Minglu Wang, Limor Peer and Wendy Mann are responsible for this resource. 
  • Progress was made in keeping the IASSIST blog active, however, we did not quite meet our goal of one blog per month. 
  • The members who attend the annual IASSIST conference in Toronto have been invited to participate in an in-person meeting on June 4, where the election outcome of the successor of Carol Perry as co-chair will first be announced, and future goals for the group be discussed.

IASSIST Africa Regional Report 2013-2014

Freeing African Data

Two regional developments have the potential to get African government data into the public domain. Putting their disaggregated data out there can benefit African governance through ensuring transparency and allowing feedback from policy analysis to support better government planning. The World Bank’s Central microdata catalog has been around since 2012 and continues to expand its listing of data sources. This is currently the only comprehensive online source for microdata produced by African official data producers, as a listing of country datasets is not available on most African government websites.

While the World Bank project supports improve data discovery, a second donor project aims for more Open Government Data. The Accelerated Data Program is an OECD project to make African government data more accessible. This project works to install data dissemination software with government data producers such as ministries and statistics offices. Currently data is available from statistics offices in several countries which are using this platform. These include Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Tunisia.

The ADP also trains data managers in African National Statistics Offices. While data expertise is necessary to leverage national data resources data curation training projects are scarce in African countries. In 2013-2014 the ADP ran data management training workshops in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia, and ADP trainers teamed up with staff from the University of Cape Town’s Data Service to conduct data curation training workshops in Botswana, Lesotho, and Rwanda.

Another move towards Openness is the establishment of a Research Data Centre at the University of the Cape Coast in Ghana.  This will make Ghanaian data more widely available to local researchers and to the wider research community. Currently Ghanaian data can be purchased from the government data producer, which may keep out researchers from poorly-resourced institutions. The University of Cape Town in South Africa and the University of Michigan in the US are working with University of Cape Coast staff to support data curation best practice at the new centre, with funding from University of Michigan’s African Social Research Initiative.

African Universities Managing their Data Assets

The University of Cape Town in South Africa has been engaged Research Data Management policymaking in 2013-2014. IASSIST member Lynn Woolfrey and a team from the University Library undertook a University data needs survey and a scoping study of policies of other universities and completed a report and draft policy document which will be built on by Stakeholders at the University to produce a university-wide policy for managing research data into the future. The policy will ensure the University is in forefront of what will become standard practice at universities in the future.

African Data Conferences

5th African Conference for Digital Scholarship and Curation was held in Durban, South Africa, in June 2013.  The Conference brought together data experts from African countries under the theme of Research data in the advance of education, research, and innovation. IASSIST’s Lynn Woolfrey gave a presentation on data curation best practice at a post-conference workshop organised by South Africa’s Network of Data and Information Curation Communities (NeDiCC).

The first Isibalo data users’ conference was organised by Statistics South Africa at the University of Stellenbosch in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in July 2013. The Conference was an opportunity for feedback on the relevance of South African data for academia and local government decision makers and augers well for future producer-user interactions around data quality issues.

The annual eResearch Africa Conference was held in Cape Town, South Africa in October 2013. Under the banner ICT Enabling Research presenters from Australia, the UK, and African countries discussed eResearch projects and brain-stormed future e-Research strategies. IASSIST member Lynn Woolfrey presented research undertaken on data accessibility for research on Africa.

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.

Teaching integrity in empirical research: a soup to nuts protocol

Great work by Richard Ball, an Economics professor at Haverford College and Norm Medeiros, a Haverford librarian. I'm already planning to incorporate their protocol into my formal and informal data literacy instruction. I highly recommend a visit to their website: Teaching integrity in empirical research: a soup to nuts protocol

They've also published a paper on their work. Here's the abstract:

This article describes a protocol the authors developed for teaching undergraduates to document their statistical analyses for empirical research projects so that their results are completely reproducible and verifiable. The protocol is guided by the principle that the documentation prepared to accompany an empirical research project should be sufficient to allow an independent researcher to replicate easily and exactly every step of the data management and analysis that generated the results reported in a study. The authors hope that requiring students to follow this protocol will not only teach them how to document their research appropriately, but also instill in them the belief that such documentation is an important professional responsibility.

Results of Data Management Plan Poll

Those members who follow IASST-L may recall that about a month ago I launched an informal poll to find out whether or not your data management plan services include reading and reviewing draft plans. I had a total of 22 respondents with the following results:

Does your data management plan service include reading and reviewing draft plans?

  • 18% (4) - Yes, as a matter of  policy.
  • 36% (8) - Not a policy, but I have reviewed them in the past.
  • 36% (8) - Not a policy, but I'd seriously consider doing it.
  • 9% (2) - Not a policy but I most likely wouldn't do it.
  • 0% (0) - No, as a matter of policy.

Several repondents posted the following  comments. (All commenters identified themselves by name in the poll, but I'll keep their identities anonymous here, just in case.)

  • I coordinate development of the DCC's DMP Online data management planning tool. One of the functions we are adding for v3.0 (which is set to launch this Spring) is a facility to share read/write permissions with other users. We'll be very interested in seeing how popular this proves, as it will enable more collaborative development of DMPs by the researchers AND the research support staff, data librarians, IT people, etc who are also stakeholders in the data management endeavour.
  • We are on record as making the offer to help formulate and/or review DM plans. No written policy as yet, but it's something we're targetting as a service.
  • I've always offered this service in my dept. The LSE is currently looking at formalising a data management policy. One of the main aims of this is supporting researchers who need to make data available for reuse as part of their funding conditions. As part of this it is likely that some support for DMPs would be offered, but whether this would be generic, on-line tools, or one-to-one support has not been decided yet.
  • We offer this as an optional service had about 70 such reviews in our first year. We do have a caveat about the service on our website - see "limitations to services" on https://confluence.cornell.edu/display/rdmsgweb/About.
  • The review is optional, not mandatory, and offered as an advertised service.
  • I have read through a few plans when people have asked me to but I don't edit them and have commented when asked directly but have concerns about doing that. I usually state what I can and cannot give advice on and refer to appropriate office on campus when necessary (e.g., technology transfer for IP issues). Fortunately, most of the comments have had to do with where to put their data at the end (which I guess is more of a question on where to archive things rather than reviewing the plans). Typically I refer people back to sources and examples to help support writing their plans. I just find that when researchers ask me to look at their plans, most of the time they are really asking me questions about specific details with data management and not so much with editing the plan. If they did want me to edit it I would say no.

Many thanks to all of you who took the time to respond. I'm sure many will find this information useful.

Harrison Dekker, UC Berkeley Data Lab

SBE 2020 white papers available

The Directorate for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences of the National Science Foundation (NSF/SBE) has released today a collection of white papers contributed under the "SBE 2020: Future Research in the Social, Behavioral &  Economic Sciences" initiative. Authors were asked to outline grand challenge questions that are both foundational and transformative. For information, please visit:
http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/sbe_2020/index.cfm more...

  • IASSIST Quarterly

    Publications Special issue: A pioneer data librarian
    Welcome to the special volume of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ (37):1-4, 2013). This special issue started as exchange of ideas between Libbie Stephenson and Margaret Adams to collect

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    Resources

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

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