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Regional Report 2006-2007: Canada

IASSIST Regional Report 2006-2007
Bo Wandschneider
University of Guelph
May 13, 2007
Somewhere on the train between Guelph and Montreal

I am going to keep this years report short and focus on a few significant initiatives that are going to set a direction in Canada over the next few years.

DDI - There are 4 significant projects around DDI that are coming together. In November at a DINO meeting at Ryerson University we had the opportunity to hear about all these initiatives and see how they interrelate and can build on each other. In a sense, they build on what was proposed by the CANDDI group, that first met at IASSIST in Madison. This is an opportunity to put some meat on the bones of those ideas.

Statistics Canada's external DDI project (CANDDI): Members from DLI institutions, the RDC' and Statistics Canada have been meeting to develop best practices around variable groups, tag sets and other metadata questions. They are in the process of producing a discussion document that will be shared with all other projects.

  1. Statistics Canada's external DDI project (CANDDI): members from DLI institutions, the RDC' and Statistics Canada have been meeting to develop best practices around variable groups, tag sets and other metadata questions. They are in the process of producing a discussion document that will be shared with all other projects.
  2. Statistics Canada's internal DDI Project: Special Surveys is experimenting with implementing DDI at the production level. Several other divisions have joined in this venture, including Census, Health NLSCY and others. This is a very significant and exciting development.
  3. RDC/CFI metadata project: In last yea's report we mentioned a grant submission to the CFI's Leading Edge fund. This application was successful and the group received approximately $4million dollars over 5 years. The project is based out of the University of Winnipeg, with strong leadership from colleagues at Alberta. Part of the project is to mark up files in the RDC as well as create tools for migration to DDI 3. This project is in the process of looking for a project manager and issuing RFP's to undertake the tasks.
  4. ODESI - in last years report we mentioned a discussion paper coming out of DINO, a subcommittee of OCUL – Ontario Council of University Librarians. This discussion paper proposed a building on the success of Scholar's portal by providing mark-up and access to our data collections. It was designed to integrate with the best practices being developed by CANDDI and strengthen services across the province. This project is now moving forward, being jointly funded by member institutions as well as a $750k grant from the Ontario Government. It is currently in the process of looking for a project manager, establishing detailed requirements and job descriptions. The project will be lead by the Carleton University, with assistance from the University of Guelph.

Other Initiatives:

From Jeff Moon: the Canadian Opinion Research Archive (CORA - is in the process of implementing Nesstar. This is happening in cooperation with the Social Science Data Centre (part of Queen's University Library) which is also implementing Nesstar.

In September and October, 2006, Chuck Humphrey participated in the ARL-NSF consultation on Digital Data Curation and Management. Invited participants were asked to submit position statements on the top three issues in long-term preservation, management, and curation of scientific data in digital form. These position papers and a series of recommendations were published in the report: "To Stand the Test of Time: Long-term Stewardship of Digital Data Sets in Science and Engineering; A Report to the National Science Foundation from the ARL Workshop on New Collaborative Relationships: The Role of Academic Libraries in the Digital Data Universe September 26-27, 2006"

Statistics Canada has convened a committee to look at the importance of continuing to create PUMF's. With the increase in the number of longitudinal files, disclosure has become a significant concern. The committee is looking at restricting geography, producing more synthetic files and a virtual laboratory. We will wait and see where this goes.

In August 2006, Chuck Humphrey was invited to serve on the SSHRC Standing Committee on Research Support, which is a first for the library data services community. This Committee provides policy advice to the SSHRC Council and administrative advice to SSHRC staff on activities in research, strategic and dissemination programs.

In January 2007, Chuck Humphrey was asked to serve on the Strategy Development Committee (SDC) of the Canadian Digital information Strategy spearheaded by the Library and Archives Canada. The formation of this Committee grew out of the National Summit on a Canadian Digitial Information Strategy held on December 4-5, 2006. The SDC has been tasked to advance, guide and validate the development of a strategy and consists of representation across Canada from the cultural, scientific and government.

RDC's – The RDC National Coordinating Committee met in London, Ontario in April 2007. The proposal mentioned above was one of the discussion points. There was also an interesting presentation on open source initiatives.

That's all for this year. :-)

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