Already a member?

Sign In
Syndicate content

Blogs

Integrating Data Literacy into Library and Information Science (LIS) Curriculum,

IASSIST's Africa Regional Secretary Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo and Prof. Constant Obura-Okello report on a data workshop at Makerere University, Kampala.

If you're looking to orginise a similar regional or national data event, the IASSIST 2020 Event Sponsorship Proposals call is open until 26 January 2020.

IASSIST’s Membership Committee's event sponsorship program recently sponsored a one day workshop on Integrating Data Literacy into Library and Information Science (LIS) Curriculum. The workshop aimed at bringing academicians in the field of library and information science to discuss how data literacy can be integrated in the LIS curriculum so as to have trained library professionals who are able to provide data literacy skills to their patrons.

The workshop was hosted by the East African School of Library and Information Science (EASLIS), Makerere University. The workshop attracted over 15 participants from different academic institutions that included; Makerere University, Kabale University, YMCA Comprehensive Institute and Kyambogo University.

The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo, the IASSIST Event Liaison Coordinator and IASSIST Africa Regional Secretary, Ms.Sylivia Namujjuzi, a Lecturer at EASLIS, and Prof. Constant Obura-Okello the Dean of East African School of Library and Information.

Prof Obura in his opening remarks, welcomed the participants and gave a brief overview about EASLIS and its programmes. He appreciated IASSIST for the continued support rendered to data literacy initiatives in the Library and Information Profession in Uganda. In addition he acknowledged that the workshop was timely considering the curriculum review process that the university is undertaking.

The workshop focused on how EASLIS can integrate data literacy into its curriculum. A presentation was made on making data meaningful and how to use data in telling stories especially related to the SDGs. In addition, the different aspects of data literacy that can be integrated in the LIS Curriculum like research data management, data management infrastructure, data security, data science among others. During sessions, participants were also assigned group work focusing on how their institutions can integrate data literacy in their LIS Curriculum.

Two groups were formed each made a presentation about the views discussed in their groups. One group shared that the institution has a course unit on library operations which focuses on general data, however, it’s important to find out which kind of data to address and to which kind of users. The group proposed to have the data literacy skills incorporated in this course unit. The second group was of the view to have data literacy as a stand-alone course unit to enable deeper understanding of its aspects and avoid duplication of data training. In addition to also look at the data protection and privacy policy Act 2019. Dr. Joyce Bukirwa, the head of department of Information Science, proposed that since the institutions don’t have experts to train the students in data literacy. Lecturers can start training the students in data analysis and presentation skills using MS Excel.

Lecturers also need to gain training in data literacy in addition to partnering/collaborating with institutions already offering it.

At the end of the workshop, participants were presented with certificates by Dr.George. W.Kiyingi, the former Dean of EASLIS.

In conclusion the participants acknowledged that data literacy is very significant for all courses in the LIS Cirriculum and Uganda and Africa needs to embrace it in order to have data literate library professionals. The participants were encouraged to work together and champion the inclusion of data literacy in the LIS curriculum in their institutions.

IQ 43(4) available!

Welcome to the fourth issue of volume 43 of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ 43:4, 2019).

The first article is authored by Jessica Mozersky, Heidi Walsh, Meredith Parsons, Tristan McIntosh, Kari Baldwin, and James M. DuBois – all located at the Bioethics Research Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri in USA. They ask the question “Are we ready to share qualitative research data?”, with the subtitle “Knowledge and preparedness among qualitative researchers, IRB Members, and data repository curators.” The subtitle indicates that their research includes a survey of key personnel related to scientific data sharing. The report is obtained through semi-structured in-depth interviews with 30 data repository curators, 30 qualitative researchers, and 30 IRB staff members in the USA. IRB stands for Institutional Review Board, which in other countries might be called research ethics committee or similar. There is generally an increasing trend towards data sharing and open science, but qualitative data are rarely shared. The dilemma behind this reluctance to share is exemplified by health data where qualitative methods explore sensitive topics. The sensitivity leads to protection of confidentiality, which hinders keeping sufficient contextual detail for secondary analyses. You could add that protection of confidentiality is a much bigger task in qualitative data, where sensitive information can be hidden in every corner of the data, that consequently must be fine-combed, while with quantitative data most decisions concerning confidentiality can be made at the level of variables. The reporting in the article gives insights into the differences between the three stakeholder groups. An often-found answer among researchers is that data sharing is associated with quantitative data, while IRB members have little practice with qualitative. Among curators, about half had curated qualitative data, but many only worked with quantitative data. In general, qualitative data sharing lacks guidance and standards.

The second article also raises a question: “How many ways can we teach data literacy?” We are now in Asia with a connection to the USA. The author Yun Dai is working at the Library of New York University Shanghai, where they have explored many ways to teach data literacy to undergraduate students. These initiatives, described in the article, included workshops and in-class instruction - which tempted students by offering up-to-date technology, through online casebooks of topics in the data lifecycle, to event series with appealing names like “Lying with Data.” The event series had a marketing mascot - a “Lying with Data” Pinocchio - and sessions on being fooled by advertisements and getting the truth out of opinion surveys. Data literacy has a resemblance to information literacy and in that perspective, data literacy is defined as “critical thinking applied to evaluating data sources and formats, and interpreting and communicating findings,” while statistical literacy is “the ability to evaluate statistical information as evidence.” The article presents the approaches and does not conclude on the question, “How many?” No readers will be surprised by the missing answer, and I am certain readers will enjoy the ideas of the article and the marketing focus.

With the last article “Examining barriers for establishing a national data service,” the author Janez Štebe takes us to Europe. Janez Štebe is head of the social science data archives (Arhiv Družboslovnih Podatkov) at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) is a distributed European social science data infrastructure for access to research data. CESSDA has many - but not all - European countries as members. The focus is on the situation in 20 non-CESSDA member European countries, with emerging and immature data archive services being developed through such projects as the CESSDA Strengthening and Widening (SaW 2016 and 2017) and CESSDA Widening Activities (WA 2018). By identifying and comparing gaps and differences, a group of countries at a similar level may consider following similar best practice examples to achieve a more mature and supportive open scientific data ecosystem. Like the earlier articles, this article provides good references to earlier literature and description of previous studies in the area. In this project 22 countries were selected, all CESSDA non-members, and interviewees among social science researchers and data librarians were contacted with an e-mail template between October 2018 and January 2019. The article brings results and discussion of the national data sharing culture and data infrastructure. Yes, there is a lack of money! However, it is the process of gradually establishing a robust data infrastructure that is believed to impact the growth of a data sharing culture and improve the excellence and the efficiency of research in general.

Submissions of 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 such a presentation, give a thought to turning your one-time presentation into a lasting contribution. Doing that after the event also gives you the opportunity of improving your work after feedback. We encourage you to login or create an author login to https://www.iassistquarterly.com (our Open Journal System application). We permit authors to “deep link” into the IQ as well as to deposit 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 limited number of session participants and will be readily available on the IASSIST Quarterly website at https://www.iassistquarterly.com.  Authors are very welcome to take a look at the instructions and layout:

https://www.iassistquarterly.com/index.php/iassist/about/submissions

Authors can also contact me directly 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 - December 2019

Report from "Workshop on Data Literacy for Researchers in Social Sciences, Administrators and Policy-Makers", Chandigarh, India.

Data Literacy is a skill needed for researchers and social scientists in the digital age to get the most out of massive data available to us in the digital era today. This was highlighted by Prof. I.V. Malhan, Former Dean, Academics of Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamshala while inaugurating a ‘Workshop on Data Literacy for Researchers in Social Sciences, Administrators and Policy-Makers’ held at MG State Institute of Public Administration, Punjab (MGSIPA) at Chandigarh (India).

 

This two-day workshop was sponsored by IASSIST and organized jointly by the Department of Library and Information Science (DLIS), Punjabi University, Patiala and MGSIPA. Dr. Jagtar Singh, Professor DLIS and Professor In-charge, Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha Library, Punjabi University, Patiala in his keynote address emphasized that data literacy is one skill set within the whole set of skills and competencies under the umbrella of ‘media and information literacy’ being promoted by UNESCO.

Dr. Singh elaborated on the role of various literacies including data literacy within the broader context of literacy and education, and capacity building and enhancing the capability of researchers. 

Ms. Kiran Pandey, Programme Director, Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi was the Guest of Honour at the Inaugural Session and she spoke on communicating research effectively using data.

Dr. H.P.S. Kalra, Professor and Head, DLIS, Punjabi University, Patiala and a Fellow of the IASSIST gave a brief introduction about the workshop theme and its sponsoring body, the IASSIST.

Prof. Sandra Cannon, President of IASSIST and Associate Vice-Provost for Data Governance and Chief Data Officer at the University of Rochester, USA gave a video message for the participants highlighting the need for research data and their communication in social sciences; and the role IASSIST is playing in this regard.

 

Earlier, Dr. P. Venkata Rao, Fellow (Knowledge Management) MGSIPA welcomed the participants and resource persons and gave a brief overview of the activities of MGSIPA. Col. Dalbir Singh, GM (Training), MGSIPA proposed a vote of thanks. 

Ten sessions were held during this two-day workshop in which 40+ participants from diverse subjects of social sciences and different institutions participated.

After the Inaugural session, Ms Kiran Pandey in her presentation Making data meaningful: why we must be data driven elaborated upon how we can make data meaningful and use in decision making. She also discussed about how data is important for every organizations, researchers and for policymaking.

In another session entitled 'Finding the right numbers for research, advocacy and impact' she described various web-based resources which are rich repositories of data that social scientists need, and shared a few examples of how data presented by CSE in its reports and publications is collected.

In the next session, Professor  Kalra talked about Data Citation & Documentation and Sources for Authoritative Data and the role of data literacy in finding authoritative data.

Next session was jointly conducted by Professors Jagtar Singh and Kalra and Dr. Rao where five groups of participants were formed. While forming groups diversity of participants was ensured and participants were asked to familiarize with each other in their respective group.

On the second day, Dr. T.C. Goyal, retired from Indian Statistical Service and Mr A.S. Ahluwalia, retired from Indian Economic Service (both now working with MGSIPA) discussed about data analysis and interpretation.

In their second session Dr. Goyal and Mr. Ahluwalia explained in detail about that how we can select the sample and discussed about the hypotheses testing. This was followed by an Open Session for the groups where each groups was asked to select one or two facets of the theme Data Literacy and discuss various issues and dimensions of the facet. 

In the next session, each group was asked to make a brief presentation on the discussions carried out by the group and raise pertinent issues to be discussed further. The following facets were covered by the groups:

  • Research data management
  • Data governance issues
  • Data privacy and sovereignty
  • Data security
  • Data policies

At the end, feedback about the workshop given by three participants which was followed by Valedictory Session in which certificates of participation were given to participants by Col. Dalbir Singh.

Remembering Darrell

 

On Saturday, April 27, 2019, IASSIST and the broader data professional’s community lost a valued colleague and friend, Darrell Donakowski. The IASSIST organization mourns his untimely death and wishes to recognize the significant contributions he made to the data community over the course of his career.

Friends and family have created a scholarship at the University of Michigan-Dearborn in his memory.  At the suggestion of the several members and with the approval of the Administrative Committee, IASSIST has contributed $1000 to the scholarship to recognize the numerous contributions Darrell made to the data community right up to the time of his premature passing.

Darrell worked as a project manager in the Collection Development Unit at ICPSR and later served as the Director of Studies of the American National Election Studies (ANES). He was strongly engaged with IASSIST and with a broader data community through ICPSR and ANES.  He greatly enriched those organizations by bringing together data professionals and archives through efforts such as Data-PASS.

Darrell made prominent scholarly contributions to IASSIST through multiple publications, web postings and presentations.  He was a long-time active member who regularly attended and readily participated in the annual conference. In addition, Darrell was an enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer in the Dearborn, Michigan political community, and was generally known as a kind-hearted and generous soul. 

The IASSIST community hopes that the scholarship will help remember Darrell’s contributions and help encourage others to follow his example.  He will be greatly missed.

 

IQ 43(3) Available: As open as possible and as closed as needed

Welcome to the third issue of volume 43 of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ 43:3, 2019).

Yes, we are open! Open data is good. Just a click away. Downloadable 24/7 for everybody. An open government would make the decisionmakers’ data open to the public and the opposition. As an example, communal data on bicycle paths could be open, so more navigation apps would flourish and embed the information in maps, which could suggest more safe bicycle routes. However, as demonstrated by all three articles in this IQ issue, very often research data include information that requires restrictions concerning data access. The second paper states that data should be ‘as open as possible and as closed as needed’. This phrase originates from a European Union Horizon 2020 project called the Open Research Data Pilot, in ‘Guidelines on FAIR Data Management in Horizon 2020’ (July 2016). Some data need to be closed and not freely available. So once more it shows that a simple solution of total openness and one-size-fits-all is not possible. We have to deal with more complicated schemes depending on the content of data. Luckily, experienced people at data institutions are capable of producing adapted solutions. 

The first article ‘Restricting data’s use: A spectrum of concerns in need of flexible approaches’ describes how data producers have legitimate needs for restricting data access for users. This understanding is quite important as some users might have an automatic objection towards all restrictions on use of data. The authors Dharma Akmon and Susan Jekielek are at ICPSR at the University of Michigan. ICPSR has been a U.S. research archive since 1962, so they have much practice in long-term storage of digital information. From a short-term perspective you might think that their primary task is to get the data in use and thus would be opposed to any kind of access restrictions. However, both producers and custodians of data are very well aware of their responsibility for determining restrictions and access. The caveat concerns the potential harm through disclosure, often exemplified by personal data of identifiable individuals. The article explains how dissemination options differ in where data are accessed and what is required for access. If you are new to IASSIST, the article also gives an excellent short introduction to ICPSR and how this institution guards itself and its users against the hazards of data sharing.

In the second article ‘Managing data in cross-institutional projects’, the reader gains insight into how FAIR data usage benefits a cross-institutional project. The starting point for the authors - Zaza Nadja Lee Hansen, Filip Kruse, and Jesper Boserup Thestrup – is the FAIR principles that data should be: findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-useable. The authors state that this implies that the data should be as open as possible. However, as expressed in the ICPSR article above, data should at the same time be as closed as needed. Within the EU, the mention of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will always catch the attention of the economical responsible at any institution because data breaches can now be very severely fined. The authors share their experience with implementation of the FAIR principles with data from several cross-institutional projects. The key is to ensure that from the beginning there is agreement on following the specific guidelines, standards and formats throughout the project. The issues to agree on are, among other things, storage and sharing of data and metadata, responsibilities for updating data, and deciding which data format to use. The benefits of FAIR data usage are summarized, and the article also describes the cross-institutional projects. The authors work as a senior consultant/project manager at the Danish National Archives, senior advisor at The Royal Danish Library, and communications officer at The Royal Danish Library. The cross-institutional projects mentioned here stretch from Kierkegaard’s writings to wind energy.

While this issue started by mentioning that ICPSR was founded in 1962, we end with a more recent addition to the archive world, established at Qatar University’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) in 2017. The paper ‘Data archiving for dissemination within a Gulf nation’ addresses the experience of this new institution in an environment of cultural and political sensitivity. With a positive view you can regard the benefits as expanding. The start is that archive staff get experience concerning policies for data selection, restrictions, security and metadata. This generates benefits and expands to the broader group of research staff where awareness and improvements relate to issues like design, collection and documentation of studies. Furthermore, data sharing can be seen as expanding in the Middle East and North Africa region and generating a general improvement in the relevance and credibility of statistics generated in the region. Again, the FAIR principles of findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-useable are gaining momentum and being adopted by government offices and data collection agencies. In the article, the story of SESRI at Qatar University is described ahead of sections concerning data sharing culture and challenges as well as issues of staff recruitment, architecture and workflow. Many of the observations and considerations in the article will be of value to staff at both older and infant archives. The authors of the paper are the senior researcher and lead archivist at the archive of the Qatar University Brian W. Mandikiana, and Lois Timms-Ferrara and Marc Maynard – CEO and director of technology at Data Independence (Connecticut, USA). 

Submissions of 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 such a presentation, give a thought to turning your one-time presentation into a lasting contribution. Doing that after the event also gives you the opportunity of improving your work after feedback. We encourage you to login or create an author login to https://www.iassistquarterly.com (our Open Journal System application). 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 limited number of session participants and will be readily available on the IASSIST Quarterly website at https://www.iassistquarterly.com.  Authors are very welcome to take a look at the instructions and layout:

https://www.iassistquarterly.com/index.php/iassist/about/submissions

Authors can also contact me directly 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 - September 2019

Editor's notes: The interest group on qualitative data sums up and continues

Welcome to the second issue of volume 43 of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ 43:2, 2019).

With joy and pride the many people behind each issue of the IQ are here presenting a special issue. IASSIST has several interest groups of members committed to selected important areas under the umbrella of IASSIST. Be aware that you could become a member of an interest group (see: https://iassistdata.org/about/committees.html#interest). If an interest area that you find important is not presently on this list, you are invited to start campaigning for the formation of a new interest group. The interest groups discuss and document their area and often arrange sessions at the IASSIST conferences. More formalization and continued documentation of the group’s work are presented in conference papers and papers published here in the IQ.

This issue of the IQ is dedicated to papers on qualitative data presented by members of the group named ‘Qualitative Social Science & Humanities Data Interest Group’ (QSSHDIG) and related practitioners. Lynda Kellam from the Cornell Institute for Social & Economic Research and Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh of George State University end their leadership of the group with this special issue. Lynda Kellam and Celia Emmelhainz (qualitative research librarian at the University of California Berkeley) are guest editors of this issue and their introduction to the issue is following this page. I want to express my great thanks from the IQ to Lynda and Celia for taking the job of compiling a special issue. Support for qualitative data is important and a growing area. I trust you as readers will find valuable information and excellent advice in the papers of the many authors that are committed to improving the use and value of qualitative data.    

Submissions of 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 such a presentation, give a thought to turning your one-time presentation into a lasting contribution. Doing that after the event also gives you the opportunity of improving your work after feedback. We encourage you to login or create an author login to https://www.iassistquarterly.com (our Open Journal System application). 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 limited number of session participants and will be readily available on the IASSIST Quarterly website at https://www.iassistquarterly.com.  Authors are very welcome to take a look at the instructions and layout:

https://www.iassistquarterly.com/index.php/iassist/about/submissions

Authors can also contact me directly 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 2019

Association of Parliamentary Libraries of Eastern and Southern Africa (APLESA) Pre-Conference Data Literacy Workshop

By, Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo

Through its Membership Committee's event sponsorship program, IASSIST recently sponsored a one day pre- Conference Training Workshop on Data Literacy for the Association of Parliamentary Libraries of Eastern and Southern Africa (APLESA). The workshop aimed to help librarians acquire data literacy skills in order to produce statistics/data that can be used for reporting and evidence based planning.

The workshop was held at the Makerere University School of Computing and Information Sciences, Kampala, Uganda, attracting over 30 participants from Malawi, Uganda, Angola, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Botswana and Mozambique. Attendees came from from Parliaments, government departments, academia and publiclibraries.

The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo, the IASSIST Event Liaison Coordinator and Prof. Constant Obura-Okello, who is also the Dean of East African School of Library and Information (EASLIS). Mr. Simon Engitu, the Secretary of APLESA was the workshop moderator.

In his opening remarks, the President of APLESA, appreciated the support from IASSIST and the importance of the workshop, emphasizing the value of data in reporting and planning. With the theme of conference “Taking Parliament to the People: the Role of Parliament Libraries in Bridging the Gap between the People and Parliament”. There is need for the Parliament libraries to work together with Research Services departments to improve research data management and data literacy skills.

The workshop topics included data and storytelling; basics of data literacy and its importance, and basics of data visualization using RAWgraphs. During sessions, participants were assigned group work related to topics and discussed their group work.

Ms. Nekesa informed the participants that they don’t need to be statisticians to carry out data management, but as librarians they need to gain data literacy skills to support researchers and other patrons. We need to illustrate and inform public opinion, substantiate for others what we already know using data which will provide a basis for evident based planning. Hence there is need to learn to generate and analyze the data we receive in the libraries and better serve our clients.

Prof. Obura reminded the participants that that data literacy is the ability to understand and use data effectively to form decisions. He informed them that data literacy is a new concept in Africa and therefore, there is need to include it in LIS curriculum and train data librarians who are able to handle data requests from researchers and other clients.

Feedback from workshop participants indicated overwhelming satisfaction with content. They also recommended to form a member’s forum; a workshop on integrated data literacy into the academic curriculum; a training of trainers of data literacy technical working group; and form technical working groups for data literacy in Eastern and Southern Africa

An interim working group was formed to further the interest of data literacy in the Eastern and Southern Africa.

  • Academic representative: Loyce Mutimbwa (Uganda)
  • Student representative: Akello Cissy (Uganda), Chancy Makamo (Malawi)
  • Parliamentarians: Simon Engitu (Uganda), Mr. Miguel (Angola)
  • Other Government Agencies: Sadres Twinomugisha
  • Patron: Prof. Constant Okello-Obura

At the end of the workshop, participants were presented with certificates.

IQ 43(1): Standardization and certification save us from the frustrations of the Greek drama

Welcome to the first issue of volume 43 of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ 43:1, 2019).

The IASSIST Quarterly presents in this issue three papers illustrated in the title above. Chronologically we start from an early beginning. No, not with Turing, we time travel further back and experience ancient Greece. In this submission the Greek drama delivers the form, while data librarians deliver the content on data sharing. And it makes you a proud IASSISTer to know that altruism is the rationale behind data sharing. The drama continues in the second submission when librarians get frustrated because they suddenly find themselves first as data librarians and second as frustrated data librarians because ends do not meet when the librarians have difficulties servicing the data needs of their users, in combination with the users having unrealistic expectations. Finally, the third article is about standardization and certification that makes the librarians more secure that they are on the right track when building a TDR (Trustworthy Digital Repository). Enjoy the reading.

The first article is different from most articles. There is a first for everything! Not often are we at IQ offered a Greek drama. And here is one on data sharing. The article needed the layout of a play so even the typeface of this contribution is different. The paper / play is called 'An epic journey in sharing: The story of a young researcher’s journey to share her data and the information professionals who tried to help’. The authors are Sebastian Karcher and Sophia Lafferty-Hess at Duke University Libraries. The reason for using Greek drama as a template is that form can help us think differently - 'out of the box’! The play demonstrates the positive intention of data sharing, and by sharing contributing to something larger. The article references other researchers showing that scholarly altruism is a driving force for data sharers. No matter the good intentions of the protagonist, she finds herself locked in a situation where she is not able to take identifiable data with her when leaving the institution. And leaving the university is what undergraduates do. Without the identification, it is impossible to obtain re-consent from participants. Yes, it does look murky but there is even a happy ending in the epilogue.  

The second article is about librarianship, and how that task is not always easy. 'Frustrations and roadblocks in data reference librarianship’ is by Alicia Kubas and Jenny McBurney who work at the University of Minnesota Libraries. Like many others, they have observed that many librarians find themselves as 'accidental data librarians'. That this brings frustration can be seen in the results of a survey they carried out. The methodology is explained, and descriptive statistics bring insight to what librarians do as well as to the frustrations and roadblocks they experience. Let us start with the good news: some librarians are never frustrated with data questions. The bad news is that only 3% fall into that category. On the other hand, 83% mention 'managing patron expectations’ among their biggest frustrations. It sounds as if matching of expectations should be a course at library school. Maybe it is already, and users with high expectations simply do not understand the complexity of the work involved. Fortunately, some frustrations can be lessened by experience, but there are others – called roadblocks, e.g. paywalls or lack of geographic coverage ­– that all librarians meet. Among the comments after the survey was that data persist as a difficult source type for librarians to support. The questionnaire developed and used by Kubas and McBurney is found in an appendix.

The last article in this issue raises sustainability as an important issue for long term data preservation, and the concept forms part of the title of the submission 'CoreTrustSeal: From academic collaboration to sustainable services'. The paper is from an international group of authors comprising Hervé L'Hours, Mari Kleemola, and Lisa de Leeuw from UK, Finland and the Netherlands. The seal is a certification for repositories curating data. The last sentence in the abstract sums up the content of the paper: 'As well as providing a historical narrative and current and future perspectives, the CoreTrustSeal experience offers lessons for those involved in developing standards and best practices or seeking to develop cooperative and community-driven efforts bridging data curation activities across academic disciplines, governmental and private sectors'. In order to attain CoreTrustSeal TDR certification and become a Trustworthy Digital Repository (TDR), the repository has to fulfil 16 requirements and the CoreTrustSeal foundation maintains these requirements and the audit procedures. The certification draws on preservation standards and models as found in Open Archival Information Systems and in the catalogues of ISO and DIN standards. The authors emphasize that the CoreTrustSeal is founded on and developed in a spirit of openness and community. The paper's sharing of the experience follows that spirit.  

Submissions of 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 such a presentation, give a thought to turning your one-time presentation into a lasting contribution. Doing that after the event also gives you the opportunity of improving your work after feedback. We encourage you to login or create an author login to https://www.iassistquarterly.com (our Open Journal System application). 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 limited number of session participants and will be readily available on the IASSIST Quarterly website at https://www.iassistquarterly.com.  Authors are very welcome to take a look at the instructions and layout:

https://www.iassistquarterly.com/index.php/iassist/about/submissions

Authors can also contact me directly 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 - May 2019

Opening for a Collections & Research Librarian for Agricultural & Environmental Sciences at NCSU

Topic:

NC State University Libraries is seeking a talented individual for the position of Collections & Research Librarian for Agricultural & Environmental Sciences

The ideal candidate for this position will be an individual who has the ability to engage deeply with agricultural and environmental sciences researchers and students at all levels. This position will be primarily responsible for leading collaborative collection management in agricultural and environmental sciences and, in collaboration with our team, providing expert services for faculty, staff, and students across the research life cycle including information discovery, data curation, visualization, research computing, and scholarly communication.    

For your reference, please find the full vacancy announcement and more information about the position and the NC State University Libraries at https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/jobs/ehra/crlaes.

Failure as the Treatment for Transforming Complexity to Complicatedness

Welcome to the fourth issue of volume 42 of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ 42:4, 2018).

The IASSIST Quarterly presents in this issue three papers. When you know how, cycling is easy. However, data for cycling infrastructure appears to be a messiness of complications, stakeholders and data producers. The exemplary lesson is that whatever your research area there are often many views and types of data possible for your research. And the fuller view does not make your research easier, but it does make it better. The term geospatial data covers many different types of data, and as such presents problems for building access points or portals for these data. The second paper also brings experiences with complicated data, now with a focus on data management and curation. I would say that the third paper on software development in digital humanities is also about complicatedness, but this time the complicatedness was not overcome. Maybe here complexity is a better choice of word than complicatedness. In my book things are complex until we have solved how to deal with them; after that they are only complicated. The word failure is even among the keywords selected for this entry. Again: Read and learn. You might learn more from failure than from success. I find that Sir Winston Churchill is always at hand to keep up the good spirit: ‘Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm’.

From Canada comes the paper ‘Cycling Infrastructure in the Ottawa-Gatineau Area: A Complex Assemblage of Data’ that some readers might have seen in the form of a poster at the IASSIST 2018 conference in Montreal. The authors are Sylvie Lafortune, Social Sciences Librarian at Carleton University in Ottawa, and Joël Rivard, Geography and GIS Librarian at the University of Ottawa. The article is a commendable example of how to encompass and illuminate an area of research not only though data but also by including the data producers and stakeholders, and the relationships between them. The article is based upon a study conducted in 2017-2018 that explored the data story behind the cycling infrastructure in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city; or to be precise, the infrastructure of the cycling network of over 1,000 km which spans both sides of the Ontario and Quebec provincial boundary known as the Ottawa-Gatineau National Capital Region. The municipalities invest in cycling infrastructure including expanded and improved bike lanes and paths, traffic calming measures, parking facilities, bike-transit integration, bike sharing and training programs to promote cycling and increased cycling safety. The research included many types of data among which were data from telephone interviews concerning ‘who, where, why, when, and how’ in an Origin-Destination survey, data generated by mobile apps tracking fitness activities, collision data, and bike counters placed in the area. The study shows how a narrow subject topic such as cycling infrastructure is embedded in complicated data and many relationships.

Ningning Nicole Kong is the author of ‘One Store has All? –  the Backend Story of Managing Geospatial Information Toward an Easy Discovery’. Many libraries are handling geographical information and my shortened version of the abstract from the article promises: GeoBlacklight and OpenGeoportal are two open-source projects that initiated from academic institutions, which have been adopted by many universities and libraries for geospatial data discovery. The paper provides a summary of geospatial data management strategies by reviewing related projects, and focuses on best management practices when curating geospatial data. The paper starts with a historical introduction to geospatial datasets in academic libraries in the United States and also presents the complicatedness involved in geospatial data. The paper mentions geoportals and related projects in both the United States and Europe with a focus on OpenGeoportal. Nicole Kong is an assistant professor and GIS specialist at Purdue University Libraries.  

Sophie 1.0 was an attempt to create a multimedia editing, reading, and publishing platform. Based at the University of Southern California with national and international collaboration, Sophie 2.0 was a project to rewrite Sophie 1.0 in the Java programming language. The author Jasmine S. Kirby gives the rationale for the article ‘How NOT to Create a Digital Media Scholarship Platform: The History of the Sophie 2.0 Project’ in the sentence: ‘Understanding what went wrong with Sophie 2.0 can help us understand how to create better digital media scholarship tools’. For the first time we now have  failure among the keywords used for a paper in IQ. The Institute of the Future of the Book (IFB) was a central collaborator in the development of the Sophie versions. The IFB describes itself as a think-and-do tank and it is doing many projects. The Kirby paper gives us a brief insight into the future of reading, starting from basic e-books in the 1960s. When you read through the article you will note caveats like lack of focus on usability and changing of the underneath software language. The article ends with good questions for evaluating digital scholarship tools.

Submissions of 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 such a presentation, give a thought to turning your one-time presentation into a lasting contribution. Doing that after the event also gives you the opportunity of improving your work after feedback. We encourage you to login or create an author login to https://www.iassistquarterly.com (our Open Journal System application). 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 limited number of session participants and will be readily available on the IASSIST Quarterly website at https://www.iassistquarterly.com.  Authors are very welcome to take a look at the instructions and layout:

https://www.iassistquarterly.com/index.php/iassist/about/submissions

Authors can also contact me directly 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 - February 2019

  • IASSIST Quarterly

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

    more...

  • Resources

    Resources

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

  • community

    • LinkedIn
    • Facebook
    • Twitter

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