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Data Workshop Conducted at the National Library of Uganda

By Winny Nekesa Akullo, Uganda Library and Information Associations 

I won sponsorship from the International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST) for a One-day Data workshop conducted on 29th November 2018 at the National Library of Uganda on behalf of the Uganda Library and Information Associations (ULIA). The workshop aimed at bringing together librarians from different institutions in Uganda to learn how to collect relevant and meaningful data to tell stories relating to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The workshop attracted 20 librarians from government departments, academia, public and community libraries.

The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Sarah Kaddu, the President, ULIA and Mr. Eric Haumba, Chief Librarian, YMCA Comprehensive Institute and moderated by Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo, the Publicity Secretary of ULIA, IASSIST Event Liaison Officer and a member of IASSIST.

The workshop topics included; The UN 2030 Agenda and AU Agenda 2063; the role of libraries in the 2030 Agenda and” Telling Your Story” Tracking and Collection of Relevant Data Template for Documenting Stories. At the end of the workshop participants were presented with certificates of participations.

In his opening remarks, the Director of the National Library of Uganda, Mr. Adonia Katungisa, noted that the workshop was timely and more relevant to the librarians considering that the policy makers and researchers are now demanding for data and statistics to enable them make informed decisions and planning for the libraries in the country. Its therefore, time for people to know what libraries are doing.

Dr. Kaddu on the other hand emphasized that as librarians, “we need to work closely within the profession and other sectors to achieve UN 2030 Agenda”, she implored the participants to use statistics to advocate for positive change in their societies. Using relevant data is a very good way to support our advocacy and tell our stories. There is need to define the purpose for the data, what data do you need, where to find the data, explain the data and connect the numbers to the story you are trying to tell. 

Therefore, there is need to strengthen data collection, management and dissemination to capture evidence to inform decision making.

Feedback from the participants indicated the objective of the workshop was fully achieved and the quality of the results at the workshop was high quality. The participants also recommended for establishment of a database/system to collect library statistics and activities countrywide and training in data literacy skills to ensure that data are used and interpreted correctly.

The Participants were very enthusiastic to be part of the workshop and also looked forward to joining IASSIST as members.

We are very grateful to IASSIST for its support without which this workshop wouldn’t have been possible.

Data Workshop Conducted at the National Library of Uganda

By Winny Nekesa Akullo, Uganda Library and Information Associations 

I won sponsorship from the International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST) for a One-day Data workshop conducted on 29th November 2018 at the National Library of Uganda on behalf of the Uganda Library and Information Associations (ULIA). The workshop aimed at bringing together librarians from different institutions in Uganda to learn how to collect relevant and meaningful data to tell stories relating to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The workshop attracted 20 librarians from government departments, academia, public and community libraries.

 

The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Sarah Kaddu, the President, ULIA and Mr. Eric Haumba, Chief Librarian, YMCA Comprehensive Institute and moderated by Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo, the Publicity Secretary of ULIA, IASSIST Event Liaison Officer and a member of IASSIST.

The workshop topics included; The UN 2030 Agenda and AU Agenda 2063; the role of libraries in the 2030 Agenda and” Telling Your Story” Tracking and Collection of Relevant Data Template for Documenting Stories. At the end of the workshop participants were presented with certificates of participations.

In his opening remarks, the Director of the National Library of Uganda, Mr. Adonia Katungisa, noted that the workshop was timely and more relevant to the librarians considering that the policy makers and researchers are now demanding for data and statistics to enable them make informed decisions and planning for the libraries in the country. Its therefore, time for people to know what libraries are doing.

Dr. Kaddu on the other hand emphasized that as librarians, “we need to work closely within the profession and other sectors to achieve UN 2030 Agenda”, she implored the participants to use statistics to advocate for positive change in their societies. Using relevant data is a very good way to support our advocacy and tell our stories. There is need to define the purpose for the data, what data do you need, where to find the data, explain the data and connect the numbers to the story you are trying to tell. 

Therefore, there is need to strengthen data collection, management and dissemination to capture evidence to inform decision making.

Feedback from the participants indicated the objective of the workshop was fully achieved and the quality of the results at the workshop was high quality. The participants also recommended for establishment of a database/system to collect library statistics and activities countrywide and training in data literacy skills to ensure that data are used and interpreted correctly.

The Participants were very enthusiastic to be part of the workshop and also looked forward to joining IASSIST as members.

We are very grateful to IASSIST for its support without which this workshop wouldn’t have been possible.

IASSIST Quarterly Volume 42:2 now available!

Editor's notes:  Metadata is key - the most important data after data

Welcome to the second issue of volume 42 of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ 42:2, 2018).

The IASSIST Quarterly has had several papers on many different aspects of the Data Documentation Initiative - for a long time better known by its acronym DDI, without any further explanation. DDI is a brand. The IASSIST Quarterly has also included special issues of collections of papers concerning DDI.

Among staff at data archives and data libraries, as well as the users of these facilities, I think we can agree that it is the data that comes first. However, fundamental to all uses of data is the documentation describing the data, without which the data are useless. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the IASSIST Quarterly is devoted partly to the presentation of papers related to documentation. The question of documentation or data resembles the question of the chicken or the egg. Don't mistake the keys for your car. The metadata and the data belong together and should not be separated.

DDI now is a standard, but as with other standards it continues to evolve. The argument about why standards are good comes to mind: 'The nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from!'. DDI is the de facto standard for most social science data at data archives and university data libraries.

The first paper demonstrates a way to tackle the heterogeneous character of the usage of the DDI. The approach is able to support collaborative questionnaire development as well as export in several formats including the metadata as DDI. The second paper shows how an institutionalized and more general metadata standard - in this case the Belgian Encoded Archival Description (EAD) - is supported by a developed crosswalk from DDI to EAD. However, IQ 42:2 is not a DDI special issue, and the third paper presents an open-source research data management platform called Dendro and a laboratory notebook called LabTablet without mentioning DDI. However, the paper certainly does mention metadata - it is the key to all data.

The winner of the paper competition of the IASSIST 2017 conference is presented in this issue. 'Flexible DDI Storage' is authored by Oliver Hopt, Claus-Peter Klas, Alexander Mühlbauer, all affiliated with GESIS - the Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences in Germany. The authors argue that the current usage of DDI is heterogeneous and that this results in complex database models for each developed application. The paper shows a new binding of DDI to applications that works independently of most version changes and interpretative differences, thus avoiding continuous reimplementation. The work is based upon their developed DDI-FlatDB approach, which they showed at the European DDI conferences in 2015 and 2016, and which is also described in the paper. Furthermore, a web-based questionnaire editor and application supports large DDI structures and collaborative questionnaire development as well as production of structured metadata for survey institutes and data archives. The paper describes the questionnaire workflow from the start to the export of questionnaire, DDI XML, and SPSS. The development is continuing and it will be published as open source. 

The second paper is also focused on DDI, now in relation to a new data archive. 'Elaborating a Crosswalk Between Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) and Encoded Archival Description (EAD) for an Emerging Data Archive Service Provider' is by Benjamin Peuch who is a researcher at the State Archives of Belgium. It is expected that the future Belgian data archive will be part of the State Archives, and because DDI is the most widespread metadata standard in the social sciences, the State Archives have developed a DDI-to-EAD crosswalk in order to re-use their EAD infrastructure. The paper shows the conceptual differences between DDI and EAD - both XML based - and how these can be reconciled or avoided for the purpose of a data archive for the social sciences. The author also foresees a fruitful collaboration between traditional archivists and social scientists.

The third paper is by a group of scholars connected to the Informatics Engineering Department of University of Porto and the INESC TEC in Portugal. Cristina Ribeiro, João Rocha da Silva, João Aguiar Castro, Ricardo Carvalho Amorim, João Correia Lopes, and Gabriel David are the authors of 'Research Data Management Tools and Workflows: Experimental Work at the University of Porto'. The authors start with the statement that 'Research datasets include all kinds of objects, from web pages to sensor data, and originate in every domain'. The task is to make these data visible, described, preserved, and searchable. The focus is on data preparation, dataset organization and metadata creation. Some groups were proposed a developed open-source research data management platform called Dendro and a laboratory notebook called LabTablet, while other groups that demanded a domain-specific approach had special developed models and applications. All development and metadata modelling have in sight the metadata dissemination.

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, 2018

Qualitative Social Science and Humanities Data Interest Group (QSSHDIG)

The Qualitative Social Science and Humanities Data Interest Group (QSSHDIG) had another great year. We would love to have you join us if you are interested in our group. Just ask Mandy or Lynda.

  • At IASSIST 2017 we had social gathering and a BoF meeting to brainstorm activities for upcoming year. You can read our notes from the discussion on our website.
  • A subgroup posted a four-part blog series in late July/early August of 2017. Big thanks to Mandy, Liz Cooper, and Jill Conte for organizing and writing.
  • Gathered group feedback for a book proposal outline on Qualitative Research Data Librarianship book proposal. Planning to do special issue of IQ with Celia Emmelhainz and Lynda Kellam as guest editors. Email Lynda if you are interested in working with us.
  • Created IASSIST QSSHDIG google site – includes an “expert list” that we compiled and circulated to the IASSIST listserv.
  • Coordinated with Amy Pienta and Qualitative Data Repository (QDR) folks to arrange IASSIST PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WEBINAR SERIES: Teaching Qualitative Data Management: Lessons from QDR.
  • Subgroup is reviewing the list of libraries that are Association of Research Libraries for qualitative data support and training/edu materials. Out of 126 libraries we were able to review 116. Data are compiled, but not ready to report out findings yet. We plan to use it for compiling a teaching materials page on our site and for possible article in the special issue. Thanks to Sara Demott, Liz Cooper, Alesia Montgomery, Jonathan Cain, and Mandy for doing the reviews and special thanks to Sara for setting up the Qualtrics survey.

IASSIST Quarterly Volume 42:1 available

Editor's notes:  Rebuilding, Preserving and Reproducing

Welcome to the first issue of Volume 42 of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ 42:1, 2018).

The IASSIST Quarterly has a focus on curation, preservation and reproduction of research, and all three bases are covered in this issue. The reproduction of earlier results from archived data is a validation of the data and also of the earlier research. The mimicking reuse of data for reproduction of the original results is the normal first step before use of the data for new purposes. This IQ starts with a paper on reproduction. Before reproduction is possible, intensive work is required at the earliest stage to curate the data, and in the case of older data - as presented in this issue - a costly process of rebuilding the data from old formats and forms of storage. Between the establishment of the data as a resource and the subsequent reproduction, the preservation process secures the data for future use. The middle paper brings special attention to preservation of 3D digital data.

At the IASSIST 2017 conference the presentation 'Reproducing and Preserving Research with ReproZip' was given at the session 'E3: Tools for Reproducible Workflows Across the Research Lifecycle'. This is presented here as a paper with the title 'Using ReproZip for Reproducibility and Library Services' by Vicky Steeves, Rémi Rampin, and Fernando Chirigati. The authors work at New York University as Librarian for Research Data Management and Reproducibility, Research Engineer, and PhD candidate. They present ReproZip, an open source tool designed to help overcome the technical difficulties involved in preserving and replicating research, ranging from digital humanities to machine learning as well as library services. The paper addresses the concept of computational reproducibility leading to capture and preservation of digital environments, and the creation of a file that encapsulates metadata about the computational environment - including the operating system, hardware architecture, and software library dependencies - in order to achieve reproducibility. The authors state that ReproZip can be used to reproduce and preserve research holistically.

At the same conference in the session 'E1: Preservation Matters' Jennifer Moore of Washington University Libraries in St. Louis and Hannah Scates Kettler of University of Iowa Libraries presented their paper 'Who cares about 3D data preservation?'. Well, the IQ does! 3D digital data preservation is necessary when for example an anthropologist produces digital 3D data as a preservation and presentation mechanism for an artefact. The 3D digital data has - like other data - to be treated for preservation. The artefact could be a building, and the paper holds much technical information and literature that refers to various interesting 3D projects; for example the Augmented Asbury Park app that projects lost - and now virtual - buildings and attractions upon their earlier physical space using augmented reality.

The last paper in this issue is 'Retirement in the 1950s: Rebuilding a Longitudinal Research Database' by Amy M. Pienta and Jared Lyle, respectively Associate Research Scientist and Director of Curation at ICPSR at the University of Michigan. This tells the story of the successful recovery of the important data from Gordon Streib’s Cornell Study of Occupational Retirement (CSOR). The paper includes the caveat that the work involved in rescuing these old data was many times more expensive than curating newer data would be. The CSOR followed a large (over 4,000 person) national cohort of retirement-age men and women in the period 1952 to 1958. The study is of great value for research in such areas as the relationships between health and gender and retirement. The data was deemed unrecoverable, as the punched cards did not directly match the documentation. Further work and additional materials were required to make it possible. The data is enriched by collections of several types of health records and examinations; some remaining in paper form that can be consulted for closer investigation on-site at ICPSR.                                            

Submissions of papers for the IASSIST Quarterly are always very welcome. We encourage you to login or create an author login to https://www.iassistquarterly.com .  We welcome input from IASSIST conferences or other conferences and workshops, from local presentations or papers especially written for the IQ. When you are preparing a presentation, give a thought to turning your one-time presentation into a lasting contribution. We permit authors 'deep links' into the IQ as well as deposition of the paper in your local repository. Chairing a conference session with the purpose of aggregating and integrating papers for a special issue IQ is also much appreciated as the information reaches many more people than the session participants, and will be readily available on the IASSIST Quarterly website at http://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 - April, 2018

New to IASSIST or Willing to Mentor Someone New?

 New to IASSIST or Willing to Mentor Someone New?

 

Please sign up by Thursday, May 17. Conference contact assignments for IASSIST will be emailed by the end of the day Monday, May 21.

 

 

Please fill out in Google forms:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScyW2B9m8o5-6Z0D0FPdsTcqkOpUDk_w_u4WwuyIpDWgjAQJQ/viewform Looking forward to the best IASSIST ever!   Bobray Bordelon bordelon@Princeton.edu IASSIST 2018 Mentor Coordinator

IASSIST Quarterly Volume 41 available--on a new web site!

Welcome to the first issue of Volume 41 of the IASSIST Quarterly. It has taken extra time for this issue to appear. The cause of this is not that we have been extra lazy.  The paradoxical cause is that a great many people have been extra busy. Thanks to the team of people in the editorial group of the IASSIST Quarterly and - not least - the great help from Sonya Betz working as Digital Initiatives Projects Librarian at the University of Alberta Libraries in Canada, the IASSIST Quarterly has now moved to the Open Journal System (OJS) at the University of Alberta. We believe this shift is going to benefit all stakeholders of the IQ. It is mostly the inner workings of the production that has changed. As a potential author you are still very welcome to mail the editor.

The first issue of Volume 41 (2017) at the same time becomes the last issue of that volume. In order to get close to the real time we are catching up by jumping three issues. Therefore, this issue is labelled as Vol. 41 1-4 of 2017. Next issue will be 42 1 of 2018. 

The new issue of IASSIST Quarterly is placed as the 'Current' issue in the Open Journal System on the web at:

https://www.iassistquarterly.com

We hope you will enjoy the new open journal system. We also encourage you to 'Register' as an author on the website. See more about submitting a paper for the IQ under 'For Authors' and 'Submissions'. 

The archives of the IQ issues are transferred to the new IQ website. As the website is new there might be things concerning the IASSIST Quarterly that might not have been updated both on iassistquarterly.com and iassistdata.org. The website for the IASSIST organization continues, it is only the IQ that is moving to its own website. Please report errors and confusions, thanks.

The Vol. 40 (2017) is labeled 'The data is out there - just like the truth!' 

The first article concerns data for published articles in journals. The paper ‘Journals in Economic Sciences: Paying Lip Service to Reproducible Research?’ is by Sven Vlaeminck and Felix Podkrajac. Sven Vlaeminck works in research data management for ZBW – German National Library for Economics / Leibniz Information Centre for Economics in Hamburg, Germany. Felix Podkrajac is an academic subject librarian at the Library and Information System of the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg. Some economic journals have a 'data availability policy', and Vlaeminck and Podkrajac are presenting a study of the compliance of actual research to such policies.

The second paper in this IQ issue is titled 'Designing the Cyberinfrastructure for Spatial Data Curation, Visualization, and Sharing' by the authors Yue Li, Nicole Kong, and Stanislav Pejša. All three authors are working at Purdue University Libraries as respectively GIS analyst, assistant professor, and data curator. They argue that spatial data is an important component in many studies and has promoted interdisciplinary research development. In their development project at Purdue they have streamlined spatial data curation, visualization and sharing by connecting the institutional research data repository with the library’s GIS server set and spatial data portal.

The last paper is also addressing data management. The paper 'Research Data Management: A proposed framework to boost research in Higher Educational Institutes' is a collaboration between Bhojaraju Gunjal at Central Library of the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, Odisha, India, and Panorea Gaitanou of the Department of Archives, Library Science and Museum Studies, Ionian University, Corfu, Greece. They begin with an abstract of Research Data Management (RDM) issues where they promise 'a detailed literature review regarding the RDM aspects adopted in libraries globally'.

Taking good care of data is worth writing articles about and is also worth writing books about. In this issue we present two book reviews: 'Databrarianship: The Academic Data Librarian in Theory and Practice' by Lynda Kellam and Kristi Thompson is reviewed by Chubing Tripepi of Columbia University, while 'The Data Librarian’s Handbook' by Robin Rice and John Southall is reviewed by Ann Glusker of The National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

Submissions of papers for the IASSIST Quarterly are always very welcome. We welcome input from IASSIST conferences or other conferences and workshops, and from local presentations or papers especially written for the IQ. When you are preparing a presentation, give a thought to turning your one-time presentation into a lasting contribution. We permit authors 'deep links' into the IQ as well as deposition of the paper in your local repository. Chairing a conference session with the purpose of aggregating and integrating papers for a special issue IQ is also much appreciated as the information reaches many more people than the session participants, and will be readily available on the IASSIST website at http://www.iassistdata.org.  

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

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

Karsten Boye Rasmussen, November 2017

Mongolia and IASSIST: Building Connections

See video

Spring 2017

Mongolia is large and sparsely populated country, with nomadic traditions, but rapidly modernizing.  As in any modern country, there is an important role for data to play in planning and development, and Mongolian data professionals are developing themselves to meet the challenge.

Last year in May 2017, Ryan Womack (currently serving as IASSIST Secretary) was invited to give a two-day workshop on Topics in Data Science at the National Statistics Office of Mongolia.  There were 33 attendees from the NSO and a cross-section of Mongolian government agencies focusing on data.  

IASSIST generously provided sponsorship to cover the cost of participants' lunches during the event, which were held at the delightful "Modern Nomads" restaurant, serving traditional Mongolian cuisine.  While the workshop participants were refreshed by the meals, this event also gave the opportunity to familiarize a group of Mongolian data professionals with the work of IASSIST.

A key organizer of the event on the Mongolian side was Ch. DavaasurenResearch and Development Director of the Mongolian Marketing Consulting Group [pictured at the left in the video above].  His assistance was invaluable in arranging all of the contacts, schedules, meals, translations, and other details of the visit.  His expertise and concern for data issues was also evident throughout.  MMCG is the leading survey research organization in Mongolia and conducts surveys for international business, NGOs, and nonprofit organizations on marketing, social, and political topics.

The visit to Mongolia also included talks by Ryan Womack at the National University of Mongolia, the Mongolian University of Life Sciences, and the Mongolian University of Science and Technology.  This provided an opportunity to meet with academics working with data and statistics in Mongolia, and another chance to introduce the Mongolian data community to IASSIST.  Further details and photos from that visit are here.

Spring 2018

Flash forward to this year.  Ch. Davaasuren maintained his interest in IASSIST that had begun from the prior year's meeting.  

Ch. Davaasuren applied for and was selected as an IASSIST Fellow, and will attend IASSIST/CARTO 2018 in Montréal.  Davaasuren's most recent conference experience was as the lead organizer for the first Asia Pacific Research Committee conference ever to be held in Mongolia.  APRC is focused on developing market research methodology in the Asia-Pacific region, and may be a useful partner in extending IASSIST's outreach in Asia. Davaasuren is also Chair of the Mongolian Marketing Research Association.

Ryan Womack has also continued his interest in Mongolia, and was invited to teach a one-week Short Course on Multivariate Statistical Methods with R at the Mongolian University of Life Sciences in February.  That visit is profiled, with photos, here.  Continued discussions with the Mongolian University of Life Sciences and the National Statistics Office of Mongolia promise further collaborations in the future.

With Davaasuren coming to Montréal, it will be a chance to meet with other IASSISTers and hopefully to broaden the base of Mongolian connections to IASSIST, and vice versa, further internationalizing our organization.  IASSIST event sponsorships and the IASSIST Fellows Program can catalyze that process.

IASSIST/DCN Data Curation Workshop

 

The IASSIST & Data Curation Network (DCN) hosted a Data Curation Workshop on December 11 & 12, 2017 at Washington University in St. Louis, USA. Support from IASSIST, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Minnesota, Cornell University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign brought together approximately 45 professionals to learn how to richly curate research data from a number of domains.

Participants came from a wide variety of functional backgrounds, including catalogers, archivists, subject specialists, data management librarians, repository managers, and more. Attendees traveled to St. Louis, MO from as far away as the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA and Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. Additionally, there was a diverse makeup of institutions represented, including liberal art colleges, Research 1 institutions, and government agencies. Support for this workshop provided a few micro-scholarships to applicants who would otherwise not be able to attend.

This 1.5 day workshop focused heavily on the hands-on treatments required to richly curate research data. Attendees learned and then practiced a six step CURATE process of checking, understanding, requesting, augmenting, transforming, and evaluating datasets to be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR). Curricula also included the value of data curation and an introduction to IASSIST and the Data Curation Network (DCN). Each attendee left the workshop with experience in curating real-world data, an elevator speech for talking about curation needs, and a plan for moving curation services forward or enhancing existing services locally. The workshop agenda and links to the slides are available through the workshop webpage.

Feedback from workshop attendees indicated overwhelming satisfaction with content.  While we focused heavily on the manual treatments required to richly curate data, many attendees wanted more exposure and experience with software and tools they could use to curate data. The hands-on portion of the workshop was extremely successful given the use of real-world datasets from each of our institutions. Using actual submissions highlighted the complexities of curating data for which an institution may not immediately have the expertise.

The instructors for this workshop came from organizations are all members of the Data Curation Network. The DCN project was launched with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 2016 and seeks to develop a shared staffing  model across nine institutions and organizations for data curation. By sharing our data curation expertise across a ‘network of expertise’ we aim to enable our academic libraries to collectively, and more effectively, curate a wider variety of data types (e.g., discipline, file format, etc.) that expands beyond what any single institution might offer alone. Training and community-building, through workshops such as this, is a natural component of the DCN vision.

Additional data curation workshops are being planned for the near future. For those interested in future workshops, we encourage you to watch the Data Curation Network website for updates. We are grateful to IASSIST for its support, without which this workshop would not have been possible.

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

 Posted on behalf of Jade Koekoe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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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