By mhayslett | July 1, 2017
Issue 40(3) is now online at https://iassistquarterly.com/index.php/iassist/issue/view/29.
Being international - and proud of it!
IASSIST is proud of being international. These days some us of find it important to emphasize how international collaboration has improved and made our lives more efficient. In the small but around-the-globe-reaching world of IASSIST, many national data archives have come into existence as well as continuing their development, through friendly international support and spreading of knowledge and good practices among IASSISTers. So let us cherish the ‘International’ in IASSIST. We are proud of the lead ‘I’ for ‘International’ in the IASSIST acronym and have no intention of changing that to ‘N’ for ‘National’. It is also my impression that data archives all over the world simply don’t have the facilities for storing ‘alternative facts’ as they are shy of all kinds of documentation.
Welcome to the third issue of Volume 40 of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ 40:3, 2016). Four papers with authors from three continents are presented in this issue. The paper ‘Demonstrating Repository Trustworthiness through the Data Seal of Approval’ is a summary of a panel session at the IASSIST 2015 conference in Minneapolis with panel members Stuart Macdonald, Ingrid Dillo, Sophia Lafferty-Hess, Lynn Woolfrey, and Mary Vardigan. The paper has an introduction from DANS in the Netherlands where the Data Seal of Approval (DSA) originated. Cases from the US and South Africa are presented and the future of the DSA including possible harmonization with other systems is discussed. DSA certifications are basically consumer guidance, clearly assisting all the involved parties. Depositors and funding bodies will be assured that data are reliably stored, researchers can reliably access the data repositories, and repositories are supported in their work of archiving and distribution of data.
The second article brings us to the actual use of data. From the UK Data Service, Rebecca Parsons and Scott Summers in ‘The Role of Case Studies in Effective Data Sharing, Reuse and Impact’ take us into positive narratives around secondary data. The background is that although the publishing of data is now recognised by funders, the authors find that ‘showcasing’ brings motivation for data sharing and reuse as well as improving the quality of data and documentation. The impact of case studies is all-sided and research, depositing data, and the brand recognition of the UK Data Service are among the areas investigated. The future is likely to include new case studies developed for use in teaching in schools, with easy linking to datasets, as well as for researchers being assisted to build their own portfolios. The appendix presents case studies on research and impact.
In the third article, we are situated in data creation. Muhammad F. Bhuiyan and Paula Lackie from Carleton College in Minnesota write on ‘Mitigating Survey Fraud and Human Error: Lessons Learned from A Low Budget Village Census in Bangladesh’. As the ‘fraud’ term implies, they are looking into the problem of data creators being too creative, but more importantly they are investigating the essential area of data quality. The authors explain how selected technological assets like the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and audio-capturing smart pens improved data quality. The use of these tools is exemplified through many scenarios described in the paper. Furthermore, a procedure of daily monitoring and fast transcription lead to quick surveyor re-training and dismissal of others, thus minimising data errors. For those interested in false data and its detection, the introduction in particular has valuable references to literature.
In the last paper the difficult task of handling images is addressed in ‘Image Management as a Data Service’ by Berenica Vejvoda, K. Jane Burpee, and Paula Lackie. Vejvoda and Burpee work at McGill University in Montreal. You have already met Lackie from Carleton College in relation to the third paper above. The ‘images’ in the article are digital images, and the authors suggest that the knowledge of digital data services across the ‘research data lifecycle’ also benefits the management of digital images. Digital images are numerical data, and the article compares the data, metadata, and paradata of a survey respondent to the information on a digital image. Considerations from normal data concerning system formats and storage space also apply to management of images. In the last section the paper introduces copyright issues that are complicated, to say the least. Just as reuse of normal data can have ethical angles, it is even more apparent that images can have complicated issues of privacy and confidentiality.
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 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 https://www.iassistd ata.org.
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 via e-mail: email@example.com. 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