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Registration for the IASSIST 2009 is open

Tervetuloa Tampereelle, Welcome to Tampere!

 

Registration for the 2009 IASSIST conference is now officially open. On the conference web site there is more information on registration, accommodations and excursions.

  more...

Data Walkabout

A series of posts on the DataShare blog describing the interest and action in Australian University Libraries around new forms of support for data management, from an IASSIST member's study tour of New Zealand and Australian institutions in January 2009. Robin Rice Project Manager DISC-UK DataShare project

New Data Management and Sharing Guidance

The UK Data Archive would like to announce the release of its new suite of web pages providing guidance on data management and sharing. The pages provide data creators, data managers and data curators with best practice strategies and methods for creating, preparing and storing shareable datasets. Advice has been divided into a number of key areas or modules providing detailed information on each topic. These are:

· Sharing data - why and how? · Consent, confidentiality and ethics · Copyright · Data documentation and metadata

Symposium on Institutional Data Services at Edinburgh

The Edinburgh University Data Library celebrated 25 years of support for staff and students in their discovery, access, use and management of research datasets. On 5 December 2008, following on from the Digital Curation Centre international conference held in Edinburgh that week, friends and colleagues from near and far gathered in the afternoon at the EDINA offices to celebrate the milestone with short speeches and cutting the cake, along with food, drink and toasts. more...

The Digging Into Data Challenge

The Digging into Data Challenge is an international grant competition sponsored by four leading research agencies, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) from the United Kingdom, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) from the United States, the National Science Foundation (NSF) from the United States, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) from Canada.

For more details: http://www.diggingintodata.org/

-- Joel Herndon

Open Access and Reuse of Research Data in Finland

In 2006, motivated by the OECD Open Access guidelines, the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) carried out an online survey targeting professors of human sciences, social sciences and behavioural sciences in Finnish universities. Professors were asked, for example, whether their department had any guidelines on the preservation of digital research data. A great and alarming majority (90%) said no. The survey also charted what actually happens to research data and what are the barriers to and benefits of open access to research data.

In 2006, motivated by the OECD Open Access guidelines, the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) carried out an online survey targeting professors of human sciences, social sciences and behavioural sciences in Finnish universities.

Professors were asked, for example, whether their department had any guidelines on the preservation of digital research data. A great and alarming majority (90%) said no.

What then happens to research data? Most common practise seems to be that the data remains in the hand of the original researcher(s). Even if the data are stored in the department or research insitute, no further processing nor documentation takes place. FSD's influence could be seen in social sciences, making archiving at a data archive a bit more frequent than in other sciences.

The survey also charted barriers to open access. Professors were concerned about inadvertent misuse of data and consequent mistakes. Of course, without detailed documentation, data reuse may indeed result in inaccurate interpretations. Lack of agreements regarding data ownership and IP rights were also mentioned as barriers, as well as loss of competitive advantage, IT problems, and confidentiality issues.

On the other hand, the professors saw many benefits in open access to research data. The most significant was enhancing the diversity of research designs with the use of archived data. All in all, the benefits were estimated to be more significant than the barriers. The survey also showed - not surprisingly - that it is usual to a researcher to have a positive attitude towards open access in general but a less-than-enthusiastic one to open access to his/her own data.

The report concludes that from the viewpoint of long-term preservation and reuse, it is definitely less recommendable to leave the responsibility for the preservation and dissemination of data to individual researchers. Changing this practice that still prevails in Finnish universities and other Finnish research organisations constitutes one of the key goals in the national implementation of the OECD Recommendation.

An abridged version of the report is available in English:
Arja Kuula & Sami Borg (2008). Open Access to and Reuse of Research Data - The State of the Art in Finland. University of Tampere. Finnish Social Science Data Archive; 7. ISBN: 978-951-44-7479-8.

Download the report as a PDF file.

The survey data is naturally available, too:
FSD2268 Open Access to and Reuse of Research Data 2006

Mari Kleemola
Finnish Social Science Data Archive
IASSIST European Regional Secretary

Data Scientists, Data Managers, Data Librarians, Oh My!

The Skills, Role and Career Structure of Data Scientists: An Assessment of Current Practice and Future Needs is a report prepared by Alma Swan and Sheridan Brown this summer for JISC in the UK.

The Skills, Role and Career Structure of Data Scientists: An Assessment of Current Practice and Future Needs is a report prepared by Alma Swan and Sheridan Brown this summer for JISC in the UK. more...

Canadian Research Data Strategy Working Group Established

Research Data Strategy Working Group Established http ://cisti-icist.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/media/press/rds_group_e.html, press release, August 12, 2008.

The research process generates huge amounts of data that are an important part of Canada's scholarly record and hold enormous potential as an additional discovery and problem-solving tool for researchers. Unfortunately, Canada has no nationally adopted standards or policies governing how this data is collected, catalogued, or preserved.

Research Data Strategy Working Group Established http ://cisti-icist.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/media/press/rds_group_e.html, press release, August 12, 2008.

The research process generates huge amounts of data that are an important part of Canada's scholarly record and hold enormous potential as an additional discovery and problem-solving tool for researchers. Unfortunately, Canada has no nationally adopted standards or policies governing how this data is collected, catalogued, or preserved.

A new collaborative effort is now underway to address the challenges surrounding the access and preservation of this data. The Research Data Strategy (RDS) Working Group http://data-donnees.gc.ca/eng/members.html is a multi-disciplinary group of universities, institutes, libraries, granting agencies, and individual researchers with a shared recognition of the pressing need to deal with Canadian data management issues.

Together, the Working Group is focusing on the necessary actions, next steps and leadership roles that researchers and institutions can take to ensure Canada's research data is accessible and usable for current and future generations of researchers.

To support this effort, the Working Group has launched the Research Data Canada Web site http ://data-donnees.gc.ca/eng/index.html as a tool to communicate with the broader community and to facilitate communication within and between three task groups, which have been formed to explore issues related to policies, funding and research; infrastructure and services; and capacity (skills, training, and reward systems).

The RDS Working Group will be convening a consultation around these issues at a future date to gather input and develop an action plan.

new IQ

The IASSIST Quarterly (IQ Vol. 31 issue 1 - 2007) is now available on the web:

 

http://iassistdata.org/publications/iq/iqvol31.html

The IASSIST Quarterly (IQ Vol. 31 issue 1 - 2007) is now available on the web:

 

http://iassistdata.org/publications/iq/iqvol31.html

  more...

IASSIST '08 Followup, Part 2: Restricted Data

Regardless of the institutional setting in which we work, more and more of us are having to address researcher access to restricted or confidential datasets.  This post focuses on sessions at Stanford that covered this important topic--or rather, group of topics because there are so many intersecting responsibilities to actually making such access a reality for our users. more...

  • IASSIST Quarterly

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

    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

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    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...