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Conference Presentations 2013

  • IASSIST 2013-Data Innovation: Increasing Accessibility, Visibility, and Sustainability, Cologne, Germany
    Host Institution: GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

B5: Data Citation: In Principle and Practice (Wed, 2013-05-29)
Chair:Kristin Partlo

  • Databib: A Global Catalog of Research Data Repositories
    Jochen Schirrwagen (Bielefeld University)


    Databib ( is a curated, global, online catalog of research data repositories. Librarians and other information professionals have identified and cataloged over 500 data repositories that can be easily browsed and searched by users or integrated with other platforms or cyber infrastructure. Databib can help researchers find appropriate repositories to deposit their data, and it gives consumers of data a tool to discover repositories of datasets that meet their research or learning needs. Users can submit new repositories to Databib, which are reviewed and curated by an international board of editors. All information from Databib has been contributed to the public domain using the Creative Commons Zero protocol. Supported machine interfaces and formats include RSS, OpenSearch, RDF/XML, Linked Data (RDFa), and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. In this session, we will give a demonstration of Databib and give an overview of how researchers, librarians, funding agencies, students, data centers, software developers, and other users can utilize and integrate it.


C2: Panel: Strategies and Models for Data Collection Development (Wed, 2013-05-29)
Chair:Hailey Mooney

  • Strategies and Models for Data Collection Development
    Hailey Mooney (Michigan State University)
    Karen Hogenboom (University of Illinois Urbana Champaign)
    Bobray Bordelon (Princeton University)
    Kristen Partlo (Carleton College)
    Michelle Hudson (Yale University)
    Maria Jankowska (University of California Los Angeles)


    Issues around managing and providing access to data are receiving a lot of attention from academic libraries and information technology departments. This session will discuss how academic libraries handle data collection development and acquisitions. Panelists will share institutional case studies to illustrate various experiences and practices in the development of data collections. Issues include navigating diverse format types and licensing issues, funding and budgets, selection responsibility, and collection development policy statements. Innovative models, such as contests to identify data sets for acquisition will be shared. The treatment of small individual data sets, to large subscription databases, to freely available online resources will all be considered. This session will provide an opportunity for participants to engage in open discussion of a key aspect of their responsibility to ensure access to data resources for their communities.


C3: Integrating Data Management and Discovery (Wed, 2013-05-29)
Chair:Tuomas J. Alaterä

  • Utilizing DDI-Lifecycle in the STARDAT Project to Manage Data Documentation
    Wolfgang Zenk-Möltgen (GESIS-Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)


    The STARDAT project at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences is an effort to develop an integrated metadata management system for social science datasets at the Data Archive for the Social Sciences. It will transfer the features of current applications and tools into a modular software suite that is compatible with current metadata standards like DDI-Codebook and DDI-Lifecycle. It covers multi-language documentation on study and variable-level, and enables long-term preservation and export into different publishing portals like the GESIS Data Catalogue, ZACAT, CESSDA Data Portal, Sowiport, and da|ra. During the development phase of the project, the Data Archive faces additional demands on data archiving. Some of those challenges are new data types, persistent identifiers, highly structured or multi-level datasets, data collected in experimental research, or process data. These requirements lead to an update of the metadata schema and additional functional requirements for STARDAT. The presentation will focus on the development of the conceptual model and will show comparisons or mappings with other metadata models, e.g. from the Data Catalogue, da|ra, DataCite, Dublin Core, and the DDI ontology. Technical considerations and the implementation of the model will be considered according to the stage that they are in the development process.

  • UK Data Service Discover: Visible Connections and a Structuralist Approach to Discovery/Making Data Visible - Building an Enterprise Search Solution from the Ground Up
    Lucy Bell (UK Data Archive)
    Matthew Brumpton (UK Data Archive)


    This paper describes the journey taken by the UK Data Service to redesign its resource discovery. "Discover" the new, openly-available, faceted search/browse application, makes metadata more accessible for all users. It provides a single point of access to a wide range of high-quality economic and social data, including large-scale government surveys, international macro-data, business micro-data, and census data (1971-2011) -plus, related resources. We have moved from a federated search environment to centralization and, borrowing the principles of FRBR, have created a systematized way of browsing connected metadata. The new search links data collections to: publications; case studies of use; support guides; and beyond. It also encourages serendipity, allowing the user to discover items indexed with similar terms. The system is simple and straightforward, but also innovative in encouraging users to make connections between resources. This paper describes the work undertaken to create efficiencies in metadata use and to develop multi-core functionality, which allows users to search metadata encoded in different schema, simultaneously. It also puts the work into the context of current information management theory, including a move to a wider, macro-view of metadata which supports the creation and sustainability of connections within and between resources of differing natures.

  • In the Mix - Developing Open Source Search Technologies on the Microsoft Platform
    Matthew Brumpton (UK Data Archive)


    Matthew Brumpton will demonstrate the development environment and architecture of the UK Data Services' single search interface Discover™. This will cover the architecture of the n-tier search application with the use of both open source and Microsoft technologies and tools. This involves a walk-through of the Discover™ technology stack and how to manage a scalable Solr implementation on the Microsoft platform. He will also be showing tools and techniques to integrate the Java and .NET technologies to build scalable search applications in a distributed environment along with some tips on how to monitor and debug the whole system.

  • Metadata Driven Tools Developed for the Canada Research Data Centre Network
    Donna Dosman (Statistics Canada)
    Pamela Moren (Statistics Canada)


    Over the past 5 years the Canadian RDC Network in partnership with Statistics Canada has developed a metadata driven catalogue for its data collection which will be incorporated into a soon to be developed Data Management tool for their newly centralized data repository. The goal of this project was to create a suite of tools with which the data and metadate are managed more efficiently and researchers can discover the collection more easily by exploiting machine actionable applications. The tools developed include a RDC Metadata editor tool in DDI3.1, an ingester tool to convert DDI2 to DDI3, a researcher discovery tool as well as a conversion tool which converts Statistics Canada metadata to DDI3. This presentation will focus on the workflow used to populate the metadata catalogue, the tools developed for the process of building the metadata catalogue as well as the tools developed that researchers will be able to use to discover the data and metadata. We will also discuss lessons learned throughout the project and what our next steps are.


C4: Beyond Theory: Data Management in the "Real World" (Wed, 2013-05-29)
Chair:Lynda Kellam

  • Data Management 2.0-Real World Adaptation and User Feedback
    Stefan Friedhoff (Bielefeld University)


    Due to the demands of progressively more sophisticated data management, many researchers face problems while adapting existing DM strategies to their own research processes. The INF project (Information and Data Infrastructure), which assists data documentation across 17 projects within a Collaborative Research Center (SFB882) in the social sciences, identified three main problems for implementing data management strategies: methodological problems (1); acceptance problems (2); and, problems of granularity (3). Based on open interviews, focus groups and surveys, we were able to identify specific problems in these areas and were able to develop both technical as well as methodological solutions. In this presentation we present a systematization of problems; the corresponding resolving strategies; show to what extent documentation can be standardized in a research center holding heterogeneous data; as well as where it becomes necessary to adapt specific solutions to overcome methodological differences.

  • Bringing Researchers into the Game with FORSbase: An Integrated System for Archiving, Networking, and Survey Construction
    Brian Kleiner (Swiss Centre for Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS))


    Small data archives in Europe often lack the resources for adequate documentation and delivery of data. FORSbase is an IT project in the works at the Swiss Centre for Expertise in the Social Sciences. FORS in Lausanne will facilitate and automate documentation and access in order to free resources for promotional and training activities. Its goal is: to combine within a single system and database a wide range of archiving functions and tools for researchers to document and deposit their data; access data and metadata; establish contacts and communicate with other researchers; and, to create and carry out surveys. All of this is done within individual researcher workspaces, where specific project descriptions and data are safely stored. Within the workspaces, researchers will also have access to a messaging system, a question data bank, a survey management tool, and other resources to assist them in their work. The benefits of such a system for researchers are the ease with which they can manage and store their data, as well as search for and directly download the data of others. Plus, the system will provide tools that help in designing and implementing surveys that are documented throughout the life cycle.

  • Do We Need a Perfect Metadata Standard or is "Good Enough" Good Enough?
    Samuel Spencer (Open Source Developer)


    The role of the data archivist focuses on the collation and sharing of research information. Historically, the quality of incoming digital content has been poor, a state that has driven the need for standards which can adequately capture research activities. One such standard, the Data Documentation Initiative is held as the perfect standard for archivists due to its complex promotion of reuse of survey metadata. However, its complexity has made the creation of software targeted at researchers difficult. As such, with minimal uptake of the standard in the research community, the onus still falls on archivists to transcribe incoming data into this complex standard. This presentation takes an alternative approach and examines how it might be possible to create software targeting basic researcher needs, by simplifying the task of survey research. The aim of this is to create and promote an XML standard that is "good enough" for survey researchers that will increase software adoption among the survey research community, thereby improving the quantity and overall quality of incoming metadata delivered to social science archives.


C5: Facilitating Access to Sensitive Data (Wed, 2013-05-29)
Chair:David Schiller

  • Implementing a Secure Data Enclave with Columbia University Central Resources
    Rajendra Bose (Columbia University)


    Our approach to implementing a Secure Data Enclave (SDE) pilot for Columbia social science researchers during the 2012-13 academic year builds on the work presented at previous IASSIST workshops and panels on access to sensitive data. The SDE is a scalable alternative to existing "cold room" solutions, and provides access to sensitive or restricted data over the campus network (or over Columbia's virtual private network) with widely used secure remote access software. Our SDE pilot was designed and implemented with guidance from the University's Information Security Office and makes use of other central IT resources including an expanding virtual machine infrastructure. The project was initiated by Columbia's social science computing community which spans a number of departments and research centers. This group engaged university administrators and has proposed the goal of expanding a successful pilot into a research service at the university level. This paper will share Columbia's experiences and present guidelines for other academic institutions interested in implementing an SDE using existing central resources including IT and the libraries.

  • 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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