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Conference Presentations 2016

  • IASSIST 2016-Embracing the 'Data Revolution': Opportunities and challenges for research, Bergen
    Host Institution: NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data

3G: Big data, big science (Wed, 2016-06-01)
Chair:Ryan Womack

  • Data science: The future of social science?
    Aidan Condron (UK Data Archive)


    This talk will focus on developing a "big data" architecture for social science. The UK Data Service is currently engaged in a major project to develop "big data" architecture for social science, enabling social scientists to manage, analyse and produce knowledge from large and complex datasets, or combinations of datasets. The work involves scoping social scientists data requirements, identifying useful datasets, and developing appropriate technological infrastructure and tools. While we are working on producing discipline-agnostic, generic systems and tools, our research and development has focused proof of concepts using household energy consumption data, including data collected from smart meters throughout the UK. These datasets present great opportunities for exploring energy consumption in detail, and when linked to additional datasets, for understanding issues such as fuel poverty and household responsiveness to changing or pricing structures weather conditions with finer granularity than ever before. Experimentation has presented a host of challenges not just in the technical domain, but also with regard to the ethics and legality of reusing data for new and novel purposes. The proposed talk will introduce our conceptual and technical work in developing a big data platform for social science, and outline preliminary findings from work using energy data

  • Social Media Data in the Academic Environment: Two Institutions and One Big Provider
    Stephanie Tulley (University of California, Santa Barbara)
    Tim Dennis (University of California, San Diego)
    Shari Laster (University of California, Santa Barbara)
    Annelise Sklar (University of California, San Diego)


    Social media data is a high-profile resource across academic disciplines, in areas as diverse as understanding voter behavior, tracking social communication networks, and identifying sources and effects of pollution on human health. While manual data collection and review from public social media sites can provide some insight into the content of these sources, bulk access to data is preferred for more complex and deeper analysis into the content. A certain amount of data can be accessed directly from some social media companies - whether through an API, screen-scraping, or legally-questionable means - but the environment for access to the full "firehose" of social media data is rapidly changing, making social media research an expensive endeavor. This presentation will include an overview of the social media data landscape and the Crimson Hexagon product, a detailed discussion of the policy and access challenges specific to providing access to Crimson Hexagon, and an update on lessons learned and next steps for using this resource at our respective institutions

  • Managing 'Big Data' in the Social Sciences: The Contribution of an Analytico-Synthetic Classification Scheme
    Suzanne Barbalet (UK Data Archive)
    Ben Newman Wright (UK Data Archive)
    Rafal Kulakowski (UK Data Archive)


    A "Big Data" platform is nascent for the UK Data Service. Our users will require assistance with on-the-fly data linking, extraction and integration, possibly with novel data sources. A suite of bespoke analytical software is in preparation. To complement these powerful tools further development of our Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS) will be required. The success of a recent pilot study to investigate an application of the Universal Decimal Classification System (UDC) to organise an expanded "topics" search of UK Data Service resources led us to consider broader applications in the linked open data environment. The flexibility of an analytico-synthetic scheme, such as UDC, provides granular, language-independent description of data at source that is in both machine-readable and human-readable form. In addition, the recent release of UDC Online (English) facilitates efficient application of the code. UDC has many applications but with an open vocabulary service as our future priority this application is the focus of this paper. Within a vocabulary service UDC will enable our users to negotiate international open data resources which build upon more than a decade of cooperation in developing KOS tools with our CESSDA European colleagues.

S2: Don't hate the player, hate the game (Wed, 2016-06-01)
Chair:Samantha Guss

  • "Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game": Strategies for Discussing and Communicating Data Services
    Terrence Bennett (College of New Jersey)
    Shawn Nicholson (Michigan State University)
    Joel Herndon (Duke University)
    Rob O'Reilly (Emory University)


    Some studies of data management services within academic libraries focus on best practices for structuring data services; others consider tools and training needed to successfully offer these services. However, these developments may be underutilized, as the ways libraries talk about data-related research are not always in sync with how scholars think about their work. This panel considers how libraries might strategically reconsider communications about data services.
    Researchers' debates over the merits of data sharing mention funder mandates only in passing, if at all. This suggests that librarians' focus on mandates for data sharing will connect with only a subset of researchers' data needs. First, Herndon and O'Reilly discuss this difference between librarians and researchers, then suggest different ways that libraries might frame data management services, and consider additional data services that libraries might offer.
    Next, Bennett and Nicholson consider the premise that "bad information is processed more thoroughly than good" and integrate that premise into an exploration of the alignment of library-emanating data management communications with the data-related expectations of researchers in different academic domains. How could the notion that bad information resonates better be used to inform the ways that libraries approach the promotion of data services across disciplines?

1D: Data protection: Legal and ethical review (Wed, 2016-06-01)
Chair:George Alter

  • The Administrative Data Research Network's Citizen's Panel - A Step towards Bridging Public Concerns about Research Using Administrative Data
    Judith Knight (Adminstrative Data Research Network)


    The content of administrative records are both confidential and personal, therefore the use of administrative data for
    research purposes is rightly and naturally of concern to us all. It is highly likely that unless public concerns can be
    understood, met and their confidence and support gained, that the role of research using administrative data cannot develop further.
    As a member of the general public you may well ask, how will this research help me? The Network enables researchers across the UK to gain access to linked de-identified administrative data to benefit society i.e. research that could change health care systems, improve the distribution of funds to needier areas or has the potential to reduce crime.
    To extend the Network's reach, the Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN) in addition to a breadth of communications and public engagement activities across the UK is developing a UK National Citizens Panel (CP). The panel will provide a representation of public views on potential changes to Network policy, procedures, governance and service provision issues. The CP will also assist with testing our public facing communications, e.g. events, website and materials.
    Funded by the Economic & Social Research Council, the ADRN, set up as part of the UK Government's Big Data initiative, is a UK-wide partnership between universities, government bodies, national statistics authorities and the wider research

  • 'Sorry, that doesn't seem to fit?': Using Traditional Ethical Review Processes to Screen Administrative Data Projects
    Carlotta Greci (UK Data Archive)


    The Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN) delivers a service to researchers, providing secure and lawful access to de-identified linked administrative data. Before an ADRN research project can be undertaken it must be approved by the ADRN Approvals Panel, which independently reviews all applications to use to the Network.
    The Approval Panel does not assess the ethics of a project, but has to ensure that an appropriate Ethical Review has been satisfactorily carried out and, ultimately, check that researchers are aware of the ethical implications of using these data. However, ethics review processes have large variation in practice, as do the “ethical” considerations which may arise from using and linking administrative data for secondary analysis.
    This presentation will outline the ADRN application process and the role of the Approvals Panel in relation to ethical review. We will also describe the main challenges and initiatives that were put in place to solve some of the problems with the existing coverage of ethical review bodies, e.g. establishing a National Ethics Committee (NSDEC). The aim will be to expand the discussion towards a broader reflection on the ethical dilemmas that administrative data pose, concluding with the steps ADRN have adopted to address these difficulties.

  • Legal and Ethical Framework for Research in Europe
    Katrine Segadal (NSD)
    Vigdis Kvalheim (NSD)


    The legal basis for the current data protection regime in the EU is the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC), and the various implementations of this directive in the individual countries. The need for a consistent legal framework across Europe is one important reason why in January 2012 The European Commission proposed a new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). A regulation is (in contrast to the directive) a binding legislative act and must be applied in its entirety across the EU. The completion of this reform is expected by the end of 2015. The GDPR will have a direct impact on the framework conditions for research and the result of the ongoing reform process is therefore of great importance to the scientific communities of Europe.
    One central concern is whether the new regulation creates good, secure and predictable conditions for scientific research and research infrastructures. On the other hand, one of the aims to propose a new legal framework on data protection was to harmonize legal practices across Europe, and thus to ease transfer of personal data between countries. These aspects could be of great value for cross national research.
    This paper will discuss how the new legislations affect data collection, data use, data preservation and data sharing: How will the regulation influence the possibilities for processing personal data for research purposes? How are personal data defined? What conditions apply to an informed consent? In which cases is it legal and ethical to conduct research without the consent of the data subjects? What are the conditions regarding preservation, transfer, and reuse of personal data?

2F: Building capacity for RDM across disciplines (Wed, 2016-06-01)
Chair:Hailey Mooney

  • Where Do We Start and Where Are We Going? Bringing Data Curation to the Federal Reserve
    San Cannon (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)


    The development of data curation services in support of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is a new focus and a central activity for a new group at the Center for the Advancement of Data and Research in Economics. This presentation will outline the foundational work done to bring a full suite of services to the research community, including the creation of new job families, education of HR and other support staff, development of strategic plans, socialization with senior management, development of new business process and evaluation of technology and applications. CADRE has moved the Bank from zero data curation activities to a strategically developed and aligned staff of eight that provide support across the research lifecycle using several new processes and platforms in just a year. This presentation will outline the achievements, set backs, opportunities, and lessons learned.

  • Experiences from An Interdisciplinary, Long-term Research Project: Research Data Management and Services for the CRC/TR32
    Constanze Curdt (University of Cologne)


    In recent years, the importance of research data management (RDM) has increased in many fields (e.g. social sciences, earth sciences) due to a growing amount of data. Thus, funding organizations, such as the German Research Foundation (DFG), the European Commissions or the National Science Foundation (NSF), requested data management plans within project proposals to ensure the adequate handling of publicly funded research data. In the context of collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects, proper data management and services should support for example accurate data storage, backup, and documentation. This facilitates data sharing within the project and re-use for future studies.
    In this contribution, we will present experiences gained from establishing RDM and related services for the DFG-funded interdisciplinary, long-term research project Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 32 (CRC/TR32, Since 2007, CRC/TR32 scientists focus their work on patterns in soil, vegetation, and atmosphere. In this context the CRC/TR32 sub-project INF (˜Information infrastructureâ is responsible for the management of all relevant research data, collected or created by the scientists with the objective to enable systematic and long-term use of this project data. In this framework several RDM services were established. This includes the establishment of the project data repository TR32DB ( according to demands of the project participants and DFG. The TR32DB supports common features such as data storage, backup, documentation, search, exchange, provision and DOIs for selected datasets. Moreover, guidance and support for project participants on RDM is provided by the INF-project. This also covers practical training of the project participants for the usage of the TR32DB data repository.

  • Translating the DMP Process for Researchers with Images: It's Not Your Grandpa's Slide Carousel Anymore
    Paula Lackie (Carleton College)
    Berenica Vejvoda (McGill University)
    K. Jane Burpee (McGill University)


    Academics are getting the hang of digital document management, but for images, it is often still practiced as an old shoebox of photos in the closet - only worse. Digital images have proliferated at an incomprehensible rate. Along with this stunning and rapid expansion, the lifespan of the same objects has shortened at a similar rate. Our role model for how to manage images was that shoebox or slide carousel and they stayed put for decades! Adapt this basic strategy to the current era of omnipresent digital images and you have got a recipe for the widespread loss of photo histories for the future. The old-school methods were messy but not impossible. Now the next generation is likely to acquire an unlabeled hard drive or worse, many unlabeled hard drives, zip disks, or flash drives... You know this scenario. Now think of it as applied to images in research projects. If we think of "Big Data" as any amount of data beyond which the owner can easily manage, then it is easy to see how collections of images have become a new layer in the "Big Data" conundrum.
    In this critical situation, we data services professionals have an opportunity. In this presentation we will translate DMP concepts into practical terms for image management in idiosyncratic research collections. Basic metadata for images is an easily transferable concept which may then be used to gain a foothold in other useful applications of DMP work.

  • 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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