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A space for IASSIST members to share professional resources useful to them in their daily work.

New and Noteworthy

Informal Review of Thomson-Reuters Data Citation Index
Amy West on 2014-04-16 10:34

The Thomson-Reuters Data Citation Index (DCI) has been up and running for just over a year. The University of Minnesota (UMN) had a trial of the database when the DCI first launched, but because so little of the database was populated at that time, it was hard to assess it completely. We felt that after a year, it would be worthwhile to revisit it. The initial annual subscrption prices were significant. The UMN's initial quote in late 2012 was over $20,000/year. Like many universities, when we consider new acquisitions, it's always in light of what we'd have to cancel since at best, our budgets remain flat. Therefore, a potential new acquisition has to not just be good, but a better use of our funds than what we already have.

What makes the DCI interesting is that puts datasets and journal literature into a single platform, namely Thomson-Reuter's Web of Science (WoS). Within the overall WoS, there is a core collection that constitutes the default search for subscribers. We know from our own statistics as well as vendor supplied statistics that our users do indeed go to WoS. We know that there is use of specialized databases for datasets like ICPSR's archive, but the volume of use is much lower. If we had a single tool that made it easy for researchers to just search - without having to worry about what they're searching - we believe that we'd see an increase in use of datasets as primary research inputs and greater acceptance of them as primary research outputs. So, that became our standard for measuring the DCI: how has Thomson-Reuters integrated DCI content into the WoS platform and is that integration strong enough to allow researchers to just search? Is the DCI part of the core collection? If not, do the links at the record level between datasets and articles provide an adequate substitute? So far, for the UMN, the answer is no, the integration isn't strong enough to make the DCI a compelling subscription. It's not part of the core collection nor do the links at the record level appear to be robust enough to compensate for its absence from the core collection.

All of that said, the database itself has a number of nice features and shows tremendous potential. I gathered my notes from the UMN's first trial in late 2012 and our current trial at "Thomson Reuters Data Citation Index". They are informal notes and it's possible I may have gotten some things wrong. Working with trial versions of databases can be difficult I welcome comments and corrections!

Starting the Conversation: University-wide Research Data Management Policy | Featuring IASSISTers!
Amy West on 2013-12-19 12:38

Starting the Conversation: University-wide Research Data Management Policy
An OCLC Research Report by: Ricky Erway, OCLC Research

Key highlights:

  • The benefits of funder-required data management planning should apply to all research data 
  • Research and Compliance Offices, IT, Academic units, the Library, and Researchers should be involved in setting policy
  • An entrepreneurial person may need to get things going—why not the library director?

Starting the Conversation: University-wide Research Data Management Policy is a call for action that summarizes the benefits of systemic data management planning and identifies the stakeholders and their concerns. It also suggests that the library proactively initiate a conversation among these stakeholders to get buy-in for a high-level, responsible data planning and management policy that is proactive, rather than reactive, and is also supported and sustainable.

The Stakeholders identified in the report include:

  • The University
  • The Office of Research
  • The Research Compliance Office
  • The Information Technology Department
  • The Researchers
  • The Academic Units
  • The Library

The intended audience for this call for action is library directors, not because they alone can make this happen, but to encourage them to initiate the conversation. The bulk of the document advocates for the library director to initiate a conversation among the stakeholders and addresses the various topics that should be discussed. A checklist of issues is also provided to help the discussion result in a supportable and sustainable policy.

Suggested elements of the conversation include:

  • Who owns the data?
  • What Requirements are Imposed By Others?
  • Which Data Should Be Retained?
  • For How Long Should Data Be Maintained?
  • How Should Digital Data Be Preserved?
  • Are there Ethical Considerations?
  • How are Data Accessed?
  • How Open Should the Data Be?
  • How Will Costs Be Managed?
  • What are the Alternatives to Local Data Management?

Library directors are invested not only because their libraries may be recipients of data in need of curation and of requests for guidance, but more importantly because library staff have significant skills and experience to contribute to the discussion. This is an opportunity for the library director to play an entrepreneurial role in furthering the mission of the larger enterprise.

This report was made possible by the contributions and support of the following members of the OCLC Research Library Partnership Data Curation Policy Working Group whose broad range of experience and perspectives was invaluable:

  • Dan Tsang, chair — University of California, Irvine
  • Anna Clements — University of St. Andrews
  • Joy Davidson — DCC, University of Glasgow
  • Mike Furlough — Pennsylvania State University
  • Amy Nurnberger — Columbia University
  • Sally Rumsey — University of Oxford
  • Anna Shadbolt — University of Melbourne
  • Claire Stewart — Northwestern University
  • Beth Warner — Ohio State University
  • Perry Willett — California Digital Library

This work is an output of our Role of Libraries in Data Curation activity, which falls under our work agenda theme of Advancing the Research Mission.

Meta-listings of Research Data Repositories
k.mcneill on 2013-11-13 15:11

Several organizations have begun compiling lists of repositories of research data.  These can be useful for researchers both to consider where to deposit their data, as well as for discovery for secondary data use.


Tool to identify repositories of research data.  Users can search (including field-level searching) or browse by subject or title.  Each entry provides a description, standardized subjects, access, start date, and country, among other qualities.  Anyone is able to suggest or edit repository listings, which then are reviewed and committed by an editorial board.  This is the same list that is re-displayed on the DataCite web site.  Hosted by the Purdue University Libraries.

Project whose goal it is to create a global registry of research data repositories.  Database can be searched or browsed (by subject, content type, or country).  Each entry provides a description and is tagged with standardized subjects, content types, and countries, as well as information on institutions, terms/policies, and standards.  Managed by the Project Consortium with initial funding from the German Research Foundation DFG.

Data repositories

Simple listing of repositories and databases for data.  Single page lists repositories by subject category and provides a brief description and links.   Users can add or annotate entries.  Part of the Open Access Directory, hosted by the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College.

DDI-XSLT -transform you DDI to XHTML, MARC, PDF
o.olsson on 2013-07-04 03:08

With DDI-XSLT you can tranform your DDI-lifeccle XML to other formats including:

  • DDI 1.2.2 (nesstar)
  • Datacite metadata
  • PDF codebooks

Demo site for transformations
Google code page

  • 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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