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Integrating Data Literacy into Library and Information Science (LIS) Curriculum,

IASSIST's Africa Regional Secretary Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo and Prof. Constant Obura-Okello report on a data workshop at Makerere University, Kampala.

If you're looking to orginise a similar regional or national data event, the IASSIST 2020 Event Sponsorship Proposals call is open until 26 January 2020.

IASSIST’s Membership Committee's event sponsorship program recently sponsored a one day workshop on Integrating Data Literacy into Library and Information Science (LIS) Curriculum. The workshop aimed at bringing academicians in the field of library and information science to discuss how data literacy can be integrated in the LIS curriculum so as to have trained library professionals who are able to provide data literacy skills to their patrons.

The workshop was hosted by the East African School of Library and Information Science (EASLIS), Makerere University. The workshop attracted over 15 participants from different academic institutions that included; Makerere University, Kabale University, YMCA Comprehensive Institute and Kyambogo University.

The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo, the IASSIST Event Liaison Coordinator and IASSIST Africa Regional Secretary, Ms.Sylivia Namujjuzi, a Lecturer at EASLIS, and Prof. Constant Obura-Okello the Dean of East African School of Library and Information.

Prof Obura in his opening remarks, welcomed the participants and gave a brief overview about EASLIS and its programmes. He appreciated IASSIST for the continued support rendered to data literacy initiatives in the Library and Information Profession in Uganda. In addition he acknowledged that the workshop was timely considering the curriculum review process that the university is undertaking.

The workshop focused on how EASLIS can integrate data literacy into its curriculum. A presentation was made on making data meaningful and how to use data in telling stories especially related to the SDGs. In addition, the different aspects of data literacy that can be integrated in the LIS Curriculum like research data management, data management infrastructure, data security, data science among others. During sessions, participants were also assigned group work focusing on how their institutions can integrate data literacy in their LIS Curriculum.

Two groups were formed each made a presentation about the views discussed in their groups. One group shared that the institution has a course unit on library operations which focuses on general data, however, it’s important to find out which kind of data to address and to which kind of users. The group proposed to have the data literacy skills incorporated in this course unit. The second group was of the view to have data literacy as a stand-alone course unit to enable deeper understanding of its aspects and avoid duplication of data training. In addition to also look at the data protection and privacy policy Act 2019. Dr. Joyce Bukirwa, the head of department of Information Science, proposed that since the institutions don’t have experts to train the students in data literacy. Lecturers can start training the students in data analysis and presentation skills using MS Excel.

Lecturers also need to gain training in data literacy in addition to partnering/collaborating with institutions already offering it.

At the end of the workshop, participants were presented with certificates by Dr.George. W.Kiyingi, the former Dean of EASLIS.

In conclusion the participants acknowledged that data literacy is very significant for all courses in the LIS Cirriculum and Uganda and Africa needs to embrace it in order to have data literate library professionals. The participants were encouraged to work together and champion the inclusion of data literacy in the LIS curriculum in their institutions.

Report from "Workshop on Data Literacy for Researchers in Social Sciences, Administrators and Policy-Makers", Chandigarh, India.

Data Literacy is a skill needed for researchers and social scientists in the digital age to get the most out of massive data available to us in the digital era today. This was highlighted by Prof. I.V. Malhan, Former Dean, Academics of Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamshala while inaugurating a ‘Workshop on Data Literacy for Researchers in Social Sciences, Administrators and Policy-Makers’ held at MG State Institute of Public Administration, Punjab (MGSIPA) at Chandigarh (India).


This two-day workshop was sponsored by IASSIST and organized jointly by the Department of Library and Information Science (DLIS), Punjabi University, Patiala and MGSIPA. Dr. Jagtar Singh, Professor DLIS and Professor In-charge, Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha Library, Punjabi University, Patiala in his keynote address emphasized that data literacy is one skill set within the whole set of skills and competencies under the umbrella of ‘media and information literacy’ being promoted by UNESCO.

Dr. Singh elaborated on the role of various literacies including data literacy within the broader context of literacy and education, and capacity building and enhancing the capability of researchers. 

Ms. Kiran Pandey, Programme Director, Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi was the Guest of Honour at the Inaugural Session and she spoke on communicating research effectively using data.

Dr. H.P.S. Kalra, Professor and Head, DLIS, Punjabi University, Patiala and a Fellow of the IASSIST gave a brief introduction about the workshop theme and its sponsoring body, the IASSIST.

Prof. Sandra Cannon, President of IASSIST and Associate Vice-Provost for Data Governance and Chief Data Officer at the University of Rochester, USA gave a video message for the participants highlighting the need for research data and their communication in social sciences; and the role IASSIST is playing in this regard.


Earlier, Dr. P. Venkata Rao, Fellow (Knowledge Management) MGSIPA welcomed the participants and resource persons and gave a brief overview of the activities of MGSIPA. Col. Dalbir Singh, GM (Training), MGSIPA proposed a vote of thanks. 

Ten sessions were held during this two-day workshop in which 40+ participants from diverse subjects of social sciences and different institutions participated.

After the Inaugural session, Ms Kiran Pandey in her presentation Making data meaningful: why we must be data driven elaborated upon how we can make data meaningful and use in decision making. She also discussed about how data is important for every organizations, researchers and for policymaking.

In another session entitled 'Finding the right numbers for research, advocacy and impact' she described various web-based resources which are rich repositories of data that social scientists need, and shared a few examples of how data presented by CSE in its reports and publications is collected.

In the next session, Professor  Kalra talked about Data Citation & Documentation and Sources for Authoritative Data and the role of data literacy in finding authoritative data.

Next session was jointly conducted by Professors Jagtar Singh and Kalra and Dr. Rao where five groups of participants were formed. While forming groups diversity of participants was ensured and participants were asked to familiarize with each other in their respective group.

On the second day, Dr. T.C. Goyal, retired from Indian Statistical Service and Mr A.S. Ahluwalia, retired from Indian Economic Service (both now working with MGSIPA) discussed about data analysis and interpretation.

In their second session Dr. Goyal and Mr. Ahluwalia explained in detail about that how we can select the sample and discussed about the hypotheses testing. This was followed by an Open Session for the groups where each groups was asked to select one or two facets of the theme Data Literacy and discuss various issues and dimensions of the facet. 

In the next session, each group was asked to make a brief presentation on the discussions carried out by the group and raise pertinent issues to be discussed further. The following facets were covered by the groups:

  • Research data management
  • Data governance issues
  • Data privacy and sovereignty
  • Data security
  • Data policies

At the end, feedback about the workshop given by three participants which was followed by Valedictory Session in which certificates of participation were given to participants by Col. Dalbir Singh.

DPC2018 Conference Report

By Adetoun Oyelude, University of Ibadan

From Saturday 1st September 2018 when one of the participants from Uganda arrived in Nigeria, the Digital Preservation Conference started on a high note. The preparations for the Monday Opening Ceremony took place on Sunday 2nd with the Ugandan participant joining at the venue in preparing the Hall and other ancillaries concerning the conference. 

Day 1: The Opening Ceremony conference commenced at 11.45am on Monday, 3rd September 2018. In attendance were dignitaries from public and private sectors. The Chairman of the occasion was Barrister D. D. Fer who is the Acting Director of National Archives of Nigeria. Dr Abiola Abioye, the Chairman of the NLA-PACS delivered a welcome address. The Keynote addresswas given by Prof. G. Olubunmi Alegbeleye of  Babcock University, Ilisan Remo who is the Founding Chairman of the Section. Prof Alegbeleye dwelt on the imperatives of digital preservation having regards to the unique nature of digital information resources. James Lowry, a digital preservation expert at Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom contributed a keynote remotely. His keynote focused on digital preservation in a recessed economy with stringent budgets.

Goodwill messages were received from the National Librarian/CEO, National Library of Nigeria, Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and former President of Nigerian Library Association, Alhaji Rilwanu Abdulsalam. The representatives of the Head of Department of Library, Archival and Information Studies, University of Ibadan and the Director of African Regional Centre for Information Studies also presented goodwill messages on their behalf. The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service was also represented at the opening ceremony. The Director of the FCT Archives and History Bureau, Ms. Cyril Jogai and the Librarian of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) were also in attendance. The high point of the opening ceremony was the unveiling of the Section's website which participants at the opening ceremony instantly logged on to using the link to gain access. The role of the International Association for Social Science Information Science and Technology (IASSIST) in sponsoring the conference, was acknowledged and emphasized and IASSIST's relevance in digital preservation was highlighted. Group photographs were taken and refreshments served.

Immediately after the opening ceremony, 3 paper presentations by Prof. G.O. Alegbeleye, Dr. Akinniyi Adeleke and Dr. Ngozi Azubogu were taken. The first speaker presented An Overview of Digital Preservation strategies while the other speakers presented two case studies of Digital Preservation from Tekena Tamuno University Libray, Adeleke University, Ede, and the Federal University of Technology, Owerri Library respectively. The session was chaired by Prof Yacob Haliso of Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Day 2: Three Posters were presented by Grace Ikenna; Dr D'Anna Shotts and Anthonia Ahima; and Adetoun Oyelude on different aspects of digital preservation. The first was on the state of digital preservation in the Kenneth Dike Library, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; the second on the progress of digitization in the Northeastern Baptist collection in Nigeria while the third was on the impact of IASSIST on digital preservation in the African Region. Datasheets on IASSIST were distributed to participants at the conference. They were encouraged to visit the IASSIST website and join the network as Africa was poorly represented in IASSIST. 

Apart from posters, six papers were presentated in very stimulating sessions by Dr. Ezra Gbaje & Prof. Umar Ibrahim; Omobolade Adeagbo/Sunday Obadare/Femi Oguntuase & Samson Akande; Kathryn Phillips & Edidiong Eyo in the morning session. The afternoon session had Prince Jacob Igwe & Chidinma; Ifeyinwa Okafor & Olalekan Awujoola and Aishat Egbunu/ Adeyinka Koiki-Owoyele & Adefunke Alabi presenting on preserving cultural heritage through digital preservation. After each session activities, lots of networking, exchange of ideas, international perspectives... name it!

Day 3- even more exciting! Four papers by Dr. Benedict Oladele; Titilayo Ilesanmi; Christopher Okiki & Racheal Odunlade; and Adetoun Oyelude & Winny Akullo were delivered in the morning session which sparked stimulating discussions.

One needed to be there to listen to the afternoon session by Abass Mustapha on Audio-Visual Digital Preservation of Yoruba Indigenous Knowledge and its economic benefits, as well as the Busicon Exhibitor's presentation on equipment for Digital Preservation and methods for it, presented by Lola Akanbi, the CEO of the company. Quite a package! Participants were practically 'chased out' from the venue at 5.45pm, almost two hours beyond target, not due to lateness, but to the lively discussions that kept coming. See!

And... without doubt, NLA-PACS is creating a networking family that say nothing to each other, but come out with a colour code, simply coincidental! *Code purple!*. It was fun!

Day 4: The Grand finale was grand! The three papers that ended the conference were information packed, by Isaac Ajibola; Rachael Odunlade & Chris Okiki; plus a final one from Okwor, Ihekwoaba et al. The wrap-up, putting the communique together was another interesting exercise. The communiquehas been issued! It can be found on the NLA-PACS website. In closing the conference, the NLA-PACS Chairman, Dr. Abiola Abioye expressed appreciation to all those who contributed in various respects to make the conference a reality. On the whole, the Digital Preservation Conference 2018 was a huge success. Lessons were however, learnt which will properly position NLA-PACS for the next conference at which participants are expecting hands-on workshops. 

Not less than 15 participants from Africa promised to join the IASSIST network, and 3 who were members but in default, promising to renew their membership and also contribute to the next IASSIST conference in Sydney, Australia. The support from IASSIST ensured that the NLA-PACS website is up and running; making the Section the 3rd Section of the Nigerian Library Association to have a website (in spite of being almost the newest Section); and also producing "a most exciting conference which even though the first of its kind, is already giving the NLA Cataloguing Classification and Indexing Section (the best Section for the year 2017) a hot competition as the best," as described by a participant. The conference evaluation forms gave lots more comments, even on the innovative conference bags favoured by many participants!  The Section is already looking forward to NLA-PACS 2019, the best yet to come!

Data Workshop at the National Library of Australia, sponsored by IASSIST

 Posted on behalf of Jade Koekoe

In February I won sponsorship money from IASSIST for a Data Workshop I had in mind. On the 18 November this year I saw my idea come to life. This Data Workshop was aimed at Library student and newgrads and was held in the Ferguson Room of the National Library of Australia. 26 people attended and there were five speakers from industries adjacent to librarianship.

  1. Sam Spencer from Data61, CSIRO
  2. Steven McEachern from the Australian Data Archive
  3. Karen Visser from the Australian National Data Service
  4. Ingrid Mason from the Australian Academic and Research Network
  5. Riley Post a PhD Candidate from University of Canberra

My goal for this workshop was to get students, newgrads and those new to data to start thinking about the fundamentals when it comes to managing data. Those fundamentals are things like:

  • Where are you storing your data, do you know where your servers a located, have you checked your backups lately?
  • What are the types of data librarians manage today?
  • Getting an idea of the big collaborations in place, the ways people are using data and organisations/platforms that manage data for users.

 Sam and Ingrid presented attendees with a sample of the vast amount of standards for managing topic and profession specific data. Attendees engaged quite well with these speakers and asked technical questions and wanted to know their expectations from librarians in their current role.

Steven highlighted the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy program, and its National Research Infrastructure roadmap. I could see attendees were interested in how organisations like the Australian Data Archive fit into such programs. Steven said that a lot of work is still going on at the digitisation stage and I saw many of the library students realise that digitisation skill is worth developing.  

Karen demonstrated how easy (within three minutes) it is for people to find their own research data. She then enforced that our job as current or aspiring data librarians is to add value. We should be data connectors and be ready and poised to share that knowledge with people, for example, “Oh you are looking for biodiversity data? Do you know about Atlas of Living Australia or the Biodiversity Heritage Library?”

Many commented they enjoyed having Riley speak last as his presentation was a great visual representation of what can be done with data. He is working in the field of “generous interfaces” and he demonstrated what people like him can do with data if it is created well. I was particularly thankful that he linked his presentation back to “I wouldn’t have been able to create this, if the data wasn’t created to this standard”. After Sam’s presentation where he laid out most of the standards it helped people to realise how far well created data can actually go.

Check out the hashtag #ALIADW2017 on twitter to see what people were tweeting on the day.

IASSIST Call for Event Sponsorship Proposals

The IASSIST Liaison and Organizational Sponsorship Task Force is seeking proposals for sponsorships of regional or local events during calendar year 2017. The goal of these sponsorships is to support local networks of data professionals and data-related activities across the globe in order to help support IASSISTers activities throughout the year and increase awareness of the value of IASSIST membership.

Events should be a gathering of data professionals from multiple institutions and may vary in size and scope from workshops, symposia, conferences, etc. These may be established events or new endeavors. We are particularly looking to sponsor regional or local level events that will attract data professionals who would benefit from IASSIST membership, but may not always be able to travel to attend IASSIST conferences. Preference will be given to events from geographic areas outside of traditional IASSIST conference locations (North America and Western Europe), and from underrepresented membership areas as such as Latin/South America, Africa, Asia/Pacific, and Eastern Europe.

Requests for sponsorships may be monetary, and may also include a request for mentorship assistance by matching the event planning committee with an experienced IASSIST member with relevant expertise (e.g., conference planning, subject/content, geographic familiarity).

Accepted events will be required to designate an active IASSIST member as the liaison. Generally, this would be an IASSIST member who will be attending the event and although not required, may be on the planning committee or otherwise contributing to the event. The liaison will be responsible for assistance with coordinating logistics related to the sponsorship, ensuring that the sponsorship is recognized at the event, and contributing a post to the IASSIST iBlog about the event.

Proposals should include:

  • Name of the event and event details (date, location, any other pertinent information)
  • Organizing or hosting institution
  • Description of event and how it relates to IASSIST goals and communities
  • Specific request for sponsorship: amount of money and/or mentorship assistance
  • Description of how the sponsorship will be used
  • Name and contact information of person submitting proposal and designated event liaison to IASSIST (if different)

Proposals are due on Friday, January 13 2017 via the Application Form. Notification of sponsorship awards will be by Friday, Feb 3 2017. The number and monetary extent of awarded sponsorships will depend on the number and quality of applications received. Individual sponsorship requests may range from $0 USD (request for mentorship only) to $2,000 USD.

Please direct questions to Hailey Mooney, IASSIST Membership Chair (

IASSIST sponsors IFLA 2016 Knowledge Management conference

IASSIST proudly sponsored a full-day conference about knowledge management (KM) on August 12, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA at the University of Cincinnati. The theme of the conference was Sharing Practices and Actions for Making Best Use of Organizational Knowledge in Libraries.The conference took place as part of the International Federation of Library Associations' (IFLA) annual conference held this year in Columbus, Ohio, USA.

The KM conference featured two keynote speakers: Valerie Forrestal, author of the 2015 book Knowledge Management in Libraries, and Jay Liebowitz, whose most recent book Successes and Failures of Knowledge Management was published just this year.

In addition to the keynotes, we had six scholarly presentations from information professionals on a variety of KM topics. Five of the accepted papers are available full-text. Outside of the United States, we had speakers and audience members visit us from Canada, China, and Iran.

The entire IFLA Knowledge Management Section thanks IASSIST for their sponsorship of the conference. In the future, we hope that our section can work collaboratively with IASSIST in the shared interest of information, knowledge, and data topics worldwide.

I hope to see many of you at IASSIST 2017 in Lawrence, Kansas!

Spencer Acadia, IFLA KM 2016 Program Chair and Standing Committee Member,

IASSIST will be at RDAP!

For those of you attending the RDAP Summit next week in Atlanta, GA, USA, be sure to keep an eye out for IASSIST. We are a sponsoring organization—check out the advance thank you blog post from RDAP.

Our VP, Jen Green, will be on the scene with promoting IASSIST at the poster session. Be sure to stop by to say "hi" and pick up your very own IASSIST logo button. 

Looking forward to hearing the report back from RDAP!

International Digital Curation Conference 2016 (IDCC16)

The International Digital Curation Conference 2016 was in Amsterdam between 23-24 February.

IASSIST was again a sponsor, and presented a poster on IASSIST members’ activities. In addition, plenty of familiar faces were present including our current IASSIST president and three former ones.

This year’s conference was the eleventh IDCC and took the title of "Visible data, invisible infrastructure". This asks what can we do to make the hard work of preserving data and making it and keeping it usable as easy as possible for researchers to use and as unobtrusive as possible in their work.

One feature of this year’s conference was the importance of terminology. In his opening keynote, Barend Mons made a good point that accessible data is not open data and sharing data does not make it reusable. Reusable is what is important. In his plenary, Andrew Sallans spoke of openness and sharing as core to scientific activity. His presentation was insightful on how data is lost (paywalls, broken links, TIF walls), as was his call for five percent of research budgets be reserved for data stewardship and the need for Europe to train 500,000 data experts in the next decade. The final keynote from Susan Halford was a warning about sloppy research methodology as researchers gorge on new big data sources. Using social media as an example, she cautioned on how these are not “naturally occurring” data but mediated by private companies using methods we do not know about.

The rest of the conference split into concurrent sessions with either a national or institutional focus, or featuring demonstrations and elaborations on tools and services. It is interesting to see how ventures like Dataverse and DMPonline/Tool fit into national infrastructure initiatives like Australian National Data Service or Canada’s Portage and institutional ones like those demonstrated by the universities of Oxford and California. If they are to do so successfully, it will be with a vison of enabling researchers to do better science rather than compelling researchers to comply with bureaucracy, and that the route to achieving this will be through open standards and building on existing initiatives rather than going back to constructing new tools to do essentially the same job.

An impressive feature of IDCC is the methodological rigour applied to research papers. An example to highlight from the programme was Renata Curty’s research on Factors influencing research data reuse in social sciences.

The final notable aspect of IDCC16 was how almost none of the suggestions in keynotes and tools presented supported “traditional” academic publishing. Reuse needs discoverable, machine readable, contextualised data with minimal barriers to access and minimal limits on usage – not the business model on which some well-known academic publishers thrive.

All presentations, posters, demonstrations, as well as blogs reporting on IDCC16 can be found on the DCC website.

Looking Back/Moving Forward - Reflections on the First Ten Years of Open Repositories

Open Repositories conference celebrated its first decade by having four full days of exciting workshops, keynotes, sessions, 24/7 talks, and development track and repository interest group sessions in Indianapolis, USA. All the fun took place in the second week of June. The OR2015 conference was themed "Looking Back/Moving Forward: Open Repositories at the Crossroads" and it brought over 400 repository developers and managers, librarians and library IT professionals, service providers and other experts to hot and humid Indy.

Like with IDCC earlier this year, IASSIST was officially a supporter of OR2015. In my opinion, it was a worthy investment given the topics covered, depth and quality of presentations, and attendee profile. Plus I got to do what I love - talk about IASSIST and invite people to attend or present in our own conference.

While there may not be extremely striking overlap with IASSIST and OR conferences, I think there are sound reasons to keep building linkages between these two. Iassisters could certainly provide beneficial insight on various RDM questions and also for instance on researchers' needs, scholarly communication, reusing repository content, research data resources and access, or data archiving and preservation challenges. We could take advantage of the passion and dedication the repository community shows in making repositories and their building blocks perfect. It's quite clear that there is a lot more to be achieved when repository developers and users meet and address problems and opportunities with creativity and commitment.


While IASSIST2015 had a plenary speaker from Facebook, OR had keynote speakers from Mozilla Science Lab and Google Scholar. Mozilla's Kaitlin Thaney skyped a very interesting opening keynote (that is what you resort to when thunderstorms prevent your keynote speaker from arriving!) on how to leverage the power of the web for research. Distributed and collaborative approach to research, public sharing and transparency, new models of discovery and freedom to innovate and prototype, and peer-to-peer professional development were among the powers of web-enabled open science.
Anurag Acharya from Google gave a stimulating talk on pitfalls and best practices on indexing repositories. His points were primarily aimed at repository managers fine-tuning their repository platforms to be as easily harvestable as possible. However, many of his remarks are worth taking into account when building data portals or data rich web services. On the other, hand it can be asked if it is our job (as repository or data managers) to make things easy for Google Scholar, or do we have other obligations that put our needs and our users first. Often these two are not conflicting though. What is more notable from my point of view was Acharya's statement that Google Scholar does not index other research outputs (data, appendixes, abstracts, code…) than articles from the repositories. But should it not? His answer was that it would be lovely, but it cannot be done efficiently because these resources are not comprehensive enough, and it would not possible for example to properly and accurately link users to actual datasets from the index. I'd like to think this is something for IASSIST community to contemplate.

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) had a very strong presence in OR2015. ORCID provides an open persistent identifier that distinguishes a researcher from every other researcher, and through their API interfaces that ID can be connected to organisational and inter-organisational research information systems, helping to associate researchers and their research activities. In addition to a workshop on ORCID APIs there were many presentations about ORCID integrations. It seems that ORCID is getting close to reaching a critical mass of users and members, allowing it to take big leaps in developing its services. However, it still remains to be seen how widely it will be adopted. For research data archiving purposes having a persistent identifier provides obvious advantages as researchers are known to move from one organisation to another, work cross-nationally, and collaborate across disciplines.

Many presentations at least partly addressed familiar but ever challenging research data service questions on deposits, providing data services for the researcher community and overcoming ethical, legal or institutional barriers, or providing and managing a trustworthy digital service with somewhat limited resources. Check for example Andrew Gordon's terrific presentation on Databrary, a research-centered repository for video data. Metadata harmonisation, ontologies, putting emphasis on high quality metadata and ensuring repurposing of metadata were among the common topics as well, alongside a focus on complying with standards - both metadata and technical.

I see there would be a good opportunity and considerable common ground for shared learning here, for example DDI and other metadata experts to work with repository developers and IASSIST's data librarians and archivists to provide training and take part in projects which concentrate on repository development in libraries or archives.

Keynotes and a number of other sessions were live streamed and recorded for later viewing. Videos of keynotes and some other talks and most presentation slides are available already, rest of the videos will be available in the coming weeks.

A decade against decay: the 10th International Digital Curation Conference

The International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC) is now ten years old. On the evidence of its most recent conference, is in rude health and growing fast.

IDCC is the first time IASSIST decided to formally support another organisational conference. I think it was a wise investment given the quality of plenaries, presentations, posters, and discussions.

DCC already has available a number of blogs covering the substance of sessions, including an excellent summary by IASSIST web editor, Robin Rice. Presentations and posters are already available, and video from plenary sessions will soon be online.

Instead I will use this opportunity to pick-up on hanging issues and suggestions for future conferences.

One was apportionment of responsibility. Ultimately, researchers are responsible for management of their data, but they can only do so if supporting infrastructure is in place to help them. So, who is responsible for providing that: funders or institutions? This theme emerged in the context of the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council who will soon enforce expectations identifying the institution as responsible for supporting good Research Data Management.

Related to that was a discussion on the role of libraries in this decade. Are they relevant? Can they change to meet new challenges? Starting out as a researcher who became a data archivist and is now a librarian, I wouldn’t be here if libraries weren’t meeting these challenges. There’s a “hush” of IASSIST members also ready to take issue with the suggestions libraries aren’t relevant or not engaged with data, in fact they did so at our last conference.

Melissa Terras, (UCL) did a fantastic job presenting [PDF] work in the digital humanities that is innovative in not only preserving, but rescuing objects – and all done on small change research budgets. I hope a future IDCC finds space for a social sciences person to present on issues we face in preservation and reuse. Clifford Lynch (CNI) touched on the problems of data reuse and human subjects, which remained one of the few glancing references to a significant problem and one IASSIST members are addressing. Indeed, thanks must go to a former president of this association, Peter Burhill (Edinburgh) who mentioned IASSIST and how it relates to the IDCC audience on more than one occasion.

Finally, if you were stimulated by IDCC’s talk of data, reuse, and preservation then don’t forget our own conference in Minneapolis later this year.

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