20 October 2009

Skilling Up to Do Data

Colleagues may be interested in an output from the second DCC-RIN Research Data Management Forum: "Skilling Up to Do Data: Whose Role, Whose Responsibility, Whose Career?" which is published in the current edition of the International Journal of Digital Curation (http://www.ijdc.net)


What are the roles necessary to effective data management and what kinds of expertise are needed by the researchers and data specialists who are filling those roles? These questions were posed at a workshop of data creators and curators whose delegates challenged the DCC and RIN to identify the training needs and career opportunities for the broad cohort that finds itself working in data management – sometimes by design but more often by accident. This paper revisits previous investigations into the roles and responsibilities required by a "data workforce", presents a representative spectrum of informed opinion from the DCC Research Data Management Forum, and makes some recommendations for raising capability, capacity and status.

Best regards,


21 July 2009

Web archiving and data management

Web archives need to become a seamless part of the experience of using the web; they are the web's corporate memory. This thought encapsulated much of the spirit of a conference that I attended on 21 July on the enduring web, an event organised by JISC, the Digital Preservation Coalition and the UK Web Archiving Consortium.

The conference was a well illustrated overview of the challenges facing the development of a usable and resilient infrastructure for ensuring the perenniality of web content. Quite a task actually, and I was particularly interested in the arguments relating to what material to select in the first place for archiving and preservation. Of course, decisions about what to keep and what to discard have long been everyday stuff for archivists, but when applied to the dynamic, restless and often ephemeral nature of web content, the challenge is particularly acute. Since much web activity is about illustrating work in progress and preserving discourse, to what extent should archiving be documenting the authorial and editing processes?

I was struck by how much such issues resemble those relating to data management. A number of questions facing data archivists should also be familiar to data creators and managers: questions relating to selection, as mentioned above, but also to the curation of material which constantly changes as it is enriched and reformulated; which always stands the risk of being lost forever because it is not properly looked after; and which is not always properly recognised as a scholarly output. Interestingly, the analogy with data management was not made at the meeting, which was attended essentially by librarians and archivists (I had to leave early; perhaps the issue was raised at the end of the day). Could web archivists and data managers learn from each other? Are they actually talking to each other?

20 July 2009

Special Workshops at Repository Fringe 2009

Two special workshops for repository managers and others interested in data curation are to take place during Beyond the Repository Fringe,
30-31 July, University of Edinburgh.

Please sign up in advance through the event registration form (URL below). No fee is required.

1) DISC-UK DataShare Workshop
Data Requirements and Digital Repositories, 2-5pm, Thursday, 30 July.

This workshop will be based upon the DISC-UK DataShare project's Policy-making for Research Data in Repositories: A Guide. The guide is intended to be used as a decision making and planning tool for institutions with digital repositories in existence or in development that are considering adding research datasets to their digital collections. It also can help articulate the benefits of sound data management practices as well as the goals of data sharing and long term access.
Contact: robin.rice@ed.ac.uk.

2) Digital Curation Centre Associates Network Workshop Digital Curation 101 'Lite' 10am - 1pm, Friday 31 July

Research Councils and funding bodies are increasingly requiring evidence of adequate and appropriate provisions for data management and curation in new grant funding applications. This half-day workshop delivered by the Digital Curation Centre is aimed at researchers and those who support researchers and want to learn more about how to develop sound data management and curation plans. The workshop will provide a brief introduction to digital curation, the range of activities and roles that should be considered when planning and implementing new projects, and an overview of tools that can assist with curation activities.
Contact: info@dcc.ac.uk

For further information about the two workshops see http://wiki.repositoryfringe.org/index.php/The_Sessions#Special_Events

Contributions are still welcome for the event. Register at http://beyondtherepositoryfringe.eventbrite.com/

Beyond the Repository Fringe 2009

Place: Informatics Forum, University of Edinburgh
Date: 30th/31st July 2009
Home page: http://www.repositoryfringe.org
Wiki: http://wiki.repositoryfringe.org/
Email: rf09@ed.ac.uk
Hashtag: #RF09

Sponsored by JISC, the Beyond the Repository Fringe 2009 event will be hosted by the University of Edinburgh with support from the Digital Curation Centre, the School of Informatics, EDINA, and Information Services, as well as UKOLN and EPrints.

Keynote speakers are Ben O'Steen & Sally Rumsey, and Clifford Lynch.

15 May 2009

The Policy-making for Research Data in Repositories: A Guide
is intended to be used as a decision-making and planning tool for
institutions with digital repositories in existence or in development
that are considering adding research data to their digital collections.

The guide is a public deliverable of the JISC-funded DISC-UK DataShare
project (2007-2009), http://www.disc-uk.org/datashare.html, which
established institutional data repositories and related services at the
partner institutions: the Universities of Edinburgh, Oxford and
Southampton. It is a distilled result of the experience of the partners,
together with Digital Life Cycle Research & Consulting. The guide is one
way of sharing our experience with the wider community, as more
institutions expand their digital repository services into the realm of
research data to meet the demands of researchers who are themselves
facing increasing requirements of funders to make their data available
for continuing access.

Policy-making for Research Data in Repositories: A Guide can be downloaded from:

Stuart Macdonald
DISC-UK DataShare
EDINA National Data Library

13 May 2009

RDMF follow-up re. data citation

Some of you may have seen David Shotton's message re. semantic publishing/data citations/DOIs etc -

The following 'enhanced' article is a fine example of how data can be cited, accessed, with implications for accreditation etc - http://imageweb.zoo.ox.ac.uk/pub/2008/plospaper/latest/
- the paper "includes interactive figures, mashups with Google Maps and with data from related publications, live links to full-text references, downloadable datasets in Excel files relating to figures in the paper, downloadable RDF metadata files describing the publication and the references it cites, and a separate Document Summary, all with their own DOIs." Is it a criticism to say that it is too interactive!

Stuart Macdonald
RIN Disciplinary Case Studies - http://dcc.ac.uk/case-studies-in-life-sciences/
EDINA National Data Centre & Edinburgh University Data Library

27 March 2009

Agenda for RDMF3 (April 30th - May1st 2009)

Hello all.

Just in case the mailing list cross-postings have slipped under the radar, the agenda for the next DCC-RIN Research Data Management Forum, on the theme of Value and Benefits of Data Sharing and Management, is now available online via http://www.dcc.ac.uk/data-forum/

Event registration is also available at this site.

Please note that delegate numbers are limited, so early registration is strongly advised.

Best wishes,


12 March 2009

DCC-RIN Research Data Management Forum - registration now open

The next DCC-RIN Research Data Management Forum meeting will be held at Chancellors Hotel and Conference Centre, Manchester on Thursday 30th April and Friday 1st May 2009.

The event's theme will be "Values and Benefits of Data Sharing and Management"

The event will be of particular interest to researchers, digital repository managers, staff from library, information and research organisations, data curators, data centre managers, data scientists, research funding organisations and research networks.

We anticipate a 5pm start on the Thursday, finishing up around 4.15pm on the Friday, but you may wish to wait for the final agenda before booking your travel. This will be released shortly.

Please note that delegate numbers are limited; online registration is now open at http://www.dcc.ac.uk/events/data-forum-2009-april/

16 February 2009

e-Merging New Roles and Responsibilities in the European Landscape

* Apologies for cross-posting *

e-Merging New Roles and Responsibilities in the European Landscape Workshop 17 April at the KB, The Hague Netherlands.


This workshop aims to develop a basic understanding of the issues presented by long-term digital curation and preservation of resources which are (to be) deposited in institutional and subject-based repositories – both within research institutions and research communities. It will highlight the state of the art in digital curation and will cover best practices, including possibilities for outsourcing.

Target groups

Policy makers and managers of digital objects within libraries and research institutions, a.o. research librarians, directors of research institutions, repository managers and middle management; publishers are also invited.

Learning objectives

Participants have a general understanding of current approaches to long-term preservation of digital objects in an international context

Participants are aware of the increasing complexity of digital objects and of the currently accepted solutions for long-term preservation and access

Participants are able to assess the preconditions for implementing long-term preservation within their own organisation – both in terms of policy, technical infrastructure and organisational development

Participants are familiar with the existing network of expertise.

Registration fee: Members of LIBER pay only € 125; after March 16th the registration fee will be € 150.

Non-members of LIBER pay € 175; after March 16th the registration fee will be € 200.This fee includes all drinks and lunch.

Further details of the workshop including the programme, registration form are available at http://www.kb.nl/hrd/congressen/curatingresearch2009/index-en.xml

Data Movement and Management

An interesting event, available via webinar for those unable to travel to the Pacific Northwest...

Data Movement and Management

Modern libraries consist of a variety of complicated data systems, many containing a portion of the data needed to address any specific question. Often data needs to be extracted from one system and moved to or compared with information in another. Frequently, these systems don’t communicate well. This in-person conference will explore a number of ongoing data transfer and transformation consensus projects. Whether it is collections or holdings information distributed via ONIX, financial data via CORE, or usage data via SUSHI, the community is working on strategies and structures to easily transition data from one system to another. Each of these initiatives will contribute to saving librarians time and eventually money in managing their operations. Themes: General Issues, Cataloging, Collection Management, Library Management Level: Intermediate to advanced

>> http://www.niso.org/news/events/2009/datamovement09

12 February 2009

Effective data management:: Working together

The current edition of RINews carries an account of the most recent Research Data Management Forum meeting. Check it out at http://www.rin.ac.uk/files/RINews-issue7-Winter08.pdf

30 January 2009

Data stewardship in Canada

The Canadian Research Data Strategy Working Group has just produced a gap analysis of research data stewardship in Canada. It's worth a look, as it points to many problems and challenges that we are all too familiar with on this side of the Atlantic, not least the barriers to effective data sharing/dissemination that the report lists.