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Conference Presentations 2009

  • IASSIST 2009-Mobile Data and the Life Cycle, Tampere, Finland
    Host Institution: Finnish Social Science Data Archive and the University of Tampere

B2: Enhancing Data Sharing: Practices, Tools and Constraints (Wed, 2009-05-27)
Chair:Daniel M. Edelstein (Leddy Library)

  • Making Sense of the Census: One Year On with the Census Aggregate Information Resource Demonstrator (CAIRD)
    Justin Hayes (MIMAS, University of Manchester)
    Rob Dymond (MIMAS, University of Manchester)


    As previewed at IASSIST08, the CAIRD project is utilising developments in structured XML (SDMX and DDI) to create an online service combining, advertising and providing data and metadata generated from UK 2001 Census aggregate outputs in open-standards, machine-readable ways to increase their usability, and facilitate advances in application development. The primary aim of CAIRD is to encourage adoption of a similar approach by UK census agencies for the UK 2011 Census by demonstrating the potentials of this approach. As of November 2008, CAIRD is beginning to produce some exciting outputs, with more in the pipeline by IASSIST09! A prototype web service is already delivering previously impossible search and exploration capabilities based directly on dataset information content; a major improvement on browsing traditional census tables. We are pleased to report substantial interest from, and collaboration with UK census agencies. CAIRD has strong relevance to the IASSIST09 theme of Mobile Data and the Life Cycle through demonstration of the benefits that this approach can bring to data sharing, flexibility and overall usability; prerequisites for a mobile, Web 2.0 world. It also identifies a need for the approach to be incorporated and considered prospectively at all stages of the data life cycle in order to fully realise its benefits.

  • Identifying and Removing Barriers for Sharing Sciencfic Data
    Laurents Sesink (Data Archiving & Networked Services, DANS)


    The area of depositing and making research data available is not a new or uncultivated one. Scientific data archives have been active in this field since the early sixties. Since a couple of years nearly all scientific organizations in the Netherlands aim for a policy in which public funded research will be made accessible as much as possible. Funders and commissioners of research attach more and more value to the permanent accessibility of research data financed by them. Governmental organizations, funders of research, universities, publishers, scientific data archives and researchers are implementing in different ways the policy of access to research data. However, sharing of research data is not a common practice for most scientists. In practice it appears that the depositing of research data is not imbedded in the scholarly workflow and 'mental' system of researches, institutions, funders and policy makers. Therefore it is important to identify which stakeholders benefit by making research data available. What kind of policies have they already developed? Which instruments play an important role in these policies and which restraints do they encounter in practice? In 2008 DANS organized a workshop with different stakeholders where recommendations have been made to remove obstacles for sharing data. During this presentation these recommendations will be addressed.

  • Access to Governmental Microdata for Research: Recent Developments and New Challenges in Europe
    Paola Tubaro (Reseau Quetelet, France)
    Roxane Silberman (Reseau Quetelet, France)


    Official microdata constitute a major source for research in the social and economic sciences and for public policy evaluation. The paper provides an overview of similarities and differences in conditions of access to governmental microdata for researchers in European countries, placing emphasis on recent changes and trying to identify directions for future development. Regarding anonymized datasets, focus is on limits that often remain despite a generalized improvement in availability, and on unevenness of access conditions across Europe. On confidential data, the paper examines challenges arising from the recent upsurge in researchers' data demand, and discusses some possible solutions, including safe data centres on the premises of statistical institutes, secure virtual data laboratories accessible through the Internet, and an enhanced role for data archives at the national and European levels. These solutions are diverse in terms of easiness, cost-effectiveness, and extensiveness of access. Dealing with these problems, and experimenting with innovative solutions, requires an appropriate legal framework. In this light, the paper draws attention to recent changes in the law of European countries and examines whether and how they have opened new possibilities for microdata dissemination. Special emphasis is placed on the cases of France and the United Kingdom.


B3: Life Cycle Considerations for Research, Users and Archives (Wed, 2009-05-27)
Chair:Amy Pienta (ICPSR)

  • Applying the DCC Curation Lifecycle Model
    Sarah Higgins (Digital Curation Centre)


    The documentary heritage and the scientific record are increasingly born digital. The UK based Digital Curation Centre supports institutions who store, manage and preserve such data to help ensure its enhancement and continuing long-term use. The DCC (Digital Curation Centre) Curation Lifecycle Model provides a generic graphical high-level overview of the stages required for successful curation and preservation of digital material from initial conceptualisation. The model can be used to plan curation and preservation activities, to ensure sustainability of digital material, within an organisation or consortium. It's application can help ensure that all necessary stages are undertaken, each in the correct sequence. The model is used by the DCC: as a curation training tool; an internal planning tool to ensure that information, services and advisory material cover all areas of the lifecycle; to contextualise standards within the DCC DIFFUSE Standards Project; and to structure advisory case-study work. Externally it has been adopted by a number of organisations as the framework for curation activities and to date has been used to conceptualise processes by the UK Research Data Service and some JISC initiatives. This paper will present the DCC Curation Lifecycle Model and highlight some of the current applications of it.

  • Is Mobility of Data a Special Problem for Qualitative Research Collections?
    John Southall (UK Data Archive, University of Essex)


    This paper builds upon the experience of archiving qualitative data to look at issues of data mobility. It will look at the interplay of such mobility with the wider concerns of data acquisition, preservation and delivery. At different times within the life cycle of data the potential for data mobility may be strong and beneficial. At other times it may be seen as problematic or as occupying a place of tension within the demands of a digital archive. This will be examined through examples of audio and textual data. The need for archives to promote data and metadata standards as part of their key objectives will also be considered. Such activity can be used to promote mobility but it is arguably important to recognise where it may present problems for an archive and as such be discouraged. The effect of restricting access or dealing with confidentiality will therefore be considered. Particular reference will be made to the role of users of data and there will be a consideration of user demands and expectations. The argument that such expectations are new and novel and that they have developed alongside digital media - in ignorance of traditional archival values - will be examined.

  • From Life Cycle to Continuum: Assuring Research Use of Records and Archives
    Marjo Rita Valtonen (University of Tampere, Department of Information Studies)


    Life cycle thinking has spread to every field in society; products, services and healthcare have life cycle. In the digital working environment the life cycle of data, information, documents, records and archives have to carefully design in advance. To be able to use them as long as needed in operational tasks and later on in research needs holistic multidisciplinary approaches. In the meaning "from the cradle to grave" the life cycle concept misrepresents the case. Records as evidences of social realities and building blocks of social memory are preserved long time or permanently. This means continuous attending of accessibility, usability and availability of digital records and archives. Specialised scholarly and professional knowledge is needed in appraising, managing, selection and preservation of digital records and archives - all this even before "the cradle stage", and with future visions reaching over hundred years. Standardised recordkeeping in organisational context supports current and future research with creating researcher satisfied metadata. Question is not about a linear and ending life cycle but a continuum, a kind of "information processing rhythm", which assures that information can not die.


B4: Crossing Traditional Boundaries: Mobile Data-Based Resources (Wed, 2009-05-27)
Chair:Ron Nakao (Stanford University)

  • Networking Outside the Networks
    Vesa Korhonen (University of Jyvaskyla, Finland)


    Due to the recent unfortunate events, for example, the ability to monitor and control the messages and data transferred in the Internet has gained attention. However, there also exist methods for networking beyond any control. Smart, hand-held mobile devices with support for communication technologies such as the WLAN allow spontaneous, ad-hoc networks being created (and discontinued) without notice. Such networks may remain completely invisible and hence allow the delivery of illegal or inappropriate contents with very low risk of being detected. And even if the network traffic can be detected, it is virtually impossible to point out the originator of the data from a large crowd, for example, if he manages to shut down the equipment fast enough. The author has participated in research on short-range wireless mobile networks, where the concept Mobile Encounter Network has emerged. Based on this concept, the so-called ''Dark Side'' of mobile networking has been predicted. It is suggested that much more research effort, both in computer science and in human sciences, should be directed to this area. Getting mobile can integrate, but it may also disintegrate. We must know what we can't let loose, before it is too late.

  • Mobile Today: Records Management Issues
    Sari Makinen (University of Tampere, Department of Information Studies)


    Mobile information and communication technology challenges the theory and practice of organization science, business processes, information systems, and especially records management. Electronic records cannot be managed without changes in the methods developed for traditional records mainly in paper form. Electronic records can be found in every area of government and business activities. These records are part of mobile business processes more and more often. With the growing number of people using mobile tools new kind of problems are also encountered. It has been estimated, that about 12 percent of organizational knowledge is in structured knowledge base and the majority lies scattered about organizations in the form of paper and electronic documents. Since mobile workers have less control over the working environment, records may not be captured into records management systems and neither into the organizational memory. There is no regulation for producing, editing and storing records in the mobile working environment. Another important topic is the idea of accessed: what problems do mobile professionals have accessing information sources of their organizations? Using mobile devices and electronic records, we also need to be convinced of the integrity of data.

  • Doing Data on YouTube: Outreach and Education Using Web 2.0
    Ryan Womack (Rutgers University Libraries)


    In the YouTube era, data centers need new outreach mechanisms to raise awareness of their services and instruct their clientele in the use of data resources. At Rutgers University Libraries, the Data Librarian is creating a series of video tutorials, titled "Data Snapshots", on major data resources for posting on YouTube, blogs, and university web sites. These are integrated into research guides and the newly created RutgersData blog (, which is a news resource for the Rutgers data community. Issues in scripting, capturing, editing and manipulating the videos using various software will be discussed. The expansion of a virtual presence for data services through chat consultations and design of the blog is driven by the dispersed environment at Rutgers University, where only one dedicated data librarian serves a student population of 50,000 spread across multiple campuses. Feedback from users is also being gathered to improve design of services and guide future efforts.


C1: Developing Best Practices for the DDI (Wed, 2009-05-27)
Chair:Stefan Kramer (Yale University)

  • Panelist 1:The Business Best Practices
    Michelle Edwards (University of Guelph)
  • 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


  • Resources


    A space for IASSIST members to share professional resources useful to them in their daily work. Also the IASSIST Jobs Repository for an archive of data-related position descriptions. more...

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