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Conference Presentations 2011

  • IASSIST 2011-Data Science Professionals: A Global Community of Sharing, Vancouver, BC
    Host Institution: Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia

F4: Curate, Manage, and Share: Support and Repository Services (Fri, 2011-06-03)
Chair:Jen Green, University of Michigan

  • Building an Open Data Repository for a Specialized Research Community: Process, Challenges, and Lessons
    Limor Peer (Yale University)
    Ann Green (Digital Life Cycle Research and Consulting)


    In 2009, the Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS) at Yale University began building a specialized repository. The goal was to create an open access digital collection of social science experimental data, metadata, and associated files produced by ISPS researchers for the purpose of replicating research findings, further analysis, and teaching. Files are submitted to a rigorous process of quality assessment and normalization, including transformation of statistical code into R. Other requirements include: (a) that the repository is integrated with the current database of publications and projects publicly available on the ISPS website, (b) that it offers open access to datasets, documentation, and statistical software program files, (c) that it utilizes persistent linking services and redundant storage provided within the Yale Digital Commons infrastructure, and (d) that it operates in accordance with the prevailing standards of the digital preservation community. In partnership with Yale’s Office of Digital Assets and Infrastructure (ODAI), the ISPS Data Archive was launched in the fall of 2010. It currently holds 360 files for about 20 studies. We describe the process of creating the repository, discuss prospects for future similar projects, and explain how this specialized repository fits into the larger digital landscape at Yale. 

  • MANTRA for Change
    Robin Rice (University of Edinburgh, EDINA and Data Library)


    For data sharing, access and management in the future to become a higher priority within scholarly communication than it is now, new generations of scientists and scholars need to learn to do research in ways that support these ends. The Research Data MANTRA project (2010-2011) aims to develop online learning materials which reflect best practice in research data management grounded in three disciplinary contexts: social science, clinical psychology, and geoscience. The resulting materials will be embedded in three participating postgraduate programmes and made available through the university's Transkills programme for use by all postgraduate and early career researchers as well as made available generally through an open license and deposited in JorumOpen, a national repository for open educational resources. In addition to web-based 'chapters' that students can work through at their own pace, the course will include video interviews with leading academics about data management challenges, and practical exercises in handling data in four software analysis environments: SPSS, NVivo, R and ArcGIS. The project is a partnership between the Data Library in Information Services and the Institute for Academic Development, at the University of Edinburgh and is funded by JISC as a part of its UK programme, Managing Research Data.

  • Women Pioneers in Canadian Sociology: A Case Study for Qualitative Research Data Management, Sharing and Re-Use
    Berenica Vejvoda (University of Toronto, Map & Data Library)


    The University of Toronto's Map & Data Library, Information Technology Services (ITS) and T-Space (University of Toronto's Research Repository) are working collaboratively to preserve and facilitate future access to Margaret Eichler's (Professor, Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, University of Toronto) primary research data, conducting in the mid-1980s. The original research data consists of 30 interviews with, then, leading pioneers in Canadian Sociology, all born before 1930. This presentation will address the value for curating qualitative research data, especially for future secondary analysis. A data management plan specific to qualitative interview data will also be developed and presented based on a life-cycle approach to data. Information technology solutions for data preservation and access will be addressed. Furthermore, since anonymity takes away potential richness of this particular qualitative dataset, special attention will be also given to solving special privacy and security concerns and how they relate to provision of access to future researchers, whilst complying with university ethics regulations. The main objective of this proposal is to therefore address qualitative research data management issues as well as to unveil the future access and re-use benefits for researchers.


G1: Continuity and Change - Tales from the Development of the New Australian Data Archive (Fri, 2011-06-03)
Chair:Steven McEachern, Australian Social Science Data Archive

  • Data archives in a web services world - An overview of the new ADA
    Steven McEachern (Australian Data Archive)
    Deborah Mitchell (Australian Data Archive)


    This session provides a set of three presentations on the Australian Data Archive, the successor to the Australian Social Science Data Archive. The three papers chart the development of three aspects of the change in the archive from ASSDA to ADA: shifting technologies, changing data types and formats, and expansion across research disciplines. At the same time, the papers also address the challenges associated with the growth of ADA, and provide insight into the changing role of data archives in the new open data environment.

  • Building a Criminal Justice Data Archive for Australia
    Toby Burrows (University of Western Australia)
    Leanne den Hartog (University of Western Australia)


    This paper will look at the new Criminal Justice Data Archive for Australia, which is being developed as part of the Australian Data Archive. Among the topics covered will be the various types of data being included, and the sources of the datasets. The archive draws on datasets from multiple agencies in both State and Federal jurisdictions, and the paper will discuss the complexities involved in obtaining and delivering data from a range of different government bodies. The new archive is a partnership between the Australian Data Archive and the National Criminal Justice Research Data Network. The paper will discuss the respective roles of the two partners and their expectations from the service. Requirements and arrangements for managing security and access will also be examined. We will conclude by comparing the Australian service with international models, especially the U.S. National Archive of Criminal Justice Data.

  • Raiders of the Lost Archive
    Gabrielle Gardiner (University of Technology, Sydney)
    Elizabeth Mulhollann (University of Technology, Sydney)
    Kirsten Thorpe (University of Technology, Sydney)
    Alex Byrne (University of Technology, Sydney)
    Len Smith (University of Technology, Sydney)
    Mike Jones (University of Technology, Sydney)


    You enter the dark and dusty building - confronted with room after room of a researcher's life's work. Their office has been packed up in a rush by someone with no care or consideration for the content. Amongst the detritus of research life - magazines, coffee mugs, baseball caps and other interesting but irrelevant markers of a life well lived - there is material of remarkable historical value. Imagine - a treasure of inter-war census material relating to Australia's indigenous population. Hear the story of the lost Aboriginal Population Register. ATSIDA and ASSDA staff will describe the process for extracting relevant material and compiling these resources into vital digital datasets for Australian Indigenous research. Behold as our intrepid archivists traverse:

    • Respectful engagement with data that relates to Australia's indigenous population, many of whom were forcibly removed from their families
    • How to capture, document and then disseminate numeric data embedded in paper records
    • Establishing workflows for working with print-to-digital conversion
    • Workflows for working across multiple locations
    • Recovering lost data formats - who still has 80-column cards these days?

    Rated PG-13

G2: Facilitating Secure Access to Confidential Data (Fri, 2011-06-03)
Chair:Ernie Boyko, Carleton University

  • "DDI" for Restricted Data Contracts
    Lisa Neidert (University of Michigan)


    We have developed a database of the conditions of use based on all of the restricted data contracts we hold. The conditions are represented in natural language such as "Disclosure Limits" with a link to the disclosure conditions specific to each contract. The database is available from the web. The interface allows one to compare contracts to see if they share the same conditions; to create easy to read reports of contract conditions for contract users; or to pick and choose conditions for a new restricted data contract. The database also allows one to present contracts in a structured language. We have met with data providers to let them see what their contract looks like compared to others; provided "penalty" and "disclosure" language across multiple contracts to researchers and data providers respectively; and produced reports to remind researchers of the contract. We plan on sharing this with the campus IRB as some of the decisions they make are based on contract conditions they are unaware of. At a later point, we will add "security" conditions. These usually reside in an appendix and tend to morph as best practices in computing security evolve over time.

  • Access Without Boundaries - A Decentralised World
    Richard Welpton (UK Data Archive, University of Essex)
    Felix Ritchie (UK Office for National Statistics )


    Considerable demand exists from researchers for detailed data collected by European-wide surveys. However, the benefits from analysing such data are little realised because of poor access. The problem is often compounded by the risk-averse nature of data owners. Researchers face considerable hurdles in accessing data, especially from more than one country - often they must travel considerable distances to access data at 'safe rooms' located in National Statistics Institutes, which consumes precious time and money, and deters young researchers. Fortunately, Research Data Centres (RDCs) have emerged which provide innovative access solutions for the convenience of researchers and data owners. This paper considers how more extensive 'Decentralised Access' could work in practice. We explore how the research community can reap benefits from an integrated network of RDCs, striving to deliver access to data of different sensitivities, and from different countries, throughout the European Union. We argue that 'friendly' competition amongst RDCs to provide better and innovative solutions for researchers and data owners can only lead to better provision of access to micro-data.

  • Human Security in Protecting Confidentiality of Data Sharing
    Reza Afkhami (UK Data Archive)


    Many researches on information security have shown that the human element is crucial to the majority of confidentiality compromise. Most organisations focus on technical security whereas neglecting the human elements of information security. Awareness building and training have an important role to protect people’s vulnerabilities against attack directed at the subconscious. This paper is aiming to demonstrate the need to complement the technical IT security countermeasures with human security protection, to assess the level of risks connected with human security as weakest link in the cycle of data security model and to improve confidentiality protection in human security management in different scenarios of data sharing. The SDS (Secure Data Service) approach as an exemplar towards the establishing of safe people and safe use of data will be discussed.


G3: Social Networks and User Engagement: Sharing Data and Knowledge (Fri, 2011-06-03)
Chair:Tuomas J. Alaterä, Finnish Social Science Data Archive

  • Digital monitoring of societal discussions in Online Social Networks
    Timo Wandhoefer (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
    Peter Mutschke (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences )
    Mark Thamm (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences )
    York Sure (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences )


    Online Social Networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are increasingly used as platforms for discussing societal issues with a broad online community. The challenge now is to handle the “flood of information” in Online Social Networks such that citizens’ opinions will be heard by stakeholders. The society’s need of “closing the loop” between stakeholder and society is the aim of the European Commission founded project WeGov (“Where eGovernment meets the eSociety”). The goal of the project is to develop a software toolkit that allows stakeholders to get in a two-way dialog with citizens in Online Social Networks. The paper presents use cases for detecting, tracking, mining and monitoring opinions on societal topics that take place in online communities. Furthermore, it is discussed how those techniques of digital monitoring could be enhanced by Social Science data services, such as online surveys allowing a stakeholder to get the citizens’ opinion on a special topic, or search services that may enrich discussions by research data, literature and experts retrieved from Social Science databases.

  • 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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