Already a member?

Sign In
Syndicate content

Reports & Studies

Recent reports and studies of relevance to IASSIST

SBE 2020 white papers available

The Directorate for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences of the National Science Foundation (NSF/SBE) has released today a collection of white papers contributed under the "SBE 2020: Future Research in the Social, Behavioral &  Economic Sciences" initiative. Authors were asked to outline grand challenge questions that are both foundational and transformative. For information, please visit:
http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/sbe_2020/index.cfm more...

E-Science and Data Support

E-Science and Data Support Services: A Study of Association of Research Libraries Member Institutions http://bit.ly/cKmaO6 . more...

Australia Regional Report 2003-2004

Sophie Holloway
Australian National University
May 2004

After a recent hiatus in data preservation and sharing issues, 2003-04 saw a growing interest in the region. more...

Report of the African Regional Secretary: 2008-2009

Kitzito Kasozi
Director Information Technology
Uganda Bureau of Statistics
2009

This report is centered on the Africa Association of Statistical Data Archivists (AASDA), a Community of Practice (CoP) that was formed to enhance the potentials of preserving and mining of micro data in Africa. AASDA is an affiliate of IASSIST. The activities that are reported on are part of the planned activities. more...

Special IQ: Moving Research Data Into and Out of Institutional Repositories

The IASSIST Quarterly IQ Vol. 31 issue 3&4 is now available on the web:

http://iassistdata.org/publications/iq/iqvol31.html

This issue will only be available on the web. There will be no printed version mailed out to the membership.

This double issue is the work of the authors and their articles are introduced below. We are presenting an integrated double issue of high quality. We should also give a special thanks to the editors of the issue. Gretchen Gano is the writing guest editor of this IQ as you can see below. Gretchen Gano is the Assistant Curator Librarian for Public Administration & Government Information and Coordinator, Data Service Studio at New York University Libraries. Gretchen Gano collaborated on this issue from the start with former IASSIST president Ann Green. Together with the authors a great issue has been made.

Enjoy

Karsten Boye Rasmussen, IQ editor, associate professor, kbr@sam.sdu.dk, Marketing & Management, SDU, University of Southern Denmark +45 6550 2115

Guest Editor's Notes:

The 2008 IASSIST Conference, “Technology of Data: Collection, Communication, Access and Preservation” included a session entitled “Moving Research Data Into and Out of Institutional Repositories” from which several papers emerged. In “Interoperability Between Institutional and Data Repositories: a Pilot Project at MIT”, Katherine McNeill describes a pilot project to enhance study discovery between two repository systems housed in the same institution, DSpace and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science Dataverse Network, by enabling the harvesting and replication of metadata and content across the two systems. In a related project across the pond, Libby Bishop scales this discussion in her description of crossinstitutional collection sharing between the University of Leeds and the UK Data Archive in the Timescapes project. Bishop asserts that coordination among multiple agents is likely to be challenging under any circumstances. Challenges magnify when the trajectories of different life cycles, for research projects and for data sharing, are considered. Robin Rice echoes these sentiments in her article on the DISC-UK DataShare Project, a collaboration between the Universities of Edinburgh, Oxford and Southampton and the London School of Economics. Rice provides visual evidence in a compelling diagram of the data sharing continuum based on storage, discovery, and preservation conditions of the digital research materials at each level along the scale -- from the lowly thumb drive to the officious national archive. We see plainly that as one moves up the continuum, more and more human effort and intervention is required to craft the discovery, access, analytic and preservation environment. In other words, data curators matter.

Two other papers tackle these challenges by emphasizing the needs of data producers. Luis Martinez-Uribe introduces the University of Oxford’s Scoping Digital Repository Services for Research Data Management project and the findings of a requirement gathering exercise. While the study results reveal researchers’ needs and workflows. Martinez-Uribe asserts that the study process itself made an impact on the participants. Study participants reflected on and, as a result, fine-tuned how they work with data, why they create these materials in the first place and were able to articulate reasons for managing these resources the way they do. Similarly, Research Data & Environmental Sciences Librarian, Gail Steinhart, writes about the development of DataStaR, a Data Staging Repository hosted by Cornell University’s Albert R. Mann Library. The project developed as a “managed workspace” where researchers contribute datasets they are still actively using in direct response to questions that have to do with sharing in the active research environment, rather than an archival one.

While the authors in this issue describe projects going on in many different places and settings, taken together, these articles address common themes. All address the challenge of scaling data exchange between systems and then between institutions. This raises the perennial question of standards: by what mechanisms will we set them, and how well will we be able to follow them and still accommodate local needs? The importance of aligning repository services with researcher needs is another common thread. Data managers must ask, “how will the active researcher benefit from curation efforts”? The answer may be that benefit is more than finding or accessing a particular resource (yep, I have downloaded the whole thing and all the bits are there), but instead being able to examine this resource in many ways (okay, lets run frequencies, now I want to see it on a map, and let’s include some other variables). This is a rich reuse experience, creating a real digital “laboratory.”

Finally, each contributor notes the expanding role of data manager. In its own way, each project described here moves data managers upstream, pre-publication, into the place where research is actively happening. Though all of the articles focus on technological choices and architectures to support research data curation, it is striking to realize that each of these choices emerge from old-fashioned personal, social, and organizational relationships. What we can strive for as data and information managers is to work together as fellow researchers and to be ever curious about how these partnerships and the sharing of information back and forth can be enhanced by thoughtful information and technology design. Some call this the digital plumbing, but I like to think of it as e-gilding.

Gretchen Gano, New York University Libraries

Open Access and Reuse of Research Data in Finland

In 2006, motivated by the OECD Open Access guidelines, the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) carried out an online survey targeting professors of human sciences, social sciences and behavioural sciences in Finnish universities. Professors were asked, for example, whether their department had any guidelines on the preservation of digital research data. A great and alarming majority (90%) said no. The survey also charted what actually happens to research data and what are the barriers to and benefits of open access to research data.

In 2006, motivated by the OECD Open Access guidelines, the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) carried out an online survey targeting professors of human sciences, social sciences and behavioural sciences in Finnish universities.

Professors were asked, for example, whether their department had any guidelines on the preservation of digital research data. A great and alarming majority (90%) said no.

What then happens to research data? Most common practise seems to be that the data remains in the hand of the original researcher(s). Even if the data are stored in the department or research insitute, no further processing nor documentation takes place. FSD's influence could be seen in social sciences, making archiving at a data archive a bit more frequent than in other sciences.

The survey also charted barriers to open access. Professors were concerned about inadvertent misuse of data and consequent mistakes. Of course, without detailed documentation, data reuse may indeed result in inaccurate interpretations. Lack of agreements regarding data ownership and IP rights were also mentioned as barriers, as well as loss of competitive advantage, IT problems, and confidentiality issues.

On the other hand, the professors saw many benefits in open access to research data. The most significant was enhancing the diversity of research designs with the use of archived data. All in all, the benefits were estimated to be more significant than the barriers. The survey also showed - not surprisingly - that it is usual to a researcher to have a positive attitude towards open access in general but a less-than-enthusiastic one to open access to his/her own data.

The report concludes that from the viewpoint of long-term preservation and reuse, it is definitely less recommendable to leave the responsibility for the preservation and dissemination of data to individual researchers. Changing this practice that still prevails in Finnish universities and other Finnish research organisations constitutes one of the key goals in the national implementation of the OECD Recommendation.

An abridged version of the report is available in English:
Arja Kuula & Sami Borg (2008). Open Access to and Reuse of Research Data - The State of the Art in Finland. University of Tampere. Finnish Social Science Data Archive; 7. ISBN: 978-951-44-7479-8.

Download the report as a PDF file.

The survey data is naturally available, too:
FSD2268 Open Access to and Reuse of Research Data 2006

Mari Kleemola
Finnish Social Science Data Archive
IASSIST European Regional Secretary

Data Scientists, Data Managers, Data Librarians, Oh My!

The Skills, Role and Career Structure of Data Scientists: An Assessment of Current Practice and Future Needs is a report prepared by Alma Swan and Sheridan Brown this summer for JISC in the UK.

The Skills, Role and Career Structure of Data Scientists: An Assessment of Current Practice and Future Needs is a report prepared by Alma Swan and Sheridan Brown this summer for JISC in the UK. more...

Data Seal of Approval

Anyone who archives his or her data also would like them to be found, recognized and still usable in the future. That is not a matter of course with electronic data. After all, hardware and software are changing all the time. Making data future-proof can be accomplished by ensuring that data sets and metadata meet certain guidelines. In consultation with large data producers and managers, DANS laid down what those guidelines need to be in its 'Datakeurmerk', which will continue to be developed further.

Anyone who archives his or her data also would like them to be found, recognized and still usable in the future. That is not a matter of course with electronic data. After all, hardware and software are changing all the time. Making data future-proof can be accomplished by ensuring that data sets and metadata meet certain guidelines. In consultation with large data producers and managers, DANS laid down what those guidelines need to be in its 'Datakeurmerk', which will continue to be developed further.

The quality guidelines of this seal of approval for data are intended to ensure that in the future, research data can still be processed in a high-quality and reliable manner, without this entailing new thresholds, regulations or high costs. They may be of interest to research institutions, to organizations that archive data, and to users of those data. The document that lays down the quality guidelines of the 'Datakeurmerk', can be downloaded at: http://www.datasealofapproval.org

Contact DANS: Dr. Henk Harmsen henk.harmsen at dans.knaw.nl

With regards, Laurents Sesink

DDI, institutional repositories, and numeric data mashups

Announcing new deliverables from the DISC-UK DataShare project:

Both briefing papers can be retrieved from http://www.disc-uk.org/deliverables.html .

There is also a new "Collective Intelligence" page with a tag cloud to links from our social bookmarks of reports, websites, and blogs related to the project themes. http://www.disc-uk.org/collective.html

A newsfeed of deliverables and new bookmarks is available from the project blog at http://jisc-datashare.blogspot.com/

Contributed by Robin Rice

DISC-UK DataShare Project for Institutional Data Repositories

As part of the JISC-funded DISC-UK DataShare project in the UK, a State-of-the-Art Review has been written, marking out the current scene on data sharing at the beginning of the project.
  • 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

    more...

  • Resources

    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...

  • community

    • LinkedIn
    • Facebook
    • Twitter

    Find out what IASSISTers are doing in the field and explore other avenues of presentation, communication and discussion via social networking and related online social spaces. more...