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Archiving, Preservation, Curation

Defining the nature of data archives, their functions and their operation

Canadian Research Data Strategy Working Group Established

Research Data Strategy Working Group Established http ://cisti-icist.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/media/press/rds_group_e.html, press release, August 12, 2008.

The research process generates huge amounts of data that are an important part of Canada's scholarly record and hold enormous potential as an additional discovery and problem-solving tool for researchers. Unfortunately, Canada has no nationally adopted standards or policies governing how this data is collected, catalogued, or preserved.

Research Data Strategy Working Group Established http ://cisti-icist.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/media/press/rds_group_e.html, press release, August 12, 2008.

The research process generates huge amounts of data that are an important part of Canada's scholarly record and hold enormous potential as an additional discovery and problem-solving tool for researchers. Unfortunately, Canada has no nationally adopted standards or policies governing how this data is collected, catalogued, or preserved.

A new collaborative effort is now underway to address the challenges surrounding the access and preservation of this data. The Research Data Strategy (RDS) Working Group http://data-donnees.gc.ca/eng/members.html is a multi-disciplinary group of universities, institutes, libraries, granting agencies, and individual researchers with a shared recognition of the pressing need to deal with Canadian data management issues.

Together, the Working Group is focusing on the necessary actions, next steps and leadership roles that researchers and institutions can take to ensure Canada's research data is accessible and usable for current and future generations of researchers.

To support this effort, the Working Group has launched the Research Data Canada Web site http ://data-donnees.gc.ca/eng/index.html as a tool to communicate with the broader community and to facilitate communication within and between three task groups, which have been formed to explore issues related to policies, funding and research; infrastructure and services; and capacity (skills, training, and reward systems).

The RDS Working Group will be convening a consultation around these issues at a future date to gather input and develop an action plan.

IASSIST '08 Followup, Part 1: Try Aquifer!

Like everyone else, I've managed to catch up after being out of the office.  But IASSIST was worth every minute!  It was a pretty jampacked week, so I'm just getting around to blogging a few observations.

I allocated too few moments to visiting the poster sessions.  One that intrigued me was the Digital Library Federation's American Social History Online project, or Aquifer.  (Maybe it's the fact that I was a history major.)  Aquifer brings together fascinating resources from over 100 digital collections, all delivered right to your desktop: sheet music from the 19th century; a great photo of Teddy Roosevelt speaking to members of the National Negro Business League;  portraits of the Brooklyn Dodgers (remember them?);  a firsthand travel account of Scandinavia from 1863; U.S. political cartoons that make current caricatures look pretty tame.

Do check out Aquifer:  http://www.dlfaquifer.org/

Pam Baxter IASSIST U.S. Region Secretary

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

Data curation, institutional repositories and e-Research

Luis Martinez-Uribe, Digital Repositories Research Co-ordinator, is based at the Oxford e-Research Centre and will be conducting a scoping study to capture researcher's needs for repository services to manage, curate, preserve and disseminate research data generated in Oxford.

A new blog (http://oxdrrc.blogspot.com/) has been set-up to record the progress of the project while disseminating outputs and information about relevant activities. If you are interested in following the progress of this project you can subscribe to the RSS feed (http://oxdrrc.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default)

posted for Luis by Robin Rice

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

IASSIST 2008 - Call for Papers!

Technology of Data: Collection, Communication, Access and Preservation The 34th International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST) annual conference will be held at the Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA, May 27-30, 2008. This year's conference, Technology of Data: Collection, Communication, Access and Preservation, examines the role of technology and tools in various aspects of the data life cycle.

The theme of this conference addresses how technology can affect aspects of data stewardship throughout the data lifecycle. The methods and media by which data are collected, shared, analyzed and saved are ever-changing, from punch cards and legal pads to online-surveys and tag clouds. There has been an explosion of data sources and topics; vast changes in compilation and dissemination methods; increasing awareness about access and associated licensing and privacy issues; and growing concern about the safeguarding and protection of valuable data resources for future use. The 2008 conference is an opportunity to discuss the role of technology – past, present, and future – in all of these arenas. We seek submissions of papers, poster/demonstration sessions, and panel sessions on the following topics:

  • Issues and techniques for preserving "old" data as well as information "born digital"
  • Methods, technology and questions surrounding data dissemination, including best practices and innovations
  • Archival and preservation challenges presented by new processes
  • Metadata
  • Innovation in the use of data for teaching and research
  • The legal issues surrounding new technologies
  • Changes in resource discovery methods
  • Data services in virtual spaces
  • Providing services to users with different degrees of technical "savvy"
  • Tools and spaces for research collaboration

Papers on other topics related to the conference theme will also be considered. The deadline for paper, session, and poster/demonstration proposals is December 17, 2007. The Conference Program Committee will send notification of the acceptance of proposals by February 8, 2008.

Individual presentation proposals and session proposals are welcome. Proposals for complete sessions, typically a panel of three to four presentations within a 90-minute session, should provide information on the focus of the session, the organizer or moderator, and possible participants. The session organizer will be responsible for securing session participants. Organizers as well as panel participants are also welcome to submit additional paper proposals but please note that Conference Program Committee may need to limit the number of presentations per person.

Proposals for papers, sessions, and poster/demonstrations should include the proposed title and an abstract no longer than 200 words. Longer abstracts will be returned to be shortened before being considered. Please note that all presenters are required to register and pay the registration fee for the conference. Registration for individual days will be available.

Proposals can be submitted via email to: iassist08@gmail.com

A conference website with on-line submission form will be available shortly. A separate call for workshops is also forthcoming.

-- IASSIST 2008 Palo Alto, CA 27-30 May 2008

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.

Happy (40th) Birthday UK Data Archive

The UKDA celebrated its anniversary in style, with a reception at the Houses of Parliament in London on Wednesday, 10th July (2007), a forward-looking workshop in its new building at the University of Essex on the 11th, with a return of some familiar faces who have moved on to retirement or other fields. See press release at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/news/stories/2007/07/news_ukda.aspx The occasion called for reflection on the past, as the news story illuminates: more...

Data Storage policy can't be enforced

There is a nice article in University Affairs about Carol Perry and her work. Raises some important issues about preserving research data and researchers perceptions. Chuck Humphrey also raises the profile of a NDA in Canada.

http://www.universityaffairs.ca/issues/2007/june_july/datastorage_01.html

Posted on behalf of Bo Wandschneider

A *really* secure data center

The May 21 issue of Boing Boing describes the InfoBunker, a "Cold War era government command bunker converted into a data center". I realize that they're not referring to the same kind of data center we mean, but it was kind of fun to read about a data center that has "a self-sufficient power systems (six days' worth of diesel fuel; 17,000 gallons of water (for drinking and fire suppression); military-grade NBC air filtration). It's built to withstand a 20-megaton nuclear blast at 2.5 miles, according to the website, and I can believe it. Your data will be intact even if the rest of the Internet has been vaporized."

Submitted by Walter Giesbrecht

  • 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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