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Integrating Data Literacy into Library and Information Science (LIS) Curriculum,

IASSIST's Africa Regional Secretary Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo and Prof. Constant Obura-Okello report on a data workshop at Makerere University, Kampala.

If you're looking to orginise a similar regional or national data event, the IASSIST 2020 Event Sponsorship Proposals call is open until 26 January 2020.

IASSIST’s Membership Committee's event sponsorship program recently sponsored a one day workshop on Integrating Data Literacy into Library and Information Science (LIS) Curriculum. The workshop aimed at bringing academicians in the field of library and information science to discuss how data literacy can be integrated in the LIS curriculum so as to have trained library professionals who are able to provide data literacy skills to their patrons.

The workshop was hosted by the East African School of Library and Information Science (EASLIS), Makerere University. The workshop attracted over 15 participants from different academic institutions that included; Makerere University, Kabale University, YMCA Comprehensive Institute and Kyambogo University.

The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo, the IASSIST Event Liaison Coordinator and IASSIST Africa Regional Secretary, Ms.Sylivia Namujjuzi, a Lecturer at EASLIS, and Prof. Constant Obura-Okello the Dean of East African School of Library and Information.

Prof Obura in his opening remarks, welcomed the participants and gave a brief overview about EASLIS and its programmes. He appreciated IASSIST for the continued support rendered to data literacy initiatives in the Library and Information Profession in Uganda. In addition he acknowledged that the workshop was timely considering the curriculum review process that the university is undertaking.

The workshop focused on how EASLIS can integrate data literacy into its curriculum. A presentation was made on making data meaningful and how to use data in telling stories especially related to the SDGs. In addition, the different aspects of data literacy that can be integrated in the LIS Curriculum like research data management, data management infrastructure, data security, data science among others. During sessions, participants were also assigned group work focusing on how their institutions can integrate data literacy in their LIS Curriculum.

Two groups were formed each made a presentation about the views discussed in their groups. One group shared that the institution has a course unit on library operations which focuses on general data, however, it’s important to find out which kind of data to address and to which kind of users. The group proposed to have the data literacy skills incorporated in this course unit. The second group was of the view to have data literacy as a stand-alone course unit to enable deeper understanding of its aspects and avoid duplication of data training. In addition to also look at the data protection and privacy policy Act 2019. Dr. Joyce Bukirwa, the head of department of Information Science, proposed that since the institutions don’t have experts to train the students in data literacy. Lecturers can start training the students in data analysis and presentation skills using MS Excel.

Lecturers also need to gain training in data literacy in addition to partnering/collaborating with institutions already offering it.

At the end of the workshop, participants were presented with certificates by Dr.George. W.Kiyingi, the former Dean of EASLIS.

In conclusion the participants acknowledged that data literacy is very significant for all courses in the LIS Cirriculum and Uganda and Africa needs to embrace it in order to have data literate library professionals. The participants were encouraged to work together and champion the inclusion of data literacy in the LIS curriculum in their institutions.

Report from "Workshop on Data Literacy for Researchers in Social Sciences, Administrators and Policy-Makers", Chandigarh, India.

Data Literacy is a skill needed for researchers and social scientists in the digital age to get the most out of massive data available to us in the digital era today. This was highlighted by Prof. I.V. Malhan, Former Dean, Academics of Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamshala while inaugurating a ‘Workshop on Data Literacy for Researchers in Social Sciences, Administrators and Policy-Makers’ held at MG State Institute of Public Administration, Punjab (MGSIPA) at Chandigarh (India).

 

This two-day workshop was sponsored by IASSIST and organized jointly by the Department of Library and Information Science (DLIS), Punjabi University, Patiala and MGSIPA. Dr. Jagtar Singh, Professor DLIS and Professor In-charge, Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha Library, Punjabi University, Patiala in his keynote address emphasized that data literacy is one skill set within the whole set of skills and competencies under the umbrella of ‘media and information literacy’ being promoted by UNESCO.

Dr. Singh elaborated on the role of various literacies including data literacy within the broader context of literacy and education, and capacity building and enhancing the capability of researchers. 

Ms. Kiran Pandey, Programme Director, Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi was the Guest of Honour at the Inaugural Session and she spoke on communicating research effectively using data.

Dr. H.P.S. Kalra, Professor and Head, DLIS, Punjabi University, Patiala and a Fellow of the IASSIST gave a brief introduction about the workshop theme and its sponsoring body, the IASSIST.

Prof. Sandra Cannon, President of IASSIST and Associate Vice-Provost for Data Governance and Chief Data Officer at the University of Rochester, USA gave a video message for the participants highlighting the need for research data and their communication in social sciences; and the role IASSIST is playing in this regard.

 

Earlier, Dr. P. Venkata Rao, Fellow (Knowledge Management) MGSIPA welcomed the participants and resource persons and gave a brief overview of the activities of MGSIPA. Col. Dalbir Singh, GM (Training), MGSIPA proposed a vote of thanks. 

Ten sessions were held during this two-day workshop in which 40+ participants from diverse subjects of social sciences and different institutions participated.

After the Inaugural session, Ms Kiran Pandey in her presentation Making data meaningful: why we must be data driven elaborated upon how we can make data meaningful and use in decision making. She also discussed about how data is important for every organizations, researchers and for policymaking.

In another session entitled 'Finding the right numbers for research, advocacy and impact' she described various web-based resources which are rich repositories of data that social scientists need, and shared a few examples of how data presented by CSE in its reports and publications is collected.

In the next session, Professor  Kalra talked about Data Citation & Documentation and Sources for Authoritative Data and the role of data literacy in finding authoritative data.

Next session was jointly conducted by Professors Jagtar Singh and Kalra and Dr. Rao where five groups of participants were formed. While forming groups diversity of participants was ensured and participants were asked to familiarize with each other in their respective group.

On the second day, Dr. T.C. Goyal, retired from Indian Statistical Service and Mr A.S. Ahluwalia, retired from Indian Economic Service (both now working with MGSIPA) discussed about data analysis and interpretation.

In their second session Dr. Goyal and Mr. Ahluwalia explained in detail about that how we can select the sample and discussed about the hypotheses testing. This was followed by an Open Session for the groups where each groups was asked to select one or two facets of the theme Data Literacy and discuss various issues and dimensions of the facet. 

In the next session, each group was asked to make a brief presentation on the discussions carried out by the group and raise pertinent issues to be discussed further. The following facets were covered by the groups:

  • Research data management
  • Data governance issues
  • Data privacy and sovereignty
  • Data security
  • Data policies

At the end, feedback about the workshop given by three participants which was followed by Valedictory Session in which certificates of participation were given to participants by Col. Dalbir Singh.

Association of Parliamentary Libraries of Eastern and Southern Africa (APLESA) Pre-Conference Data Literacy Workshop

By, Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo

Through its Membership Committee's event sponsorship program, IASSIST recently sponsored a one day pre- Conference Training Workshop on Data Literacy for the Association of Parliamentary Libraries of Eastern and Southern Africa (APLESA). The workshop aimed to help librarians acquire data literacy skills in order to produce statistics/data that can be used for reporting and evidence based planning.

The workshop was held at the Makerere University School of Computing and Information Sciences, Kampala, Uganda, attracting over 30 participants from Malawi, Uganda, Angola, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Botswana and Mozambique. Attendees came from from Parliaments, government departments, academia and publiclibraries.

The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo, the IASSIST Event Liaison Coordinator and Prof. Constant Obura-Okello, who is also the Dean of East African School of Library and Information (EASLIS). Mr. Simon Engitu, the Secretary of APLESA was the workshop moderator.

In his opening remarks, the President of APLESA, appreciated the support from IASSIST and the importance of the workshop, emphasizing the value of data in reporting and planning. With the theme of conference “Taking Parliament to the People: the Role of Parliament Libraries in Bridging the Gap between the People and Parliament”. There is need for the Parliament libraries to work together with Research Services departments to improve research data management and data literacy skills.

The workshop topics included data and storytelling; basics of data literacy and its importance, and basics of data visualization using RAWgraphs. During sessions, participants were assigned group work related to topics and discussed their group work.

Ms. Nekesa informed the participants that they don’t need to be statisticians to carry out data management, but as librarians they need to gain data literacy skills to support researchers and other patrons. We need to illustrate and inform public opinion, substantiate for others what we already know using data which will provide a basis for evident based planning. Hence there is need to learn to generate and analyze the data we receive in the libraries and better serve our clients.

Prof. Obura reminded the participants that that data literacy is the ability to understand and use data effectively to form decisions. He informed them that data literacy is a new concept in Africa and therefore, there is need to include it in LIS curriculum and train data librarians who are able to handle data requests from researchers and other clients.

Feedback from workshop participants indicated overwhelming satisfaction with content. They also recommended to form a member’s forum; a workshop on integrated data literacy into the academic curriculum; a training of trainers of data literacy technical working group; and form technical working groups for data literacy in Eastern and Southern Africa

An interim working group was formed to further the interest of data literacy in the Eastern and Southern Africa.

  • Academic representative: Loyce Mutimbwa (Uganda)
  • Student representative: Akello Cissy (Uganda), Chancy Makamo (Malawi)
  • Parliamentarians: Simon Engitu (Uganda), Mr. Miguel (Angola)
  • Other Government Agencies: Sadres Twinomugisha
  • Patron: Prof. Constant Okello-Obura

At the end of the workshop, participants were presented with certificates.

DPC2018 Conference Report

By Adetoun Oyelude, University of Ibadan

From Saturday 1st September 2018 when one of the participants from Uganda arrived in Nigeria, the Digital Preservation Conference started on a high note. The preparations for the Monday Opening Ceremony took place on Sunday 2nd with the Ugandan participant joining at the venue in preparing the Hall and other ancillaries concerning the conference. 

Day 1: The Opening Ceremony conference commenced at 11.45am on Monday, 3rd September 2018. In attendance were dignitaries from public and private sectors. The Chairman of the occasion was Barrister D. D. Fer who is the Acting Director of National Archives of Nigeria. Dr Abiola Abioye, the Chairman of the NLA-PACS delivered a welcome address. The Keynote addresswas given by Prof. G. Olubunmi Alegbeleye of  Babcock University, Ilisan Remo who is the Founding Chairman of the Section. Prof Alegbeleye dwelt on the imperatives of digital preservation having regards to the unique nature of digital information resources. James Lowry, a digital preservation expert at Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom contributed a keynote remotely. His keynote focused on digital preservation in a recessed economy with stringent budgets.

Goodwill messages were received from the National Librarian/CEO, National Library of Nigeria, Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and former President of Nigerian Library Association, Alhaji Rilwanu Abdulsalam. The representatives of the Head of Department of Library, Archival and Information Studies, University of Ibadan and the Director of African Regional Centre for Information Studies also presented goodwill messages on their behalf. The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service was also represented at the opening ceremony. The Director of the FCT Archives and History Bureau, Ms. Cyril Jogai and the Librarian of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) were also in attendance. The high point of the opening ceremony was the unveiling of the Section's website which participants at the opening ceremony instantly logged on to using the link https://nlapac.ng to gain access. The role of the International Association for Social Science Information Science and Technology (IASSIST) in sponsoring the conference, was acknowledged and emphasized and IASSIST's relevance in digital preservation was highlighted. Group photographs were taken and refreshments served.

Immediately after the opening ceremony, 3 paper presentations by Prof. G.O. Alegbeleye, Dr. Akinniyi Adeleke and Dr. Ngozi Azubogu were taken. The first speaker presented An Overview of Digital Preservation strategies while the other speakers presented two case studies of Digital Preservation from Tekena Tamuno University Libray, Adeleke University, Ede, and the Federal University of Technology, Owerri Library respectively. The session was chaired by Prof Yacob Haliso of Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Day 2: Three Posters were presented by Grace Ikenna; Dr D'Anna Shotts and Anthonia Ahima; and Adetoun Oyelude on different aspects of digital preservation. The first was on the state of digital preservation in the Kenneth Dike Library, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; the second on the progress of digitization in the Northeastern Baptist collection in Nigeria while the third was on the impact of IASSIST on digital preservation in the African Region. Datasheets on IASSIST were distributed to participants at the conference. They were encouraged to visit the IASSIST website and join the network as Africa was poorly represented in IASSIST. 

Apart from posters, six papers were presentated in very stimulating sessions by Dr. Ezra Gbaje & Prof. Umar Ibrahim; Omobolade Adeagbo/Sunday Obadare/Femi Oguntuase & Samson Akande; Kathryn Phillips & Edidiong Eyo in the morning session. The afternoon session had Prince Jacob Igwe & Chidinma; Ifeyinwa Okafor & Olalekan Awujoola and Aishat Egbunu/ Adeyinka Koiki-Owoyele & Adefunke Alabi presenting on preserving cultural heritage through digital preservation. After each session activities, lots of networking, exchange of ideas, international perspectives... name it!

Day 3- even more exciting! Four papers by Dr. Benedict Oladele; Titilayo Ilesanmi; Christopher Okiki & Racheal Odunlade; and Adetoun Oyelude & Winny Akullo were delivered in the morning session which sparked stimulating discussions.

One needed to be there to listen to the afternoon session by Abass Mustapha on Audio-Visual Digital Preservation of Yoruba Indigenous Knowledge and its economic benefits, as well as the Busicon Exhibitor's presentation on equipment for Digital Preservation and methods for it, presented by Lola Akanbi, the CEO of the company. Quite a package! Participants were practically 'chased out' from the venue at 5.45pm, almost two hours beyond target, not due to lateness, but to the lively discussions that kept coming. See!

And... without doubt, NLA-PACS is creating a networking family that say nothing to each other, but come out with a colour code, simply coincidental! *Code purple!*. It was fun!

Day 4: The Grand finale was grand! The three papers that ended the conference were information packed, by Isaac Ajibola; Rachael Odunlade & Chris Okiki; plus a final one from Okwor, Ihekwoaba et al. The wrap-up, putting the communique together was another interesting exercise. The communiquehas been issued! It can be found on the NLA-PACS website. In closing the conference, the NLA-PACS Chairman, Dr. Abiola Abioye expressed appreciation to all those who contributed in various respects to make the conference a reality. On the whole, the Digital Preservation Conference 2018 was a huge success. Lessons were however, learnt which will properly position NLA-PACS for the next conference at which participants are expecting hands-on workshops. 

Not less than 15 participants from Africa promised to join the IASSIST network, and 3 who were members but in default, promising to renew their membership and also contribute to the next IASSIST conference in Sydney, Australia. The support from IASSIST ensured that the NLA-PACS website is up and running; making the Section the 3rd Section of the Nigerian Library Association to have a website (in spite of being almost the newest Section); and also producing "a most exciting conference which even though the first of its kind, is already giving the NLA Cataloguing Classification and Indexing Section (the best Section for the year 2017) a hot competition as the best," as described by a participant. The conference evaluation forms gave lots more comments, even on the innovative conference bags favoured by many participants!  The Section is already looking forward to NLA-PACS 2019, the best yet to come!

Data Workshop Conducted at the National Library of Uganda

By Winny Nekesa Akullo, Uganda Library and Information Associations 

I won sponsorship from the International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST) for a One-day Data workshop conducted on 29th November 2018 at the National Library of Uganda on behalf of the Uganda Library and Information Associations (ULIA). The workshop aimed at bringing together librarians from different institutions in Uganda to learn how to collect relevant and meaningful data to tell stories relating to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The workshop attracted 20 librarians from government departments, academia, public and community libraries.

The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Sarah Kaddu, the President, ULIA and Mr. Eric Haumba, Chief Librarian, YMCA Comprehensive Institute and moderated by Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo, the Publicity Secretary of ULIA, IASSIST Event Liaison Officer and a member of IASSIST.

The workshop topics included; The UN 2030 Agenda and AU Agenda 2063; the role of libraries in the 2030 Agenda and” Telling Your Story” Tracking and Collection of Relevant Data Template for Documenting Stories. At the end of the workshop participants were presented with certificates of participations.

In his opening remarks, the Director of the National Library of Uganda, Mr. Adonia Katungisa, noted that the workshop was timely and more relevant to the librarians considering that the policy makers and researchers are now demanding for data and statistics to enable them make informed decisions and planning for the libraries in the country. Its therefore, time for people to know what libraries are doing.

Dr. Kaddu on the other hand emphasized that as librarians, “we need to work closely within the profession and other sectors to achieve UN 2030 Agenda”, she implored the participants to use statistics to advocate for positive change in their societies. Using relevant data is a very good way to support our advocacy and tell our stories. There is need to define the purpose for the data, what data do you need, where to find the data, explain the data and connect the numbers to the story you are trying to tell. 

Therefore, there is need to strengthen data collection, management and dissemination to capture evidence to inform decision making.

Feedback from the participants indicated the objective of the workshop was fully achieved and the quality of the results at the workshop was high quality. The participants also recommended for establishment of a database/system to collect library statistics and activities countrywide and training in data literacy skills to ensure that data are used and interpreted correctly.

The Participants were very enthusiastic to be part of the workshop and also looked forward to joining IASSIST as members.

We are very grateful to IASSIST for its support without which this workshop wouldn’t have been possible.

Data Workshop Conducted at the National Library of Uganda

By Winny Nekesa Akullo, Uganda Library and Information Associations 

I won sponsorship from the International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST) for a One-day Data workshop conducted on 29th November 2018 at the National Library of Uganda on behalf of the Uganda Library and Information Associations (ULIA). The workshop aimed at bringing together librarians from different institutions in Uganda to learn how to collect relevant and meaningful data to tell stories relating to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The workshop attracted 20 librarians from government departments, academia, public and community libraries.

 

The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Sarah Kaddu, the President, ULIA and Mr. Eric Haumba, Chief Librarian, YMCA Comprehensive Institute and moderated by Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo, the Publicity Secretary of ULIA, IASSIST Event Liaison Officer and a member of IASSIST.

The workshop topics included; The UN 2030 Agenda and AU Agenda 2063; the role of libraries in the 2030 Agenda and” Telling Your Story” Tracking and Collection of Relevant Data Template for Documenting Stories. At the end of the workshop participants were presented with certificates of participations.

In his opening remarks, the Director of the National Library of Uganda, Mr. Adonia Katungisa, noted that the workshop was timely and more relevant to the librarians considering that the policy makers and researchers are now demanding for data and statistics to enable them make informed decisions and planning for the libraries in the country. Its therefore, time for people to know what libraries are doing.

Dr. Kaddu on the other hand emphasized that as librarians, “we need to work closely within the profession and other sectors to achieve UN 2030 Agenda”, she implored the participants to use statistics to advocate for positive change in their societies. Using relevant data is a very good way to support our advocacy and tell our stories. There is need to define the purpose for the data, what data do you need, where to find the data, explain the data and connect the numbers to the story you are trying to tell. 

Therefore, there is need to strengthen data collection, management and dissemination to capture evidence to inform decision making.

Feedback from the participants indicated the objective of the workshop was fully achieved and the quality of the results at the workshop was high quality. The participants also recommended for establishment of a database/system to collect library statistics and activities countrywide and training in data literacy skills to ensure that data are used and interpreted correctly.

The Participants were very enthusiastic to be part of the workshop and also looked forward to joining IASSIST as members.

We are very grateful to IASSIST for its support without which this workshop wouldn’t have been possible.

IASSIST & CARTO 2018 CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Conference website: http://www.library.mcgill.ca/iassistcarto2018/

Conference hashtag: #iassistcarto

The 44th annual conference of the International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST) will be jointly held with the 52nd annual conference of the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA-ACACC) in Montréal, Québec, Canada from May 29-June 1, 2018.

Once Upon a Data Point: Sustaining our Data Storytellers

In many ways, researchers are data storytellers: they create compelling data-supported narratives for examining both historical and current social phenomena and for facilitating social change and reconciliation. We professionals who support these data storytellers play vital roles in giving their data stories life. We assist our data storytellers in:

  • Discovering existing and collecting new data from which to craft the stories.
  • Analyzing and managing data to uncover the stories hiding within.
  • Visualizing data to offer vivid and meaningful illustrations to enhance the stories.
  • Teaching data literacy skills to their audiences so they can understand and critique the stories.
  • Curating, archiving, and sharing data so that the stories are not lost for future generations, and so new data storytellers may weave even more stories from the data.

And we conduct our own research to tell our own stories and to also improve our support of other data storytellers.

We welcome submissions that tell diverse stories about our IASSIST and ACMLA-ACACC communities’ experiences, that offer conference attendees suggestions of how they can implement or adapt lessons for their own work, and that have wide-reaching appeal to our international attendees. Although the positive outcomes are always something people want to hear, there’s also an appetite for learning about the things that didn’t go well, particularly any problems you faced and how others might avoid or handle them.

So bring us your data comedies, tragedies, epics, horror stories, mysteries, histories, thrillers, adventures, fables, fantasies, science fiction, and even romances if you’ve got them! We look forward to sharing, learning from, and adapting each other's stories.

 

Submitting Proposals

We welcome submissions for papers, presentations, panels, posters, and Pecha Kuchas in English and French.

The Call for Presentations, along with the link to the submission form, is at: http://www.library.mcgill.ca/iassistcarto2018/call-for-proposals/ 

Questions about presentation submissions may be sent to the Program Co-Chairs (Jay Brodeur, Laurence Horton, and Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh) at iassist2018@gmail.com.

We are also accepting submissions for Pre-conference Workshops. The Call for Workshops, along with the link to the submission form, is at: http://www.library.mcgill.ca/iassistcarto2018/workshops/

Questions about workshop submissions may be sent to Workshop Coordinators, Jenny Muilenburg (jmuil@uw.edu) and Andy Rutkowski (arutkows@usc.edu).

Deadline for ALL submissions: 20 November 2017

Notification of acceptance: February 2018


Support for Attending the Conference

IASSIST Fellows Program supports data professionals from underrepresented regions and countries with emerging economies. IASSIST Early Professional Fellows Program helps early career data professionals recognizing the value of innovative ideas. Applications can be made at https://goo.gl/forms/dr6fie6XJyOKR4Ee2 and will close 19 January 2018.

Address questions about the Fellows Programs to Florio Arguillas (foa2@cornell.edu) and Stuart Macdonald (smacdee@outlook.com).

IASSIST Call for Event Sponsorship Proposals 2017 Round 2: “Mini Grants”

The IASSIST Liaison and Organizational Sponsorship Task Force is seeking proposals for sponsorships of regional or local events during calendar year 2017. In this second round of sponsorships we will be awarding up to four grants of $500 USD each, but requests for any amount up to $500 USD will be considered.

The goal of these sponsorships is to support local networks of data professionals and data-related activities across the globe in order to help support IASSISTers activities throughout the year and increase awareness of the value of IASSIST membership.

Events should be a gathering of data professionals from multiple institutions and may vary in size and scope from workshops, symposia, conferences, etc. These may be established events or new endeavors. We are particularly looking to sponsor regional or local level events that will attract data professionals who would benefit from IASSIST membership, but may not always be able to travel to attend IASSIST conferences. Preference will be given to events from geographic areas outside of traditional IASSIST conference locations (North America and Western Europe), and from underrepresented membership areas as such as Latin/South America, Africa, Asia/Pacific, and Eastern Europe.

Requests for sponsorships may be monetary, and may also include a request for mentorship assistance by matching the event planning committee with an experienced IASSIST member with relevant expertise (e.g., conference planning, subject/content, geographic familiarity).

Accepted events will be required to designate an active IASSIST member as the liaison. Generally, this would be an IASSIST member who will be attending the event and although not required, may be on the planning committee or otherwise contributing to the event. The liaison will be responsible for assistance with coordinating logistics related to the sponsorship, ensuring that the sponsorship is recognized at the event, and contributing a post to the IASSIST iBlog about the event.

Proposals should include:

  • Name of the event and event details (date, location, any other pertinent information)
  • Organizing or hosting institution
  • Description of event and how it relates to IASSIST goals and communities
  • Specific request for sponsorship: amount of money and/or mentorship assistance
  • Description of how the sponsorship will be used
  • Name and contact information of person submitting proposal and designated event liaison to IASSIST (if different)

Proposals are due on Friday, June 30 2017 via the Application Form. Notification of sponsorship awards will be by July 21 2017. The number and monetary extent of awarded sponsorships will depend on the number and quality of applications received within a total budgeted limit. Individual sponsorship requests may range from $0 USD (request for mentorship only) to $500 USD.

Please direct questions to Jen Doty, IASSIST Membership Chair (jennifer.doty@emory.edu).

#IDCC17: Notes from the International Digital Curation Conference 2017

For the third time IASSIST sponsored the International Digital Curation Conference. This time allowing three students, one each from Switzerland, Korea, and Canada to attend the conference, which titled itself "Upstream, Downstream: embedding digital curation workflows for data science, scholarship and society".

Data science was a strong theme of the three keynote presentations, in particular how curation and data management are an active, integrated, ongoing parts of analysis rather than a passive epilogue in research.

Maria Wolters talked about how missing data can provide research insights analysing patterns of absence and, counter-intuitively, can improve the quality of datasets through the concept of managed forgetting –asking is it important to preserve and is it relevant at the moment – we can better manage and find data. Alice Daish showed her work as a data scientist at the British Museum, with the goal of enabling data informed decision-making. This involved identifying data "silos" and "wrangling" data in to exportable formats, along with zealous use and promotion of R, but also thinking about the way data is communicated to management. Chris Williams demonstrated how the Alan Turing Institute handles data mining. He reports that about 80 percent of work on data mining involves understanding and preparing data. This ranges from understanding formats and running descriptives to look for outliers and anomalies to cleaning untidy and inconsistent metadata and coding. The aim is to automate as much of this as possible with the Automatic Statistician project.

In a session on data policies, University of Toronto's Dylanne Dearborn and Leanne Trimble showed how libraries can use creative thinking to matching publication patterns against journal data policies in providing support. Fieke Schoots outlined the approach at Leiden which includes requirements from PhD's to state location of research data before their defence can take place and twenty year retention for Data Management Plans. Switching to journals, Ian Hrynaszkiewicz talked about the work Springer Nature has done to standardise journal data polices into one of four types allied with support for authors and editors on policy identification and implementation.

Ruth Geraghty dealt with ethical challenges in retro-fitting a data set for sharing. She introduced the Children’s Research Network for Ireland and Northern Ireland. This involved attempting to obtain consent from participants for sharing, but also work on anonymising the data to enable sharing. Although a problematic and resource intensive endeavour the result is not only a reusable data set but informed guidance for other projects on archiving and sharing. Niamh Moore has long experience of archiving her research and focused on another legacy archive – the Clayoquot Lives oral history project. Niamh is using Omeka as a sharing platform because it gives the researcher control of how the data can be presented for reuse. For example, Omeka has capacity for creating exhibits to showcase themes.

Community is important in both curation and management. Marta Teperek and Rosie Higman introduced work at Cambridge on collaborative communities and data champions. Finding a top-down compliance approach was not working, Cambridge moved to a bottom-up engagement style bringing researchers into decision-making on policies and support. Data champions are a new approach to seed advocates and trainers around the university as local contact points, based on a community of practice model. The rewards of this approach are potentially rich, but the cost of setting-up and managing it are high and the behaviour of the community is not always controllable. Two presentations on community/citizen science from Andrea Copeland and Peter Darch also hit on the theme of controlling groups in curating data. The Galaxy Zoo project found there were lessons to learn about the behaviour of volunteers, particularly the negative impact of a "league table" credit system in retaining contributors, and how volunteers expected to only contribute classifications were in some cases doing data science work in noticing unusual objects.

A topic of relevance to social science focused curation is sensitive data. Debra Hiom introduced University of Bristol's method of providing safe access to sensitive data. Once again, it's resource intensive - requiring a committee classification of data into levels of access and process reviews to ensure applications are genuine. However the result is that data that cannot be open can be shared responsibly. Sebastian Karcher from the Qualitative Data Archive spoke about managing sensitive data in the cloud, a task further complicated by the lack of a federal data protection law in the United States. Elizabeth Hull (Dryad) presented on developing an ethical framework for curating social media data. A common perception is social media posts are fair use, if made public. However, from an ethical perspective posters may not understand their "data" is being collected for research purposes and users need to know that use of @ or # on Twitter means they are inviting involvement and sharing in wider discussions. Hull offered a "STEP" approach as way to deal with social media data, balancing benefit of preservation and sharing against risk of harm and reasonable consent from research subjects.

Notes from the second Jisc Research Data Network event

Jisc held their second Research Data Network event in Cambridge. I went along to take notes.

Danny Kingsley gave an overview of why data sharing is important, which was useful as introduction for those new to this, and a refresher of first principles to the more experienced.

The day then moved into parallel sessions on aspects of the network's activity.

The Research Data Shared Service is an initiative to help intuitions with RDM infrastructure. Jisc research suggests the priority for universities is addressing the digital preservation gap. Consequently, Jisc are looking at providing data repository and long-term preservation services as well as considering how a service could integrate with existing CRIS systems and repositories. This will take place in a "University of Jisc" that allows a testing environment using research data.

Jisc are developing templates and guidance for publishers on creating a research data policy which can then adapt to their journals. They are working with Springer Nature who are trying to fit their 3000 journals to into one of four types of data policy, ranging from encouraged to mandatory sharing and availability criteria.

Cambridge's Research Data support service provided insight into engaging researchers in research data management. Their initial compliance message was not working, so they switched to a positive benefits message. This is underpinned by "adequate provisions": online information, consultancies, reviewing data management plan, and training sessions. They also invest resources in advocacy and outreach including a "democratic" approach involving researchers in shaping the service and policies.

Jisc are developing a "core" metadata profile for research data. The profile is based on focus group testing, and integration with existing standards. The aim is to encourage better quality metadata submissions from researchers, with "gold, silver, and bronze" thresholds.

The final session introduced Jisc's template business case for RDM support. This is intended to allow institutions to adapt a structured case for supporting RDM services that can be presented to university management. The case covers the economic benefits of data sharing and preservation, along with institutional and researcher benefits, with a focus on numbers. My particular favourite: UK universities hold an estimated 450 petabytes of research data. The case will be available this autumn.

Should you have further interest in their activities, Jisc have a Research Data Network website and presentations from the day are also available.

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