01 March 2011

Digital Curation Centre Roadshow

Today I attended the first day of the DCC Roadshow Sheffield: Institutional Challenges in the Data Decade.

Amongst the participants, librarians were in the minority: only two (of eight) speakers were from libraries; the role libraries are expected or able to play in leading on this issue clearly varies considerably between organisations. The University of Sheffield's Director of Library Services, Martin Lewis, spoke of managing research data as one of the biggest professional challenges facing academic librarians. He and other speakers also emphasised the importance of close cooperation across different departments within an institution.

Dr Liz Lyon (DCC Associate Director) discussed the scale of the data challenge, mentioning a recent special data-focussed issue of Science (11/02/2011), and suggested three useful ways of thinking about data: The presentation also discussed the findings of the report Open science at web-scale regarding transparency in scientific research, the growth of "citizen science" (crowd-sourcing research tasks) and the use of data in predicting outcomes.

Key data management issues include:
  • developing data management policies (increasingly a factor in Research Council funding evaluations);

  • ethical issues in data sharing;

  • data storage (including cloud computing - and the recent HEFCE grant for development).

The presentations which followed provided five case studies of projects managing, using, or providing training about, data. Meik Poschen described the Manchester eResearch Centre MaDAM project working with biomedical researchers. Two presentations covered data management training programmes: Richard Plant discussed the University of York's DMTpsych training for psychology postgraduates and Stuart Jeffrey talked about the DataTrain programme for postgraduate archaeologists and anthropologists at the University of Cambridge. Mark Birkin discussed the NeISS (National eInfrastructure for Social Simulation) project, which facilitates data curation and data use for developing models to predict the impact of policies on populations.

Matthew Herring (Digital Library Officer, York) described different tools for data management in use at the University of York - including YODL (York Digital Library), a multimedia resource currently mainly containing images relating to the university's research. This presentation also provided the quotation which, for me, summed up the day and seems like a good way to finish this post: "openness rocks".

No comments:

Post a Comment