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News about City University's open access repository, philosophical musings about Open Access

Event report: “Dealing with Data – what’s the role for the library?”

Sorry for the lack of posts to this blog, loyal readers. I intend to write something about the work we’re doing on staff profiles here at City soon.

In the meantime, here’s a write-up of an event I attended in Ghent, Belgium (which, by the way, is a lovely little city). Entitled “Dealing with Data – what’s the role for the library?” it was on that perennial hot topic, research data management (RDM). I found two things about the event particularly useful: its focus on how library services (as distinct from all the other parts of universities that have a hand in RDM) can support RDM, and the presence of real live researchers who talked about their experiences with RDM and what library services can do to help. What follows is a summary of a couple of the sessions I found particularly useful, and a lesson I think can be taken from the workshop that I hope to be able to apply here at City.

After a couple of opening sessions that set the scene on RDM in the context of open science and what we mean when we talk about RDM (a slippery subject) came for me what was the best session of the morning, “Meet the Scientists”. Often meetings about RDM (and also open access) limit themselves to librarians and other information professionals talking amongst themselves, without input from those people we are actually supposed to be helping, researchers. Therefore hearing from working scientists was really refreshing, particularly since the scientists came from three disparate research areas (digital humanities, biology and market research) each with their own challenges. A number of issues were identified:

  • In the digital humanities, there is a problem that data can be heterogeneous, and this can be a barrier for researchers sharing (“no one else will be interested in my research data”), though this fact can often be used as an excuse not to share.
  • In biology, the GenBank repository for genetic datasets is very well established, but researchers do not share experimental data. There are perceived issues with data quality, but also issues with accreditation when sharing (“will people who re-use my data give me suitable acknowledgement?”). The problem of accreditation came up a number of times, and it’s notable that journal publishers are now evolving standards to try to manage citing datasets.
  • In market research, data modelling allows for natural experiments to take place, but this can also require versioning of datasets, a potentially formidable task for universities looking at RDM.

The panel suggested a number of ways that libraries can help researchers with RDM:

  • Encourage researchers to deposit their data.
  • Offer advice to researchers about where they might deposit data, whether this be locally in an institutional repository, in a discipline repository or in a generic repository. Don’t be afraid to offer this advice- researchers will be grateful!
  • Think small: running small projects with groups of researchers is a good way to develop services. Don’t bite of more than you can chew, but doing something is always better than doing nothing!
  • Think about workflows that created the data in the first place and how these might be preserved.
  • Think about providing machine access to data where possible via APIs.

So a lot to be thinking about!

The other session I wanted to highlight was on “Actively Supporting Data Management: Learning From the Approach of Three Research Institutions”. The session covered how three library services had gone about awareness raising about RDM with librarian colleagues. Dr Andrew Cox of the University of Sheffield’s Information School identified barriers to entry for librarians when first thinking about RDM:

  1. Librarians are already over-burdened with roles, and RDM is yet another thing to worry about.
  2. Librarians don’t often have first-hand experience of the research process and so can feel unfamiliar with some of the issues relating to RDM.
  3. Current library skills don’t always translate to an RDM context.
  4. The problem of being taken seriously: will researchers be interested in what librarians have to say about RDM?
  5. The scale of the task: RDM can involve setting up a service or services from scratch.
  6. The lack of infrastructure to assist with RDM.

Therefore Dr Cox recommended the following steps to raise awareness about RDM issues:

  • Confidence raising: giving people the confidence to talk about RDM, even if they don’t have all the answers.
  • Increasing knowledge about RDM issues.
  • Encouraging changes of professional identity to include RDM as one of the things that librarians have expertise in.
  • Providing prompts to getting started whether or not policy and infrastructure are in place, and instead of waiting for these to come into place through the actions of others.

In conclusion this was a really good event, and I wish I could have stayed on for the main conference, Elag2013: Inside Out Library. The take-home lesson for me was that it’s better to do something rather than nothing when it comes to RDM, since if we in the library don’t then perhaps no one will.

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Research Libraries UK conference 2012

Last week I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Research Libraries UK conference 2012. It was held at St James’ Park in Newcastle, a rather huge football stadium (though of course we used the conference centre rather the terraces!) The conference was “high level” insofar as it examined big-picture issues relating to research libraries. In this it reflected the membership of RLUK, and attendees were mainly senior library managers as well as the odd interloper such as myself.

The reason for my attendance was hearing Janet Finch talk about the report her committee produced, which has become known as the Finch Report. Below, I summarise the interesting points of the other plenary sessions and examine in more detail the session in which Finch and others talked about open access. For reasons of space I have omitted reporting on some very lively Pecha Kucha sessions and one of the plenary sessions, as well as Stephen Curry’s excellent and engaging researcher’s perspective on open access, since I reported on a very similar presentation of his recently.

Roly Keating, British Library. Starting off the conference at a very high level, new BL Chief Executive Keating explained how he viewed the BL’s place in the “library ecosystem”. it was a dense presentation, but a few things in particular that he said stuck with me:

  • That the BL is a guarantor of information for future generations- and that this guarantee now extended (by statutory remit) to web content.
  • That the BL (and by extension other libraries) is a cultural institutions in its own right, as well as a traditional library in the sense of being a repository for physical objects.
  • Data management is a new horizon for the BL- for example they partnered with the BBC recently to digitise and turn into a dataset the Radio Times, giving the BBC for the first time a complete record of its broadcasting schedule since its inception.
  • The power and value of the physical object has not diminished in this new digital world; in fact it is enhanced.
  • The move to non-physical legal deposit is the biggest challenge on the BL’s horizon, but presents some amazing opportunities, e.g. turning the UK’s entire web domain into a dataset to allow its programmatic analysis.

User-centred cataloguing: thinking differently. This session was on the opportunities presented by shared services for cataloguing, in light of recent developments in data interoperability (not least that old library favourite, linked data). Economies of scale can be derived from a shared approach to the re-use of cataloguing data. The question is how to usefully do this.

Redefining the Research Library Model. A report on the RLUK project of the same name, which summarised new thinking in this area (and the website above includes some very interesting position papers on this subject). Most interesting was news from JISC on their forthcoming changes, which (for repositories at least) seem to lay emphasis on research data management.

Hidden Gems: Revealing or Special Collections. An overview of the state of play with special collections in research libraries. Some provocative points were made here, including one from Andrew Green, National Library of Wales, that perhaps those collections of uncatalogued material should be gotten rid of- how useful are they really?

Open Access to UK Research Outputs. As mentioned above, this session was of the most interest to me personally. Janet Finch kicked off, summarising how the Finch Report came to the conclusions it did, and the implications of those conclusions for libraries. The Finch Report has been discussed at great length elsewhere (in particular the way it favours Gold Open Access (OA) over Green) so I won’t rehash that discussion here, but some of the points and questions I took from Finch’s presentation were as follows:

  • Finch made very clear that there was no ministerial or other governmental influence over the findings of the committee and its report.
  • Finch stated that the remit of the report was (among other things) to make peer reviewed research available “free”, but free for whom? The emphasis on Gold OA means that journal publishing will move from a “reader pays” to an “author pays” model. Moreover, the cost of Gold OA author processing charges has been estimated at £60m per year on top of (or taken out of) the UK’s research budget, which will go directly to publishers.
  • Finch stated that “Maintaining the viability if the publishing industry” was one of the Committee’s success criteria, but it’s unclear to me why this should have deemed a criteria for success, if the goal was free access to research and if there was no Ministerial influence on the Committee.
  • Finch made some reassuring (from my perspective as a repository manager!) remarks about the expectation that we will be in a “mixed economy” of Green and Gold for the foreseeable future.

Following on from Janet Finch, was Mark Thorley from RCUK, to explain RCUK’s also much-discussed and recently revised open access policy. This policy puts into practice the Finch Report’s recommendations by enforcing open access for research it funds, with a clear preference for the Gold over the Green route (which at first glance seems to say that researchers with RCUK funding must, when they publish, go Gold if they can; and if they can’t go Gold they must go Green). When asked about whether this would circumscribe authors’ choices, Thorley was very clear that the policy applied at the level of journals rather than individuals. In other words, RCUK won’t be policing the choices of individuals as long as they have made their work openly accessible whether that is by going Gold or Green (or indeed both). What remains unclear to me is how researchers themselves are supposed to know this, given the wording of the current policy and the advice that surrounds it.

All in all the conference was very interesting for the “core” aspects of my role (i.e. open access), but it was also fascinating to find out about the many other hot topics around research libraries. I also managed to catch up with some old friends and meet some new people, which is always good!

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Open Access Week 2012: Opening Research and Data

Last week, as part of Open Access Week 2012, colleagues at LSHTM, Birkbeck, LSE, and SOAS (as well as myself) organised an event, Opening Research and Data. It was intended to be a broad overview of “where we’re at” with open access. As such, we were lucky to be able to put together a bill that was eminently capable of taking a high-level look at the open agenda, particularly in light of recent developments such as the Finch Report and the new RCUK policy on open access.

The first presenter was Frederick Friend, Honorary Director Scholarly Communication at UCL.  Frederick gave a broad overview of the development of open access up to the present day. The strongest message I took from his presentation was the flaws in the Finch Report, and as a result the flaws in the RCUK open access policy. He noted that there was (unjust) antagonism towards institutional repositories (IRs) , particularly since IRs are the medium of by which the vast majority of the 20% of open access journal content has been made available. He also characterised the Gold option recommended by Finch and RCUK as being uncosted and to the detriment of cheaper Green OA. He likened the policy to trying to make an aeroplane flight to open access with just one (Gold) engine- something much easier to do with two (green and gold) engines!  He also asked academic colleagues to question what exactly they will receive in return for potentially very high Gold OA article processing charges. You can view Frederick Friend’s presentation here.

Next up was Professor Stephen Curry from Imperial College London. Prof Curry is, as he admitted, someone who has recently become interested in open access, and has blogged prolifically on the issue recently, as well as writing on open access and other scientific matters for The Guardian. His general message was that it had been a positive year for open access, since the “fundamentally unanswerable” argument for open access had been won, and awareness of open access was greater than ever before. He had a few concerns, which echoed those of Fred Friend, in particular that Finch & RCUK’s emphasis on Gold will benefit commercial publishers, and that the open access movement must show more unity given the sometimes divisive and rancorous nature of the Gold v. Green debate. Finally, he mentioned that the spurious indicator of academic worth, the Impact Factor, should be done away with. You can view Prof Curry’s presentation here.

Providing a couple of “real-life” experiences of open access were Dr Melissa Terras and Dr Antonio Gasparrini. Dr Terras, a Digital Humanities scholar at UCL, presented about her experiences at using social media (in particular blogging and Twitter) to promote papers made available in UCL’s Discovery repository. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a combination of well-nurtured social networks and openly accessible research equals lots of downloads and hence wide dissemination of research (and see here for a fuller account of a previous version of this presentation). You can view Dr Terras’ presentation here.

Dr Gasparrini is an early-career medical researcher at LSHTM. His presentation focussed on navigating the often confusing open access environment to ensure he complied with open access policy, in this case that of the MRC. In his experience, it was often a question of trading off limited funds assigned for Gold OA against a journal’s reputation, as summarised by Impact Factor. Dr Gasparrini’s best find was that of the Journal of Statistical Software, a fully-open access journal with an APC cost of £0, and a good Impact Factor too.  Dr Gasparrini finished his presentation by pointing to the open software movement, which seems to have gotten far further towards “open” than scholarly communications (though there are structural and commercial reasons for this, I would argue). You can view Dr Gasparrini’s presentation here.

Finally it was the turn of the funding agencies to give their perspective, in two presentations. The first was from David Carr from the Wellcome Trust, who detailed Wellcome’s open access policy. Open access to research is covered by an RCUK-like policy, which emphasises Gold over Green open access. David also laid some emphasis on Wellcome’s plans to better enforce already required research data management plans, which should further the open data agenda (something covered in passing, rather than in depth, by the day’s presentations). You can view David’s presentation here.

Last up was Ben Ryan from EPSRC, who was wearing his RCUK policy hat. Ben had the somewhat unenviable task of explaining RCUK’s open access policy to an audience comprised of a large number of those likely to be critical of RCUK’s policy, not least repository managers. Criticism of the policy has been well-rehearsed elsewhere, but one notable statement from Ben was that RCUK would not be prescriptive within institutions about how they complied with the policy; instead it would be down to individuals to choose, within the criteria laid down by RCUK. The possible perverse effects of the policy have also been documented (briefly, journal publishers may up embargo periods to prevent Green OA being an option); Stephen Curry, in the later discussion, noted that any publisher changing embargo periods to exclude Green OA as an option would be likely to see authors vote with their feet. Ben’s presentation can be viewed here.

The day was rounded off with a lively discussion, proving that people had been thinking about and engaging with the issues raised. Despite being somewhat biased, as I helped organise the event, I think it was a great success and a worthy and thought-provoking way in which to celebrate Open Access Week 2012.

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Open Repositories 2012 – brief conference report

A couple of weeks ago I attended Open Repositories 2012 in Edinburgh. The conference is the big event for anyone interested in open access technology and policy, and it had over 450 delegates from more than 40 countries in attendance. It featured a packed schedule, and I’ll post further over the course of the next week or two with musings upon this. For far more comprehensive overviews of the conference, see the incredibly full accounts of various sessions from the conference’s in-house liveblogging team; Natalia from LSE Library’s posts (part 1, part 2); Nick from UKCoRR’s reflections; and Yvonne from Warwick’s thoughts.

In yet more shameless self-publicity, I gave a paper on the Friday morning of the conference in the Eprints User Group strand, immediately before hopping on a train back to London. It was on our set-up here at City, and the extent to which we’ve managed to integrate City Research Online with the rest of the University’s systems. You can see the abstract and slides in the open access repository, and I have also uploaded the slides to Slideshare.

Finally, a photograph, courtesy of Dave Puplett from LSE. It was taken at the Playfair Library, where a drinks reception was held. It’s of me giving the thumbs up to my favourite philosopher and doyen of the Scottish Enlightenment, David Hume.

Image

One of these people is a renowned philosopher. The other isn’t.

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Open Repositories 2012- the excitement mounts!

Open Repositories 2012 is approaching, and I’m getting excited/ nervous, as I will be presenting a paper. It’s on our experiences here at City at coming to the repository game relatively late, and how to go about integrating repository systems with other university systems, policy and stakeholders given that situation. You can read the abstract of my presentation at City Research Online (I’ll update that record with slides when I’ve written the damn thing, which I will hopefully do tomorrow).

If you’re planning on attending the conference, I would encourage you to create a Crowdvine profile, which is a lightweight social network for delegates- you can see my profile here (warning: contains mugshot). Looking forward to seeing repository types in Edinburgh!

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RSP event: Scholarly Communications: New Developments in Open Access

Laura and I attended the Repositories Support Project (RSP) event Scholarly Communications: New Developments in Open Access last Friday. It was held in the spectacular surroundings of RIBA’s Portland Place building, which gave proceedings a suitable air of grandeur. The event had a first-class line-up of speakers, and was really excellent- the RSP should be congratulated for the event’s high quality and depth of content. A Storify archive of the event’s Tweets is worth taking a look at, if you’re into the whole micro-blogging thing. What follows are my thoughts about the sessions, and as ever they are partial and impressionistic, so apologies in advance for any errors or mistakes in emphasis.

Where next with Open Access – keynote presentation – Martin Hall, Chair of Open Access Implementation Group and Vice Chancellor of the University of Salford. Professor Hall was the biggest scoop for the event- not only is a he a VC, but is also a member of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, AKA the Finch Committee. He was therefore perfectly placed to deliver the keynote, which took a very high-level view of open access (OA) developments in light of the work of the Finch Committee and other developments such as the Elsevier boycott and the recent Whitehouse petition. His vision was one of a slow transition towards full Gold OA predicated on a market in Article Processing Charges (APCs), with a mixed economy (subscription journals, Gold OA journals and Green OA repositories) in the intervening period. He noted two particular possible victims of “collateral damage” in this change:

  • Learned Societies, who often rely on journal subscription charges to fund their activities and operate on very tight margins. The withdrawal of these subs could have a disastrous effect.
  • Independent researchers, who would not have access to institutional funds for APCs (though of course these people are currently in the opposite position- able to publish in journals, but having to rely on the c. 20% of openly accessible articles)

He offered no solutions to these snags, but at least they are being considered. His final remark was heartening for those of us plugging away with institutional repositories: legislative and academics’ attitudinal changes are likely to result in heightened interest in all forms of repositories during this change. I would add to this (as [namedrop alert] Bill Hubbard said to me during a break between sessions) that the emphasis on OA during the next REF cycle is likely to be another driver for interest in repositories.

The Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) at 10 – recommendations for the next ten years of scholarly communications – Alma Swan, Director of European Advocacy, SPARC and Key Perspectives. This presentation was by another very prominent OA advocate, Alma Swan, who had recently participated in updating the BOAI, work which must have been extremely challenging given the stakeholders involved. A few particular points of interest arose from her presentation:

  • For green repositories, gratis OA is better than no OA at all; Libre OA is better than gratis OA. Ideally green OA content should be licensed as CC-BY for full libre re-use. I agree with this (though the distinction is not uncontroversial), the question for us becomes how to license then flag our repository content as Libre, i.e. CC-BY. There are also implications for text- and data-mining of green repository content if this shift is not implemented.
  • BOAI 2012 will make explicit recommendation of use of “Alternative metrics” to assess impact, for example the Altmetric service, or green repositories’  native download and access path statistics.
  • She noted one (in my view) telling statistic regarding access to PubMed Central. This was that 40% of people accessing this site can be defined as “citizens” as opposed to researchers or governmental people, which I think gives the lie to arguments that people do not need (or cannot make sense of) open scholarly research.

I’m now looking forward to the publication of the new version of the BOAI, which should provide yet more impetus toward OA.

Next up were some sessions about some projects and services, which in the interest of keeping this post to a vaguely manageable length I’ll just summarise here:

  • OAPEN-UK – collecting evidence on scholarly monograph publishing – Caren Milloy, Head of Projects JISC Collections. An introduction to the OAPEN-UK project, which is doing some interesting work collating attitudes towards the tricky prospect of archiving books and book chapters.
  • Building campus-based OA journal capacity: SAS Open Journals – Peter Webster, School of Advanced Study. A look at the School of Advanced Studies’  impressive integration of the Open Journals System with an Eprints repository, SAS Space, to provide in-house journal publishing services- see for example Amicus Curiae, a fully open access in-house journal. This is work we need to start looking at here at City.
  • Encouraging data publication – the JISC Managing Research Data Programme – Simon Hodson, JISC Programme Manager – Managing Research Data. An overview of this JISC programme, which is looking into data curation. Data curation is at a tangent to OA as understood as access to research articles, but is just as important. Again, it’s an area we need to start looking at here at City.
  • Figshare and open science – Mark Hahnel, Product Manager, Figshare.An overview of the excellent Figshare service, essentially a Mendeley for research data. As someone said on Twitter, one of the challenges posed by Figshare for repositories is how nice it looks, about a million times better than most repository interfaces.
  • Frontiers – Online community-based peer review, publishing and research networking. – Graeme Moffat, Frontiers. Frontiers is a new open access journals platform. There are some fascinating innovations with the platform, most notably the (nearly) open peer review process, which utilises a web forum to exchange feedback about submitted articles.

Using social media to disseminate research outputs – Melissa Terras, Reader in Electronic Communications in the Department of Information studies and Co-Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities at UCL. The final presentation of the day came from Melissa Terras, who talked about her experiences of Tweeting and blogging about research papers placed in her institution’s repository, UCL Discovery. You can read a full account of her experiments here (and it’s well worth reading in full), but what’s worth noting for the purposes of this post were the hundreds of extra downloads her papers received, merely by virtue of using social media to tell people about them. She also used her slot to make a plea for repository managers to understand academics’ attitudes with regard to self-archiving. Academics are essentially forward-looking, and when a paper is written it is generally considered to be over and done with. This makes retrospective appeals for academics to trawl their hard drives pretty onerous. I think the implication is that it’s incumbent on repository managers to make deposit as simple as possible, and to not get too hung up on back-runs of papers.

All in all an excellent event. RSP will have to do well to top this one, I’m looking forward to seeing if they can do it!

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Symplectic Conference

Laura and I attended Symplectic’s Conference earlier in the week, which featured a number of interesting presentations and some intriguing feature announcements. The presentations included:

  • An introduction to the VIVO Project, an initiative to create a network of scientific researchers and enable discovery of those researchers’ publications. VIVO has a number of interesting features which we might look at here at City, not least the ability to create staff profiles.
  • An update on the DURA Project, which will synchronise users’ Mendeley accounts with Symplectic Elements, allowing easy addition of both metadata and full text to Elements, and hence to repository systems. This looks like an excellent feature development, though of course it will depend on City people using Mendeley. A quick search on Mendeley reveals about 20 City users of the system- not loads, but a start.
  • An introduction to Digital Science, a spin-off from the Nature Publishing Group, which is investing in many networked science start-up companies including Symplectic, and notably also Figshare and Altmetric, two companies we like!

The conference then heard from Symplectic CEO Daniel Hook, who outlined development priorities for Symplectic over the course of the next year. There were a lot of them, so I thought I would summarise some of the ones we’re particularly looking forward to here at City:

  • New data sources, including RePEc (actually available in the latest version of Elements, which we will be upgrading to soon), the British Library (book and chapter data?) and CrossRef (with the ability to pull through article-level metadata, hopefully)
  • User profiling and CV generation.
  • An upgraded user interface, featuring Symplectic’s snazzy new branding and the ability to customise look and feel. We’ll certainly want to make our Elements installation look more like the rest of City’s web presence.
  • Enhanced search, including via the API. This should assist us with outputting publications data to City’s web presence, particularly if and when a university-wide staff profiling system is put in place.
  • New reporting functionality. Reporting is already pretty good in my opinion, but any way to improve this is to be welcomed. Hopefully a report scheduler will be added.

The afternoon was taken up with a focus group session, which involved answering some (tricky) questions about the functionality of the REF module, which will hopefully help make that part of the system more user friendly.

All in all, a really good event, which looked at the bigger picture, but also promised some exciting developments for Elements over the course of the next year. It was also heartening to hear about Symplectic’s commitment to its software interacting with repository systems, something that is always high on our agenda here at City.

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RSP Autumn School – bringing the emphasis back to OA

I was lucky enough to attend the RSP Autumn School in Wales two weeks ago. It was an excellent opportunity to learn about new developments in OA and how other IRs have successfully demonstrated their value. For example, Trinity College, Dublin, has taken up the tools of business intelligence to ‘defend against the Dark Arts’ and have been turning raw data into compelling visual graphics that academics and university administrators can take away and use.  Niamh Brennan illustrated how effective this could be by showing how their results started circulating in the university and eventually trickled their way through to direct statements made by Irish policy makers.

Niamh also stressed the importance of having your highest performing papers (the university’s ‘crown jewels’) as OA full-text in your repository.  As many university administrators see the IR as part of their strategy to raise the institution’s research profile, this clearly makes sense. However, it seems the OA aspect often gets lost in the quest to capture all the bibliographic information of a university’s publication output.  Holding the bibliographic information of these items is important – but it is not going to be very effective in showcasing the work or making it easily accessible to other academics, policy makers, healthcare workers, entrepreneurs, members of industry, or other interested individuals.

More evidence of the positive effects of OA on research impact was presented by Josh Brown as he reported the findings of a recently published JISC report on how OA materials translate into concrete benefits for the private sector http://open-access.org.uk/reports .  As more of these kinds of reports are published it will be interesting to see if more universities join those who have already made OA full-text deposit a requirement for REF consideration.  This would be one very good way for a university to make sure their ‘crown jewels’ are where they should be, and to demonstrate their commitment to helping academics’ research achieve as much impact as possible.

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RIN event: How do we make the case for research data centres?

I attended the Research Information Network’s event, “How do we make the case for research data centres?“. The event was to mark the launch of the RIN/ JISC report, “Data centres: their use, value and impact“.  It was pretty high-level stuff, with plenty of discussion about the relationship of data centres to the research process and ways in which datasets are curated. There were a couple of very interesting examples of use of data are used by researchers themselves, one from an academic who noted the value of data centre data because it didn’t require awkward conversations with potentially rivalrous labs; and another from a researcher in a small company building socio-economic models using data derived from ESDS’ wealth of datasets.

There were a few lessons for City Research Online, though, and I outline them briefly here:

  • Institutions (and by extension institutional repositories) remain important for the curation of data, given their local knowledge and relationships with researchers.
  • Institutional repositories are an excellent and cost effective method of storing data. What they are less good at is the managerial aspects of serving datasets to those whom might wish to access them. IRs can’t provide the rich metadata and sophisticated web front ends that dedicated data centres provide.
  • However, there is still a role for data curation by IRs, for simple and/ or small datasets. Where data are presented in tabular form and are easily catalogued, IRs can take on data that would not be interesting for data centres.
  • This is my own opinion, but I would extend the above role for IRs to include datasets which underlie published journal articles, particularly in those cases where we already archive the paper(s) in question- the ability of IRs to link together items is of benefit here. The challenge here is to advertise this as a viable and meaningful service for data creators.

So, some challenges for us to look at. In my experience, datasets are one of those repository things that can be “worried about later”, but I also think that datasets are of increasing importance to research. If we can identify ways in which City Research Online can usefully provide (perhaps modest) data curation services, then so much the better.

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City Research Online launch event for Open Access Week 2011

We’re holding a party to celebrate the launch of City Research Online. It’s happening as part of Open Access Week 2011 (party listing here), the global celebration of all things open access. We’ve been lucky enough to have City’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Curran, come to speak at the event. There will also, of course, be wine and nibbles!

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