Developments in research data management in academic libraries: Towards an understanding of research data service maturity

My coauthors have placed a pre-print of the accepted version of our paper soon to be published in JASIST on developments in research data management at:  http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/101389/

This paper reports an international study of research data management (RDM) activities, services and capabilities in higher education libraries. It presents the results of a survey covering higher education libraries in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the UK. The results indicate that libraries have provided leadership in RDM, particularly in advocacy and policy development. Service development is still limited, focused especially on advisory and consultancy services (such as data management planning support and data-related training), rather than technical services (such as provision of a data catalogue, and curation of active data). Data curation skills development is underway in libraries, but skills and capabilities are not consistently in place and remain a concern. Other major challenges include resourcing, working with other support services, and achieving ‘buy in’ from researchers and senior managers. Results are compared with previous studies in order to assess trends and relative maturity levels. The range of RDM activities explored in this study are positioned on a ‘landscape maturity model’, which reflects current and planned research data services and practice in academic libraries, representing a ‘snapshot’ of current developments and a baseline for future research.

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Data Sharing for the Advancement of Science: Overcoming Barriers for Citizen Scientists

Finally published – an extraordinarily long pipeline http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/asi.23564/pdf

Systematic study of data sharing by citizen scientists will make a significant contribution to science because of the growing importance of aggregated data in data intensive science. This article expands on the data sharing component of a paper presented at the 2013 ASIST conference. A three-phase project is reported. Conducted between 2011 and 2013 within an environmental voluntary group, the Australian Plants Society Victoria (APSV), the interviews of the first phase are the major data source. Because the project revealed the importance of data sharing with professional scientists, their views are included in the literature review where four themes are explored: lack of shared disciplinary culture, trust, responsibility and controlled access to data, and describing data to enable reuse. The findings, presented under these themes, revealed that, within APSV, sharing among members is mostly generous and uninhibited. Beyond APSV, when online repositories were involved, barriers came very strongly into play. Trust was weaker and barriers also included issues of data quality, data description, and ownership and control. The conclusion is that further investigation of these barriers, including the attitudes of professional scientists to using data contributed by citizen scientists, would indicate how more extensive and useful data sharing could be achieved.

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IFLA Paper 2016

Coming back to blogging after an intensive period of 13 months as Acting Head of School, followed by a bit of leave. Getting used to writing again and began with:

Kennan, M.A. (2016) Data Management: Knowledge and skills required in research, scientific and technical organisations, IFLA World Library and Information Congress, 82nd IFLA General Conference and Assembly 13–19 August 2016, Columbus, Ohio, United States of America  http://library.ifla.org/1466/1/221-kennan-en.pdf

 

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Open Access: The Whipping Boy for Problems in Scholarly Publishing?

Communications of the Association for Information Systems (CAIS) publishes research and other articles on a wide range of topics of interest to information systems professionals and academics. They also invite debates. Our debate is about open access. With our paper Danny Kingsley and I hope to foster debate about the place of open access (OA) in scholarly publishing. The Editor of the section Professor Karlheinz Kautz invited  a varied set of debaters to respond to our opening: publishers, librarians, research administrators, editors, researchers, and largely received a polite refusal or no response. Too controversial a topic or lack of time or interest? However one scholar, three journal editors and a research administrator did respond. CAIS is not open open access, but we have permission to publish our papers on our own web sites or in our repositories, so below are links to our opening debate and our rebuttal to the responses. Hopefully the authors of the responses will also make their papers open access. As Karl says in his editorial, the debate about open access and scholarly publishing is far from over, and to improve scholarly publishing we need more stakeholders to engage in the debate.

Open Access- The Whipping Boy for Problems in Scholarly Publishing

Rebuttal.Open Access- The Whipping Boy for Problems in Scholarly Communications

Kingsley, Danny A. and Kennan, Mary Anne (2015) “Open Access: The Whipping Boy for Problems in Scholarly Publishing,” Communications of the Association for Information Systems: Vol. 37, Article 14. Available at: http://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/vol37/iss1/14

Kingsley, Danny A. and Kennan, Mary Anne (2015) “Open Access: The Whipping Boy for Problems in Scholarly Communication—A Response to the Rebuttals,” Communications of the Association for Information Systems: Vol. 37, Article 20. Available at: http://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/vol37/iss1/20

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DOCAM 2015 – The Document Academy Downunder

During 20 to 22 July 2015 the School of Information Studies at CSU jointly with the Faculty of the Arts and Social Sciences at UTS, hosted the 12th Annual meeting of the Document Academy (DOCAM 2015).  Conference Co-chairs were Paul Scifleet from Swinburne University, Maureen Henninger from UTS, and Mary Anne Kennan from CSU. DOCAM conferences provide a unique multidisciplinary space for reporting experimental and critical research on the concept of the document and documentation, with participants from fields as diverse as information, media, museum, archives, culture, and science studies.  Delegates came from 16 countries and papers were innovative and exciting. The keynote speaker, Professor Geoffrey Bowker (School of Information and Computer Science at the University of California at Irvine, where he is the director of the Laboratory for Values in Design in Information Systems and Technology), opened the conference with a challenge to participants to think beyond boundaries, to question and explore. Below is a photo of DOCAM 2015 attendees courtesy of Kiersten Latham, Kent State University

DOCAM attendees

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Research Data Management Practices: A Snapshot in Time (2015)

There is increasing pressure from funders, publishers, the public, universities and other research organisations for researchers to improve their data management and sharing practices. However, little is known about researchers’ data management and sharing practices and concerns. The research reported in this paper seeks to address this by providing insight into the research data management and sharing practices of academics at ten universities in New South Wales, Australia. Empirical data was taken from a survey to which 760 academics responded, with 634 completing at least one section. Results showed that at the time of the survey there were a wide variety of research data in use, including analogue data, and that the challenges researchers faced in managing their data included finding safe and secure storage, particularly after project completion, but also during projects when data are used (and thus stored) on a wide variety of less-than-optimal temporary devices. Data sharing was not widely practiced and only a relatively small proportion of researchers had a research data management plan. Since the survey was completed much has changed: capacities and communities are being built around data management and sharing and policies, and guidelines are being constructed. Data storage and curation services are now more freely available. It will be interesting to observe how the findings of future studies compare with those reported here.

Kennan M.A. and Markauskaite, L.  Research Data Management Practices: A Snapshot in Time (2015) International Journal of Digital Curation Vol. 10, Iss. 2, 69–95 http://ijdc.net/index.php/ijdc/article/view/10.2.69

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Data sharing for the advancement of science: Overcoming barriers for citizen scientists

Kirsty Williamson, Graeme Johanson, John Weckert and I have just had a paper from our citizen science work accepted for publication by JASIST. It’s been a great project which hopefully can be continued. The paper  addresses data sharing by citizen scientists particularly focusing on independent citizen scientists – that is those who work on their own or as part of a voluntary environmental group rather than as a part of a formal citizen science program. We contend that these citizen scientists can make a significant contribution to science with their data which can contribute to aggregated datasets used in data-intensive science. The paper reports three-phase project Conducted between 2011 and 2013 within a large environmental voluntary group, the Australian Plants’ Society Victoria (APSV), the interviews of the first phase are the major data source. Because the project revealed the importance of data sharing with professional scientists, professional scientists’ views are included in the literature review where four themes are explored: lack of shared disciplinary culture; trust; responsibility and controlled access to data; and describing data to enable reuse. The findings, presented under these themes, revealed that, within APSV, sharing amongst members is mostly generous and uninhibited. Beyond APSV, when online repositories were involved, barriers came very strongly into play. Trust was weaker and barriers also included issues of data quality, data description, and ownership and control. The conclusion is that further investigation of these barriers, including the attitudes of professional scientists to using data contributed by citizen scientists, would indicate how more extensive and useful data sharing can be achieved.

Building on:

Johanson, G., Williamson, K. & M.A. Kennan (2013). Multiple communities: botanical data from citizen scientists for digital repositories. In Nexus, Confluence, and Difference: Community Archives meets Community Informatics; Prato CIRN Conference Oct 28-30, 2013, Monash Centre, Prato Italy. Centre for Community Networking Research, Centre for Social Informatics, Monash University. http://researchoutput.csu.edu.au/R/Q5FY9K2EJ6I5119TQE2B9TV9IXIJTU4LCG8BF2HS253JL8GS5Q-01242?func=results-jump-full&set_entry=000008&set_number=000771&base=GEN01-CSU01

Kennan, M.A., Williamson, K. & Johanson, G. (2012). Wild data: collaborative e-research and university libraries. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 43(1) pp.55-78. http://researchoutput.csu.edu.au/R/-?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=40179&local_base=GEN01-CSU01

Kennan, M.A., Williamson, K & Johanson, G. (2013). Environmental Voluntary Groups: Towards Curating Data for Sharing, Access and Preservation, 76th Annual ASIST Annual Meeting, Beyond the Cloud: Rethinking information boundaries, Montreal Canada. November 1-5 2013. Proceedings of the 76th ASIS&T Annual Meeting, Volume 50.  http://www.asis.org/asist2013/proceedings/submissions/papers/66paper.pdf

 

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