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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

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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.

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.

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.


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Opening up our data – practicing what we preach

CSU has been participating in an Australian National Data Service (ANDS) funded Open Data Collection Project. The first dataset included was from Roshan Thapa’s PhD and the second set was our survey on research support services. Both can be accessed from RDA or via CRO, CSU’s institutional repository.

Part of the service is to create a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) which can facilitate data citation. Citing data is increasingly being recognised as one of the key practices leading to recognition of data as a primary research output.

The current two CSU open datasets are:

Thapa, Roshan ( 2015 ): Botanal and Seedling Data: Rehabilitation of perennial pastures PhD Project. Charles Sturt University. URI:

Kennan, Mary Anne ; Corrall, Sheila ; Afzal, Waseem ( 2015 ): Academic library survey responses data: Research support services, including bibliometrics and research data management. Charles Sturt University & University of Pittsburgh. URI:

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Australian Academic and Research Libraries (AARL) December 2014

The December issue of AARL is published. It is a special issue on research support services in academic libraries. We are very fortunate to have some excellent papers. The version of record is available at:

Many of the authors have also placed their author final versions in their repositories for those without subscriptions (see below for links).

This issue focuses on research support services in academic libraries. We released a call for papers in the middle of 2013 expressing an interest in papers investigating research support services in academic libraries. Interestingly, most of the papers we received were about scholarly communication, particularly open access – clearly areas of great importance and activity in the academic library world. The other papers in this issue report on awareness of a research data management services in South Africa and a research impact measurement service in Australia, also areas of increasing interest in academic libraries.

 Colin Steele “Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Publishing and University Libraries. Plus Ça Change?”

Danny Kingsley “Paying for publication: issues and challenges for research support services”,

Paul Ayris, Erica McLaren, Martin Moyle, Catherine Sharp & Lara Speicher “Open Access in UCL: A New Paradigm for London’s Global University in Research Support”

Michelle Kahn, Richard Higgs, Joy Davidson & Sarah Jones “Research Data Management in South Africa: How We Shape Up”

Robyn Drummond “RIMS Revisited: The Evolution of the Research Impact Measurement Service at UNSW Library”


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The DOCAM 2015 conference extension for submission of abstracts

The DOCAM 2015 conference is pleased to announce an extension for submissions of extended abstracts and posters.

Over the past few days we have had multiple requests for extensions, AND with the onset of the holiday season it seems only appropriate to extend our deadline.

DOCAM 2015’s new and final date for submission of abstracts is midnight (23:59:00) 12 January, 2015, Australian Eastern Daylight Time (see indicative international times below).

Extended abstracts to be submitted by: 12 January 2015
Notification of acceptance by: 15 February 2015
Conference dates: 20-22 July 2015

Monday January 12, midnight Sydney time is:

London : Monday 12 January 1 pm
Los Angeles : Monday 12 January 5 am
New York : Monday 12 January 8 am
Oslo : Monday 12 January 2 pm
Tokyo : Monday 12 January 10pm

Submissions can be made from the Conference web site:

DOCAM ’15 website:

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Announcing DOCAM 2015: “Documents unbounded”

Docam logo 150night opera housephoto

Very much looking forward to my involvement with this interesting conference!

Announcing DOCAM 2015: “Documents unbounded”
The 12th annual international Conference of the Document Academy

The Document Academy’s 12th annual meeting, DOCAM ’15 will be taking place from July 20-22, 2015 at the University of Technology’s Broadway campus in Sydney, Australia. It will be the first DOCAM to be held in the antipodes! So, put the dates in your diary and prepare for a visit to Australia to explore the conference theme of “Documents Unbounded”.
The international Document Academy conference provides a unique multidisciplinary space for reporting experimental and critical research on the concept of the document and documentation in the widest sense. Participants draw on scholarly traditions and experiences from the arts, humanities, social sciences, education, and natural science, and come from fields as diverse as information, media, museum, archives, culture, and science studies.

In 2015 we will come together under the theme of “Documents Unbounded” to examine the challenges ahead, as our understanding of data, documents, records, artefacts, evidence and memory, form in the continuously changing landscape of new media and communications.

The Document Academy, commenced as a co-sponsored initiative of Program of Documentation Studies, University of Tromsø, Norway, and the School of Information, University of California, Berkeley has grown into a truly international event. In 2015, two Australian universities and their information programs will co-host the 12th annual meeting of the Document Academy (DOCAM). They are the IKM and Digital Studies Program University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and School of information Studies at Charles Sturt University (CSU).

For more information about the conference and the call for proposals, visit the DOCAM’15 website at

Join us on Facebook at: and follow us on Twitter at:

Conference Co-Chairs: Paul Scifleet (DOCAM), Maureen Henninger (UTS) and Mary Anne Kennan (CSU). The DOCAM Chairs can be contacted by Email:
Conference Committee: Bhuva Narayan (UTS), Jodi L. Kearns (University of Akron), Kiersten Latham (Kent State University), Lisa Given (CSU), Michael Olsson (UTS), Roswitha Skare (University of Tromsø), Sigrid McCausland (CSU).

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Tips and Insights on Publishing and the Publication Process

On Wednesday my colleague Kim Thompson and I facilitated a workshop on publishing and the publication process. The topics we covered included:

  • The importance of good research to the field
  • What is publishable
  • Writing style, structure, and format
  • Self-editing and proofing
  • Choosing a place to publish
  • Open access and alternatives to journals
  • The referee process
  • What to do with feedback from reviewers and referees
  • The publication process

It was fun and the discussion and powerpoints are recorded in an Adobe Connect session at: Thanks to attendees and all who contributed in different ways. Below is a brief list of related resources.

Choosing a journal

Eliminate the dodgy

Beall, J. (2012). “Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers “, (current 6 May 2014).

Beall, J. (2014 (updated 29 April)). “Beall’s List: Potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers.” (current 6 May 2014).

Understand the rankings and where your paper realistically fits.

See Web of Science Journal Citation reports (via library subscription) and Scopus SCImago ( by title and by JIF (Wos) and title and SJR (Scopus/SCImago)

Peer review

Lee, A.S. (1995) “Reviewing a manuscript for publication” Published as an invited note in
Journal of Operations Management Volume 13, Number 1 (July 1995), pp.87-92 and available online at

Although it is old by today’s standards, this paper offers sage advice for reviewers of A* and A journals in the management field, but many of the ideas are transferable to other fields. Furthermore, for authors, it provides examples of what such reviewers will be looking for.

Preview process chart and publisher example of instructions to reviewers.

Davy, Debbie. “De-Mystifying the Peer Review Process: My Experiences as a Peer Reviewer.” The Quill 16, no. 7 (April 2005)

Why papers get rejected

Pat Thompson blogs knowledgably about 7 reasons why papers get rejected

One way of addressing the “so what” question

Hernon, P., & Schwartz, C. (2007). What is a problem statement?. Library & Information Science Research, 29(3), 307-309.

CSU Library Guide on Open Access

Improving academic writing

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.

The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Silvia, P. J. (2007). How to write a lot: A practical guide to productive academic writing. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Sword, H. (2012). Stylish academic writing. Cambridge: Harvard Press.

Bennett, J. & Gorovitz, S. (1997). Improving academic writing, Teaching Philosophy 20(2).

Thompson, G. (2001). Interaction in academic writing: Learning to argue with the reader. Applied Linguistics 22(1), 58-78.

How to Improve Your Academic Writing

How do I improve my academic writing?

5 tips to improve your academic writing (ESL slant, but sound recommendations for native English speakers as well)

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