Reflections on Repository Fringe 2017

The following is a guest post by Mick Eadie, Research Information Management Officer at University of Glasgow, on his impressions of Repository Fringe 2017.

Capture1From the Arts

The first day afternoon 10×10 (lightning talk) sessions had many of the presentations on Research Data topics.  We heard talks about repositories in the arts; evolving research data policy at national and pan-national level; and archival storage and integrations between research data repositories and other systems like Archivematica, EPrints and Pure.

Repositories and their use in managing research data in the arts was kicked off with Nicola Siminson from the Glasgow School of Art with her talk on What RADAR did next: developing a peer review process for research plans.  Nicola explained how EPrints has been developed to maximise the value of research data content at GSA by making it more visually appealing and better able to deal with a multitude of non-text based objects and artefacts.   She then outlined GSA’s recently developed Annual Research Planning (ARP) tool which is an EPrints add-on that allows the researcher to provide information on their current and planned research activities and potential impact.

GSA have built on this functionality to enable the peer-reviewing of ARPs, which means they can be shared and commented on by others.   This has led to significant uptake in the use of the repository by researchers as they are keen to keep their research profile up-to-date, which has in turn raised the repository profile and increased data deposits.  There are also likely to be cost-benefits to the institution by using an existing system to help to manage research information as well as outputs, as it keeps content accessible from one place and means the School doesn’t need to procure separate systems.

On Policy

We heard from Martin Donnelly from the DCC on National Open Data and Open Science Policies in Europe.  Martin talked about the work done by the DCC and SPARC Europe in assessing policies from across Europe to assess the methodologies used by countries and funders to promote the concept of Open Data across the continent.   They found some interesting variants across countries: some funder driven, others more national directives, plans and roadmaps.  It was interesting to see how a consensus was emerging around best practice and how the EU through its Horizon 2020 Open Research Data Pilot seemed to be emerging as a driver for increased take up and action.

Storage, Preservation and Integration

No research data day would be complete without discussing archival storage and preservation.  Pauline Ward from Edinburgh University gave us an update on Edinburgh DataVault: Local implementation of Jisc DataVault: the value of testing. She highlighted the initial work done at national level by Jisc and the research data Spring project, and went on to discuss the University of Edinburgh’s local version of Data Vault which integrates with their CRIS system (Pure) – allowing a once only upload of the data which links to metadata in the CRIS and creates an archival version of the data.  Pauline also hinted at future integration with DropBox which will be interesting to see develop.

Alan Morrison from the University of Strathclyde continued on the systems integration and preservation theme by giving as assessment of Data Management & Preservation using PURE and Archivematica. He gave us the background to Strathclyde’s systems and workflows between Pure and Archivematica, highlighting some interesting challenges in dealing with file-formats in the STEM subjects which are often proprietary and non-standard.

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Dealing with Data Conference 2017 – Call for Papers

[Update: Deadline for submissions has now been extended to Thursday 5th October]

Date:                     Wednesday 22nd November 2017

Location:             Playfair Library

Themes:

  • Balancing openness with privacy – How do you meet funder demands for   open data without exposing research participants sensitive information?
  • Informed consent – Is it possible to get informed consent from a research participant if you don’t know how their data may be used in future?
  • Is your research data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR)? – How easy is it to apply the FAIR data principles to your research data?
  • Is open data changing the way you do research? – Has open access to research data helped your research? Have you struggled to access data which ought to be open? Is the need to make our data open taking you away from conducting new research?
  • How have research data tools impacted on your productivity? What tools do you need to work with your research data effectively?

Format:            Presentations will be 15 minutes long, with 5 minutes for questions. Depending on numbers, thematic parallel strands may be used.  Presentations will be aimed at an academic audience, but from a wide range of disciplines. Opening and closing keynote presentations will be given.

Call for proposals:

Open research data is not an end in itself, its purpose is to push research forward by making existing research data available to others so that they can build upon it and in doing so make new discoveries not even envisaged by the original data creators.

The Dealing with Data 2017 one-data conference is your opportunity to talk about how the drive towards open data is affecting your research. How do you balance competing demands for data openness with the right to privacy of research participants? Has access to open data already helped in your research, or are the demands for openness discouraging you from undertaking certain types of project?

Are new tools providing new and exciting ways to work with your data or are you struggling to find tools to help you do what you need?

This is your opportunity to tell fellow researchers how you are benefiting from, or struggling with, the ever changing research data environment.

Please send abstracts (maximum 500 words) to dealing-with-data-conference@mlist.is.ed.ac.uk before Thursday 5th October 2017.  Proposals will be reviewed and the programme compiled by Friday 3rd November 2017.

Kerry Miller
Research Data Services Coordinator
Library & University Collections

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Research Data Management Forum: Third meeting – 28/03/2017

Harkening back to a bygone era of libraries, when books were printed on paper and research data management meant not accidentally burning your notes with your candle, the third meeting of the university RDM forum was held in the impressively aged Old Library in Geography’s Old Infirmary building at the end of March.

As a regular participant, I find the RDM forum is a very useful platform for everyone who has an interest in supporting research data management. It is an opportunity for me to update myself on the support and services that the university has in place in this area, to ask the daft questions but get a sensible answer and more generally, to meet the others in the university who are working in the same area as myself and face the same issues and challenges.

This edition of the RDM forum was no different. After a quick introduction of the participants, Cuna, leading the forum, took us through the following agenda:

  • Cuna Ekmekcioglu – RDM update
  • Dominic Tate – DataVault update
  • Pauline Ward – DataShare new features
  • Cuna Ekmekcioglu – development of Data Safe Haven

The session began with the RDM update which went into detail about the RDM Sharepoint site and some of the tools and documents that have been uploaded to the site. There are some useful threads looking to collect information about the different types of data that we have, as well as some guidance on recording datasets in PURE, RDM journey flowchart and sample Data Management Plans amongst other things. The Sharepoint site can be accessed by request, and can be found here: https://uoe.sharepoint.com/sites/rdmforum (access is only for UoE staff and students).

We had updates on the existing services such as DataShare and details about the development of both DataVault and the future Data Safe Haven, a system which will allow the storage and analysis of very sensitive data. There were some discussions around the new systems and practical issues such as cost and training/guidance for the new services.

It was a very worthwhile event and I shall be looking forward to the next forum.

Michelle O’Hara
Research Data & Information Officer
School of Social and Political Science

 

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DATA-X Pioneering Research Data Exhibition & Symposium

DATA-X has been a University of Edinburgh IS Innovation Fund project, also supported by the Data Lab and ASCUS. The project provided a dynamic platform for University of Edinburgh student researchers across all schools to come together and develop collaborate installations that explore data re-use and interdisciplinary boundaries. Research data are often invisible and complex to comprehend by the public and academic peers, with evolving technology and researcher-driving environments, DATA-X facilitate student researchers with the opportunity to visualize and communicate their research in a user-friendly format to audiences from within and outside the university.

After a series of successful and engaging DATA-X workshops, aimed to inform, shape and create ‘installations’ linked to digital data, the multidisciplinary teams (including students from the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Edinburgh College of Art, Reid School of Music, the School of Engineering, The Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology, the School of Chemistry, the Centre for Integrative Physiology and the Queen’s Medical Research Institute) continued to work on their installations throughout the summer in preparation for the DATA-X exhibition and Symposium.

DATA-X Exhibition: 

The DATA-X Exhibition ran from 26 November to 6 December 2016, in the Sculpture Court of the Edinburgh College of Art. A total of six physical installations were installed:

eTunes by Dr Siraj Sabihuddin

etunes1A collaborate project for novices to experience the process and creative input required in constructing a musical instrument from start to finish.

 

 

 

Feel the Heat by Nathalie Vladis and Julia Zaenker

feel-the-heatA data quilt, visualising world temperatures between 1961 to 1990. The installation included temperature data sets and interactive colouring maps for audience participation.

 

 

Inside the black box by Luis Fernando Montaño and Bohdan Mykhaylyk

black-boxAn installation simulating bacterial infections. The audience controls the bacterial infection by interactively administering treatment.

 

 

PUROS Sound Box by Dr. Sophia Banou, Dr. Christos Kakalis and Matt Giannotti

D:PDSound BoxSound Box 1_SB Model (1)An installation that ‘defines’ an ambient musical environment, that is conditioned by the movement of users on an interactive floor.

 

 

 

 

Sinterbot by Adela Rabell Montiell and Dr. Siraj Sabihuddin

sintering-process-300x179A hands on demonstration on the alternative use of an ordinary household microwave for sintering, in order to alter material by heat.

 

 

Surface of Significance by Lucas Godfrey and Matt Giannotti

SOS_PROMO1-300x240An audio-visual installation that reconceptualise geographic space. The installation explores the relationship between space, materiality and process.

 

 

 

The exhibition launch, on 26 November, also included three performance installations that serenaded the audience throughout the evening:

  • o ire by Prof. Nick Fells

A live audio performance during which the performance controller sculpt and shape sounds as the piece unfolds.

A composition based on wind data captured during Hurricane Matthew. Musicians captured the chaotic nature of the storm by moving around and inflecting sporadic sound intensity.

An excerpt of Oli Jan’s composition project ‘The Carnival of the Endangered Animals‘. The piece features sounds of endangered species on the IUCN Red List.

DATA-X Symposium

To accompany the exhibition, a DATA-X symposium was held on 1 December 2016 in the Main Lecture Theatre of the Edinburgh College of Art. PhD researchers presented their ‘installations’ and demonstrated the tools, processes and techniques behind the installation. This was an informal event and an open forum to facilitate discussion with an academic and non-academic audience. Guest speakers included Dr Jane Haley, Scientific Coordinator for Edinburgh Neuroscience and FUSION, and Dr James Howie, co-founder of ASCUS. Their talks entitled ‘FUSION –where art meets neuroscience’ and ‘ASCUS and the ASCUS Lab: catalysts for Artisience’, illustrated the efficacy of bridging the gap between the arts and sciences and how innovative, multidisciplinary projects can engage wider audiences and create novel public engagement initiatives.

The next and final phase of the project includes the creation of a DataShare Collection: the electronic equivalent of an Exhibition Catalogue in which the students will publish the data associated with their installations. Updates to follow soon.

Project Team

Data-X Project Manager: Stuart Macdonald (Associate Data Librarian at Edinburgh University Data Library)

Exhibition Coordinator: Dr. Rocio von Jungenfeld (Supported Research Data services at EDINA & Data Library)

Data-X PhD Interns:

Scully Beaver Lynch – PhD candidate in Architecture by Design, Edinburgh College of Art

Adela Rabell Montiel – PhD candidate in Cardiovascular Sciences, Edinburgh Medical School: Clinical Sciences

Cindy Nelson-Viljoen – PhD candidate in Archaeology, School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Dr. Siraj Sabihuddin – PhD in Electronic engineering, School of Engineering

Image credit: DATA-X blog. http://data-x.blogs.edina.ac.uk/

by Cindy Nelson-Viljoen
PhD Student Intern
EDINA and Data Library

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