Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lucy Nowell -Program Director: Data, Data Analysis & Visualization`at`NSF

Issues that come up often in our discussions of data preservation relate to how we can change the culture of science and engineering research and education to promote data sharing and re-use. Some scientists will literally decline funding rather than accept an award that requires them to share their data. Key issues pertain to the need to develop data citation standards and practices. This includes agreeing on appropriate metadata that will be preserved, so that people who generate/capture data can receive credit for their work, which should be equivalent to publication. I suspect this is essential to get most scientists to cooperate happily. Engaging publishers in this discussion would be a good idea.

Peer review standards and practices for data are also needed. Just what does it mean to review data, especially if a very large data set is in question?

Finally, there are a host of issues around data interoperability and knowledge representation standards that need to be sufficient to support inter/cross-disciplinary research. We began to address some of these issues with the INTEROP program, but the fate of the next round is far from certain.

Hope this helps. I look forward to hearing about how the meeting goes.


Lucy Nowell, PhD
Program Director - Data, Data Analysis & Visualization
National Science Foundation Office of Cyberinfrastructure
4201 Wilson Blvd., Room 1145
Arlington, VA 22230
Phone (703)292-8970; Fax (703)292-9060

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Barriers to Wider Sharing of Research Data

Please add your comments here. Thanks
Background Information for the TL Meeting:

1. The September 4th issue of Nature featured several articles on "Big Data" (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v455/n7209/edsumm/e080904-01.html). Included in this set is an article by Cliff Lynch who will participate in our meeting.

2. You may want to look at the Dataverse Project (http://thedata.org) Merce Crosas, director of the Dataverse Network, will be participating in our meeting.

3. The Boston Globe ran an article in August on younger scientists breaking with custom and posting research data: (http://blog.openwetware.org/community/2008/08/26/boston-globe-showcases-open-science/) The article discussed the OpenWet
Ware Community Wiki (http://openwetware.org/wiki/Main_Page)

4. This is a very small sampling of relevant information. Each participant will provide a valuable perspective on the topic. If you have other links you would like to share, please include them in your comments.

NISO Thought Leaders Meeting on Research Data

On October 1st, NISO will hold a Thought Leader meeting on the topic of research data. The meeting is part of a series that NISO is holding in conjunction with a Mellon Foundation grant. The goal of these meetings is to incubate new standards initiatives by discussing issues and areas where standards can help address pain points, push forward use, or drive application of systems in research and information exchange.

Our goal for the meeting will be to 1) brainstorm about what barriers exist to wider sharing of research data and then 2) identify a small list of standards-related initiatives that could make a difference in this area. Following the Thought Leaders meeting, NISO will organize a Technical Working Group to further examine opportunities for development of standards in this area.

In advance of the meeting, invited experts are encouraged to provide comments here that will help us identify key issues for discussion on October 1st. Topics for consideration include: issues around provenance, metadata, citation and reference, version control and tracking, preservation, privacy, intellectual property, packaging and facilitating reuse.

Thanks for your help in preparing for this meeting.