An assertion, a few questions, a provocation (a few more questions), and some background information.
- Assertion: Libraries and librarians have a role in scholarly data collection development, management and discovery.
- Question: What does a scholarly data collection development and management role constitute for a university library? How might selection and management skills for scholarly information be translated into the same for scholarly data? Why would this (scholarly data collection development and management) be an activity that university libraries want to take on? What contribution can be made by university libraries to the RDS Access to Data for Culture & Community Research project? Where does the national research infrastructure (Trove & Libraries Australia) provided by the National Library of Australia fit into all of this?
- Provocation: Will university libraries be a place where the long tail of data generated through public and private funding is collected as part of the scholarly record? Where will data curation as a valued skill set and effort contributing to scholarly knowledge be fostered? Do humanities, arts and social science researchers look to the university library as the repository for all of their research outputs, including data? Let’s discuss this… the pivotal role that university libraries will play to support data intensive research, at the conference.
Background information: The Research Data Storage programme is funded by the National Research Infrastructure for Australia. “The Cultures and Communities capability is required to make both old and new data discoverable and reusable and to extract greater value from existing collections that are as varied as statistical data, manuscripts, documents, artefacts and audio-visual recordings. These materials reside in a diverse array of private and public repositories, many of which are unconnected. This national, collaborative research infrastructure will provide researchers with the resources and access to large data sets that a single institution would be unable to establish and maintain. The humanities, arts and social sciences research disciplines, which underpin cultures and communities, hold datasets which form important parts of our cultural heritage. There are many such datasets, but they are typically small in size. They are also typically heterogeneous, but capable of being linked or connected.” “Outcomes and Impact
- Nationwide services supporting coherent modes of access to the fundamental cultural and data types held in the long tail of research;
- A growing number of communities operating meta collections of such data holdings;
- Concrete steps toward the development of a specific, Culture and Communities focused, meta collection of those data types;
- Routine simplification and reduction in overhead costs offered to related Culture and Communities collections through their adoption of these commonly provided services;
- Improved data services of value to many Australian researchers.
Sustainability—ongoing development and maintenance
The services, once made operational, are expected to be of interest to such a number of researchers that the participating operators expect to maintain and continue the services for the foreseeable future. They will form primary data support services needed as a consequence of holding research data. Their continued operation is expected to fall within the normal course of the business of any general research data service provider.” Image credit: Silent Silos | Indigo Skies Photography | CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0 Hashtag: #D4CCR
An assertion, a question, an example, food for thought, and a provocation.
- Assertion: using linked open data methods enables discovery of scholarly resources across silos.
- Question: what does this new method of constructing a semantic layer across scholarly resources mean for library practice?
- Example: Stanford, Harvard, and Cornell university libraries are working on the Linked Data For Libraries project. The goal: “to create a Scholarly Resource Semantic Information Store (SRSIS) model that works both within individual institutions and through a coordinated, extensible network of Linked Open Data to capture the intellectual value that librarians and other domain experts and scholars add to information resources when they describe, annotate, organize, select, and use those resources, together with the social value evident from patterns of usage.”
- Food for thought: The Research Object (c/- Michael Gonzalez) “The useful outcomes of research are not just traditional publications. Instead they are everything else that goes into, and supports an investigation.” Developing a Workflow for Research Objects into DataBank by Jamie Wittenburg. “traditional models of scientific scholarly communication often limit researchers to publishing only aspects that can be captured in text and static images. These models are inadequate for supporting reproducability, a core tenet of the scientifice process.”
- Provocation: The 2015 LODLAM Summit was recently held in Sydney and there’s incredible work being done by (mostly) libraries (scholarly and cultural) around the world to support resource discovery using linked open data methods. Is this a topic we can dig into at the conference… as a part of the discussion on scholarly information and communication? Is there an appetite to take on this semantic and technical challenge in university libraries here in Australia? What might it mean to be able to break out of the clunky limits of federated search and web content management systems? Can libraries be agile in the design of search in support of discovery of scholarly resources?
Image credit: Electric star | aivas14 | CC-BY-SA 2.0
Here are a couple of excerpts from The Past, Present & Future of Scholarly Publishing by Michael Eisen of UC Berkeley to kick off discussion ahead of the Sydney Conference: “And interested members of the public – like many of you – find it difficult to engage with scientific research. Is it any wonder that such a large fraction of the population rejects basic scientific findings when the scientific community thumbs its collective noses at the them by making it impossible for them to read about what we’re doing with all of their money?” “…the only thing that distinguishes a contemporary paper from a 17th century one is the occasional color photograph. The multilayered, hyperlinked structure of the Web was made for scientific communication, and yet papers today are largely dispersed and read as static PDFs – another relic of the days of printed papers. We are working with the community to enable the “paper of the future”, that embeds not only things like movies, but access to raw data and the tools used to analyze them.”
Image: Print Paradigm RIP (CC BY-SA 2.0)
“…while it is a nice idea to imagine peer review as defender of scientific integrity – it isn’t. Flaws in a paper are far more often uncovered after the paper is published than in peer review. And yet, because we have a system that places so much emphasis on where a paper is published, we have no effective way to annotate previously published papers that turn out to be wrong… …So what would be better? The outlines of an ideal system are simple to spell out. There should be no journal hierarchy, only broad journals like PLOS ONE. When papers are submitted to these journals, they should be immediately made available for free online – clearly marked to indicate that they have not yet been reviewed, but there to be used by people in the field capable of deciding on their own if the work is sound and important.”