From February 19-22nd, the Digital Curation Centre held the 13th annual International Digital Curation conference in Barcelona. The conference attracts participants from all over the world, and papers generally focus on research data curation, although digital preservation, the curation of digital heritage objects and software preservation also feature, among other related topics.
I attended IDCC with presentations on two aspects of the Data Publishing team's work: firstly a poster with stats and feedback gathered in relation to our Springer Nature Research Data Helpdesk; and secondly a paper, “The impact on authors and editors of introducing Data Availability Statements at Nature journals” which describes an assessment of the impact of the roll-out of standard journal-level research data policies and data availability statements. I also participated in a Birds of a Feather session on “The Reproducibility Crisis” where participants discussed barriers to reproducibility as well as proposed incentives that would encourage researchers to publish reproducible research.
Two standout sessions for me were Giving datasets context: a comparison study of institutional repositories that apply varying degrees of curation (Amy Koshoffer (University of Cincinnati), Amy Neeser (University of California Berkeley), Linda Newman (University of Cincinnati), Lisa Johnston (University of Minnesota)) and Disciplinary data publication guides (Zosia Beckles, Stephen Gray, Debra Hiom, Kirsty Merrett, Kellie Snow, Damian Steer from University of Bristol). The first looked at the metadata published by different institutional repositories and whether curation/minimum metadata elements impacted on how complete the records were; while the second related to the development of workflow diagrams to help researchers in engineering decide what to do with their data.
I also attended a Train the Trainer session run by Eliane Blumer (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL) and Professor René Schneider (Geneva School of Business Administration, HEG). It was a whistle-stop tour but we covered areas including learning styles and curriculum development, as well as working in groups to begin planning training sessions aimed at different audiences.
The Research Data Archiving and Preservation Summit was held in Chicago from March 21-23. This conference is aimed at data managers and curators, librarians, researchers and data scientists but in a show of hands at one of the initial sessions, at least 80% of attendees appeared to be librarians.
I presented at the panel “Intersection of Publishing and Data” with Mandy Gooch (The Odum Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Shanda Hunt (Health Sciences Libraries, University of Minnesota). My presentation covered Springer Nature’s data policies and the development of our Research Data Support service. The slides from my (short) presentation are available for download here.
Many of the other presenters at RDAP gave an insight into projects at their institutions, but it was particularly interesting to hear about institutions which provide hands-on curation services for their researchers and curate the datasets themselves rather than metadata - for example the activities described by Sophia Lafferty-Hess and Jennifer Darragh from Duke University Libraries.
Both IDCC and RDAP were great opportunities to hear about developments in research data archiving and preservation, and to connect with other professionals working in these areas.