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Open Access Week: Open Data – the future treasures of the past

Kirsty21 October 2020

Here at UCL you are very often told 

Of the benefits associated with publishing via green or gold, 

But what of Research Data and saving them for later? 

What is this new thing you have stumbled across?  

Preserving research outputs and protecting them against loss. 

 

It’s Open Data of course!  

They’re freely available online  

To download and unwind  

With good quality metadata assigned.    

Open data are nestled within Open Science and Scholarship 

without barriers rooted in design.  

 

Open data with DOIs so FAIR,  

The trophies of your commitment to access and to share 

So enhancthe potential for reuse  

and reduce wasted efforts  

of those who seek to uncover new knowledgenew inference,  

Let us discover.   

 

So what is the issue? Where is the harm? 

What is the problem? Why the alarm? 

 

Too expensive they said 

Too much time they said 

Little reward for my efforts and for any of the dread.  

How are we to ascend the ladder? 

For making our data openwe’re not getting any gladder.  

  

Research Integrity, Transparency and Reproducibility 

these are your prized rewards. 

Repurpose and explore,   

To maximise the return, just what is in store?  

So take down the university wall  

Bring in the citizens,  

Address the balance so all stand equally as tall. 

 

Now, with help and support and cups of on-screen tea at the ready,  

The Research Data Management team are on-hand to keep you steady! 

We cheer those pursuing a place for research data  

in need of archiving and preserving and just plain keeping safe. 

We can talk for hours about the research data lifecycle and all that it can entail, 

open data – we shall prevail! 

Here’s to the UCL Research Data policy 

and to all those wishing to make their funders smile,  

With the UCL Research Data Repository, we can help you do it in style! 

 

So to all my fellow disruptive thinkers,  

now is the time for us all to give open data a trial  

and catch up to those who have been open a while. 

Embrace open practices and make fast  

open data – the future treasures of the past.   

By Dr Christiana McMahon | Research Data Support Officer 

FORCE11 – report from Data in the Scholarly Communications Life Cycle workshop

Patrycja20 August 2018

This summer saw the second FORCE 11 Scholarly Communication Institute (FSCI) held at the University of California, San Diego, which I had an amazing opportunity to attend. Participants of the FORCE 11 summer camp selected three courses from an extensive course list; morning classes ran through the whole week, afternoon ones took place over two days.

Geisel Library – Main Library of UCSD

In the mornings I attended Data in the Scholarly Communications Life Cycle workshops. The class was expertly and entertainingly* run by Natasha Simmons, Program Leader, Skills Policy and Resources at Australian National Data Service (ANDS). The course was structured on the 23 (research data) Things, a self-directed learning programme developed by ANDS, suitable for everyone, regardless of their skills and prior knowledge. The programme is full of resources and fascinating data, have a look yourself here.

We started with an introduction to research data (of course!) and discussed data in the scholarly communications lifecycle – this offers a framework for understanding research processes, and a good (interactive) example is available here. We also talked about data sharing models, and challenges around data sharing.

For Tuesday’s session Natasha invited Stephanie Simms from California Digital Library, who presented an introduction to data management plans and DMPonline tool. We also heard some open data stories, from Australia Telescope National Facility that makes available images of the sky collected at the facility, and from The PetaJakarta Data Sharing Project that gathers data from social media (in this case Twitter) to collect information about flooding in Jakarta.

On Wednesday Reid Otsuji from UC San Diego talked about the Open Science Framework and The Carpentries – a way of acquiring new coding and data skills for researchers and librarians. We also talked about making research data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable), and used FAIR data assessment tool to look at some openly available data. This provoked a discussion on how easy it is to make research data FAIR (not that easy!) and how institutions could provide the infrastructure and support that are required.

Data in the Scholarly Communications Life Cycle – Open Data Debate

 

The following morning we had guest speakers from UC Berkley, Rachael Samberg and Maria Gould, who presented on licensing research data. This was an extremely interesting talk, and discussed copyright and licencing of data both generated and used by researchers. Later in class we discussed issues around personal and sensitive data. On Friday Gustavo Durand introduced Dataverse – an open source platform developed at Harvard that allows researchers to publish, cite and archive their research data. At the end of the workshop Natasha introduced persistent identifiers and their use in data citation, and we explored different citation styles.

Hands on exercises throughout the course allowed me to experience working with research data, and see issues around data managment from researcher’s perspective. Guest speakers provided me with an opportunity to gain expert insight into many aspects of research data management, and the course structure allowed for numerous discussion and debates. This in turn made me reflect on how nuanced managing research data can be, not only when it comes to copyright and licencing.

*I learnt a lot about Australian wildlife too!