Thank you, figshare!

The RDAP Summit is THIS WEEK! Select happy hour spots accordingly.

Our Summit was lucky to receive support from many generous sponsors. The RDAP community is grateful to libraries, foundations, professional organizations, and data publishers who share a commitment to the work of data access and preservation. One of those sponsors is figshare.

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Our friends at figshare support the 2016 RDAP Summit as a Partner. Partners are the superheroes of the Summit and our community, and we salute them today!

Most research data professionals are familiar with figshare, the open, free, multidisciplinary data repository. figshare provides researchers an option to share their data on a platform that encourages citation and facilitates discovery. Check out some ways figshare is making the process of data sharing better for our researchers:

  • Portals. Publishers and conferences understand the importance of responsibly sharing data and supplementary materials, and bonus! portals on figshare gives them the flexibility to support even more file types than they could on their own.

  • Consistently easy to use. When figshare joined Digital Science and did a massive redesign, they stuck to an intuitive, “stupidly simple” interface that respects researchers’ time and needs.

  • Improved personal accounts. This isn’t a “freemium” service. Only one account tier is available on figshare, and it has stellar features for every user.

In the current research climate, a data repository should conform to certain values (open science, supporting reproducibility) and also demonstrate real, tangible practices to which data management professionals can point researchers and their institutions. The RDAP community is all-too-familiar with disciplinary data repositories built on short-term grants. Some of us are familiar with the challenges of managing a repository. Many of us have worked with repositories as users. We think long-term and strive to balance ease-of-use with requirements for reuse and reproducibility. Similarly, the people who run figshare understand these challenges and care enough to do something about them. They stay sustainable long-term by building partnerships with institutions and publishers, which also creates opportunities to innovate (hi there, built-in 3D Crystallographic Information File viewer!). They were the first data repository to join the Digital Preservation Network. They build in new features like embargoes and confidential file types that we know our researchers want and need.

If you work at an academic institution, plan major conferences, or have relationships with publishers of any size, look into figshare for institutions and publishers. Even if you have an existing institutional or organizational data repository, it’s worth exploring, since figshare can integrate with software like DSpace and Fedora, and RIMS like Pure.

Keep an eye out for figshare this week! Thanks again to figshare for supporting RDAP!

Thank you, IASSIST!

The RDAP Summit will convene in Atlanta, less than a month from now. The program is posted. Registration is still open.

This year, several generous sponsors lent support to our community: libraries, professional organizations, data publishers. Our sponsors share a commitment to the work of data access and preservation. The International Association for Social Sciences Information Services and Technology (IASSIST) is one of them.

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IASSIST supports RDAP as a Partner. Partners are the MVPs of the Summit and we raise a glass to them today! Check out how IASSIST can help you:

  • A smorgasbord of hands-on workshops at every IASSIST conference. This year, in Norway! If you’re not going to RDAP, I hope you’re going to Bergen. Learn more.

  • Interest groups. Join a diverse array of professionals on the Data Viz, Open Source, or Geospatial IGs. Jump in.

  • IASSIST Quarterly. In a sea of literature, IQ balances the practical and theoretical and regularly brings on guest editors for fascinating special issues. Read more.

For many of us, a professional organization has value when it exposes us to new ideas and practical skills. It welcomes diversity. It builds community. We come back to RDAP every year because of its focus on the issues and practices of research data professionals. Similarly, IASSIST draws together data and technology professionals in the social sciences: information specialists, methodologists and computing specialists, and researchers. International in focus, they support professionals from countries with emerging economies through the IASSIST Fellow Program. From our perspective, IASSIST is the perfect fit for someone who enjoys the RDAP Summit.

When you’re considering where to invest your professional dollars and time, seriously consider an IASSIST membership. It’s exceptionally affordable and a huge value whether you’re a social scientist or support people in the social sciences. If you’re already an IASSIST member and you’re attending RDAP, don’t be shy — tell us what you love about it!

Thanks again to IASSIST!

Carolyn Bishoff is the sponsorship coordinator for RDAP16. For more information, contact her at cbishoff@umn.edu. 

Getting the word out at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

When you work in a field that’s constantly changing, how do you keep up? Kristin Briney is one of the best people to ask. She has presented at RDAP and literally wrote the book on data management for researchers. She also knows firsthand that making an impact takes energy and patience. Her blog, Data Ab Initio, is an excellent resource for data experts and researchers alike.

Data expert: Kristin Briney (@KristinBriney)

Position and organization: Data Services Librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Your job in ten words or less:

Data management evangelist and research support networker.

What made you want to work with research data?

I used to be a chemist until I decided that my favorite part of research was dealing with my data. Ironically, my data was also one of the most frustrating parts of research. So I got into data management due to this and the fact that I don’t want other researchers to repeat my data mistakes!

What are some highlights of your work? (Projects, successes, small victories)

There are lots of highlights. Seeing grad students’ faces when I tell them a data horror story then teach them the data management skill that will prevent them from living this story themselves. Talking to researchers about their data. Writing about a practical data management skill and seeing my writing adopted and used by other people. Publishing a book on data management.

What has been your biggest challenge (and how are you overcoming it)?

It’s hard to get the word out. Most researchers intrinsically know that they have issues with their data but don’t know that they can get help/where they can get help. Countering this is a slow process of building the support network.

A second problem is infrastructure. It’s hard to recommend places for researchers to deposit data (to comply with funder mandates) when there isn’t always a logical repository for the field.

What is the strangest or funniest thing to happen in your position?

Being the first data services librarian on my campus, there’s always an element of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants. It’s both liberating and exhausting.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from your job?

Never stop learning. I love working in this field because it’s still developing, but it means that I read a lot to stay on top of things!

Care to share a few resources or vendors?

Retraction Watch! http://retractionwatch.com/ It’s a great source of horror stories (so useful for teaching) and has a pulse on the current issues with research & publishing.

Do you have a data management story to tell? Submit it here! Whether you’re one member of a huge team or the only data person in your organization, we want to share your experiences with the RDAP community. 

RDAP 2016 is heading to Atlanta!

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The 2016 Research Data Access and Preservation Summit will be held May 4-6Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center, Atlanta, GA.

Please mark your calendars and keep an eye out for more information over the coming months. Call for proposals will go out in late October/early November 2015.

For the latest RDAP news:

Questions? Contact the RDAP16 program chairs! Lisa Zilinski at ldz@cmu.edu and Kate Dillon at katherine.dillon@sjsu.edu.

Hope to see you in Atlanta!

Atlanta @ night” by Terence S. Jones is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.