I have now been Executive Director of CODATA for very nearly three months. The first CODATA Newsletter to be produced during my time in this role is now available. The Newsletter pays tribute to my predecessor, Kathleen Cass; it announces Out of Cite, Out of Mind: The Current State of Practice, Policy, and Technology for the Citation of Data, a report from the CODATA-ICSTI Task Group on Data Citation Standards and Practices; and it reports on recent activities of the Executive Committee and the CODATA Task Groups.
The first three months have been very busy, and I intend to provide some more reflections on this time. September and October are normally a time of year filled with conferences and workshops – this year has been no different and has given me a chance to talk about and discuss CODATA, its mission and activities, at a number of different events.
I gave a presentation with the title ‘Research data management and UK funding policies’ at the International Union of Crystallography’s (IUCr) COMCIFs Crystallographic Information and Data Management Symposium on Sunday 25 August – though I was also able to talk a bit about CODATA. The slides and recording are available.
On 9-10 Sept I attended the euroCRIS Strategic Seminar on Metadata in Research Information Systems. euroCRIS is, of course, a strategic partner of CODATA. I had been asked to speak about new requirements for dataset metadata. I focused on new developments in data publication and also highlighted standards (e.g. DDI in social science, CIF in crystallography, ISAtab in life sciences) that, although not new, are significant in this context for paying a great deal of attention to capturing research method and provenance, rather than just describing the data output. The slides from the meeting are available online.
Later that week, on 12 Sept, I participated in a panel session on data publishing at the ALPSP (Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers) International Conference. The panel was organised by Fiona Murphy of Wiley and was entitled Data Publishing: not the why, but the how (and then what?). The panel included Kerstin Lehnert (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, director of IEDA, Integrated Earth Data Applications) and Anthony Brookes (Data to Knowledge, University of Leicester). The presentation and audio are available. The session seemed to garner a lot of interest and there have been nice write-ups in Research Information and on the ALPSP blog.
After attending the Research Data Alliance Plenary meeting in DC on 18-19 September, I gave a remote presentation and participated in a discussion about International CODATA’s activities and plans with the 9th Meeting of the Board on Research Data and Information. I had a similar opportunity to speak about the new CODATA Strategic Plan at the annual meeting of the Group of European Members of ICSU.
I have also been contributing to events organised by a couple of European projects. On 25-6 September, I presented at a workshop organised by the EUDAT Project on Data Availability and Access Policies. The report on the workshop is being prepared and will be made available soon. This led to participation in a follow-up workshop session at the EUDAT Conference on 28-30 October in Rome. Through working groups EUDAT will be looking at data policies, data management planning and licensing issues for their consortium – and this is an area in which CODATA and the CODATA Data Policy Committee may contribute.
In these presentations, I have been pursuing some thoughts about the evolution and development of data policies and above all the importance of encouraging journal editorial boards, learned societies and International Scientific Unions – as bodies that can be said to represent the views of researchers in a given discipline – to develop data policies and recommendations regarding data availability, licensing, standards and infrastructure. These were themes that I also addressed in a presentation – in French – given at the Journées de FRÉDOC.
Finally, for now, I participated in a workshop organised by the SIM4RDM project.The workshop aimed to ensure that the funding and evaluation frameworks developed by the project meet the needs of the various Research Data Management (RDM) stakeholders – speakers were asked to make suggestions for how the Frameworks might be tested and validated in collaborative activities. CODATA National Committees, comprised of appropriate stakeholders might find the project outputs of interest for considering national RDM development and interventions.
I has been a busy couple of months! I hope some of these links are of interest.