Monthly Archives: November 2019

November 2019: Publications in the Data Science Journal

November 2019:  Publications in the Data Science Journal

Title: Reviving an Old and Valuable Collection of Microscope Slides Through the Use of Citizen Science
: John Pring, Lesley Wyborn, Neal Evans
Title: Efficient Stratified Sampling Graphing Method for Mass Data
Author: Jianjun Wang, Yingang Zhao, Jun Chen, Suqing Zhang, Xudong Zhao, Yufei He
Title: A Comprehensive Video Dataset for Multi-Modal Recognition Systems
: Anand Handa, Rashi Agarwal, Narendra Kohli
Title: Proper Attribution for Curation and Maintenance of Research Collections: Metadata Recommendations of the RDA/TDWG Working Group
: Anne E. Thessen , Matt Woodburn, Dimitrios Koureas, Deborah Paul, Michael Conlon, David P. Shorthouse, Sarah Ramdeen
Title: Intelligent Electronic Management of Library by Radio Frequency Identification Technology
: Qinglan Huang, Hongyi Huang
Title: The History and Future of Data Citation in Practice
: Mark A. Parsons, Ruth E. Duerr, Matthew B. Jones


Call for Proposals – Open Repositories 2020

The 15th International Conference on Open Repositories, OR2020, will be held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, from 1-4 June 2020. The organisers are pleased to invite you to contribute to the program. This year’s conference theme is: 

Open for all

In today’s world, access to knowledge by all is viewed by some as a fundamental freedom and human right. In our societies, open knowledge for all can enable sustainable development and growth on many levels. How well do repositories support knowledge in the service of society? How well do they enable local knowledge sharing and support not only academic use, but also use in education and practice?

Invitation to participate

OR2020 will provide an opportunity to explore and reflect on the ways repositories enable openness for all. We hope that this discussion will give the participants new insights and inspiration, which will help them to play a key role in developing, supporting and sharing an open agenda and open tools for research and scholarship.

We particularly welcome proposals on the overall “Open for All” theme, but also on other administrative, organisational or practical topics related to digital repositories. We are particularly interested in the following sub-themes:

1. Equity and democratization of knowledge

  • Accessibility of repositories and their content
  • Equity and democratization of knowledge
  • Inclusion of marginalized and underrepresented voices
  • Local knowledge sharing
  • Moving beyond traditional academic content and services, supporting educators and practitioners
  • Supporting knowledge in the service of society, encouraging non-academic use
  • Enabling access to governmental publications/data
  • Addressing language barriers

2. Beyond the repository

  • Integration with other open knowledge resources (e.g. Wikimedia and Wikidata)
  • Next Generation Repositories, Pubfair
  • Convergence and integration with other types of systems (e.g. current research information systems, digital asset management systems, publishing platforms, ORCID)
  • Interoperability vs integration
  • New models for scholarly sharing
  • Data mining, artificial intelligence and machine learning

3. Open and sustainable

  • Local systems vs repository as a service
  • Securing long-term funding for open infrastructures
  • Open business models and governance for open infrastructures
  • Sustaining community-based infrastructure

4. Policies, licensing and copyright laws

  • Impact of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), POPIA (Protection of Personal Information Act) and copyright laws
  • Publisher policies, embargoes and rights retention
  • Licenses and re-use of content
  • Compliance and impact of funder policies (e.g. Plan S) on repositories

5. Discovery, use and impact

  • Data/metadata visualization
  • Open access discovery, research data discovery
  • Tools for researchers and practitioners, interfaces for machines
  • Measuring impact particularly outside of the academic context.
  • Supporting use by practitioners.

6. Supporting open scholarship and cultural heritage

  • Providing access to different types of materials (e.g. research data, scholarly articles, pre prints and overlay journals, open access monographs, theses and dissertations, educational resources, archival and cultural heritage materials, audiovisual materials, software, interactive publications and emerging formats)
  • Repositories as digital humanities and open science platforms
  • Inclusion of marginalized and underrepresented voices

Submission Process

The Program Committee has provided templates to use for submissions (see below for links). Please use the submission template, and then submit through ConfTool (link coming soon) where you will be asked to provide additional information (such as primary contact and the conference subtheme your submission best fits).

Accepted proposals in all categories will be made available through the conference’s website. Later, the presentations and associated materials will be made available in an open repository; you will be contacted to upload your set of slides or poster. Some conference sessions will be live streamed or recorded, then made publicly available.

After the completion of the conference, we will solicit full papers from a selection of presentation  in order to be published in the OR2020 proceedings (open access, no article processing charge) in cooperation with a scholarly publisher. If you are proposing a presentation or panel, you may want to consider whether it could be turned into a full paper.

Submission Categories


Presentations make up the bulk of the Open Repositories conference. Presentations are substantive discussions of a relevant topic; successful submissions in past years have typically described work relevant to a wide audience. These typically are placed in a 30 minute time slot (generally alongside two other presentations for a total of 90 minutes). We strongly encourage presentations that can be delivered in 20-25 minutes in order to leave time for questions and discussion.

Presentation proposals should be 2-3 pages.


Panels are made up of two or more panelists presenting on work or issues where multiple perspectives and experiences are useful or necessary. Successful submissions in past years have typically described work relevant to a wide audience and applicable beyond a single software system. All panels are expected to include diversity in viewpoints, personal background, and gender of the panelists. Panels can be 60 or 90 minutes long. If 60 minutes, the panel may be combined in a session with a presentation.

Panel proposals should be 2-3 pages.

24×7 Presentations

24×7 presentations are 7 minute presentations comprising no more than 24 slides. Successful 24×7 presentations are fast paced and have a clear focus on one idea. 24×7 presentations about failures and lessons learnt are highly encouraged.

Presentations will be grouped into blocks based on conference themes, with each block followed by a moderated question and answer session involving the audience and all block presenters.

Proposals for 24×7 presentations should be one page.


OR2020 will feature physical posters only. Posters should showcase current or ongoing work that is not yet ready for a full 30 minute presentation. Instructions for preparing the posters will be distributed to authors of accepted poster proposals prior to the conference. Poster presenters will be expected to give a one-minute teaser at a Minute Madness session to encourage visitors to their poster during the poster reception.

Proposals for posters should be one page.

Developer Track

The Developer Track provides a focus for showcasing technical work and exchanging ideas. Presentations are 15-20 minutes and can be informal. Successful developer track presentations include live demonstrations, tours of code repositories, examples of cool features, and unique viewpoints.

Proposals for the developer track should be one page.

Workshops and Tutorials

The first day of Open Repositories 2020 will be dedicated to workshops and tutorials.

Workshops and tutorials generally cover practical issues around repositories and related technologies, tools, and processes. Successful workshops include clear learning outcomes, involve active learning, and are realistic in terms of the number of attendees that can actively participate in the workshop.

Workshops and tutorials can be 90 minutes, 3 hours (half-day), or 6 hours (full day).

Proposals for workshops should be no longer than 2 pages.


The OR2020 proposal templates help you prepare an effective submission. Please select the submission type below to download the templates. Templates are available in Microsoft Word, Open Document Format and Plain Text. Submission in PDF format is preferred.

Submission System

The system will be open for submissions by the end of November,  and the link will be on the conference website (

Review Process

All submissions will be peer reviewed and evaluated according to the criteria outlined in the call for proposals, including quality of content, significance, originality, and thematic fit. The program committee makes the final decisions on inclusion in the conference. If you would like to volunteer to be a reviewer, please contact the program committee below.

Also, please note that the program committee may accept a submission with the requirement that it move to another format (a presentation to a poster, for example). In such cases, submitters will have the opportunity to make a decision on whether to accept or decline such a move.

Code of Conduct

The OR2020 Code of Conduct is available at We expect submitters to hold to the Code of Conduct in their proposals, presentations, and conduct at the conference.

Fellowship Programme

OR2020 will again run a Fellowship Programme, which will enable us to provide support for a small number of full registered places (including the poster reception and conference dinner) for the conference in Stellenbosch. The programme is open to librarians, repository managers, developers and researchers in digital libraries and related fields. Applicants submitting a proposal for the conference will be given priority consideration for funding, and preference will be given to applicants from the African continent. Full details and an application form will shortly be available on the conference website.

Key Dates

  • 13 January 2020: Deadline for submissions
  • 20 January 2020: Deadline for Fellowship Programme applications
  • 10 February 2020: Submitters notified of acceptance of workshop proposals
  • 10 February 2020: Registration opens
  • 17 February 2020: Fellowship Programme winners notified
  • 9 March 2020: Submitters notified of acceptance of full presentation, 24×7, poster and developer track proposals
  • 20 April 2019: Close of Early Bird registration
  • 1-4 June 2020: OR2020 conference

Program Co-Chairs

  • Iryna Kuchma, EIFL
  • Lazarus Matizirofa, University of Pretoria
  • Dr Daisy Selematsela, University of Johannesburg


Local Hosts

Website and Social Media

Building of a terminology for the skills required to make and keep data FAIR

Major steps forward taken in the building of a terminology for the skills required to make and keep data FAIR.
DANS headquarters, The Hague, October 16-18, 2019.

What did we do?

On 16-18 October 2019, representatives of the research data community met at the DANS headquarters in The Hague to continue to build a terminology to describe FAIR stewardship skills (the skills necessary to make data FAIR and to keep them FAIR): the tag #terms4FAIRskills was used on Twitter during the event.

The meeting was kindly supported by FAIRsFAIR. This meeting was a follow up to the first terms4FAIRskills meeting held at the CODATA headquarters in Paris in 19-20 May 2019.

Why is this important?

This effort is building a formalised terminology that describes the competencies, skills and knowledge associated with activities involved in making data FAIR and keeping it FAIR. We have focussed initially on two important use cases, namely:

  • determining what FAIR-related skills are covered by a set of training materials;
  • searching for relevant FAIR-related courses and learning paths.

These will be important in enabling the training of FAIR-related skills for researchers, data stewards and data managers.

Other possible use cases such as developing FAIR-related job descriptions and domain-related searches in topics such as the Life or Social Sciences could also be developed. At the end of the Paris workshop we had a spreadsheet developed with 245 rows of terms based on the FAIR4S table.

What did we achieve since Paris?

Definitions and relationships for each term were developed by our annotation teams. The FAIRsharing team then clarified and added further information to the spreadsheet to enable conversion into an OWL file, which is one of the standard formats for expressing knowledge engineering data sets such as this. Details of this process can be found at

What did we achieve in The Hague?

At the meeting in DANS, the following was achieved:

  • the terminology was remodelled to more precisely distinguish activities from pedagogical concepts such as Knowledge, Skills and Aptitudes.
  • Talks were presented by the collaborations SSHOC, ELIXIR and FAIRsFAIR, which provided insights into how the terminology could be used and extended for their purposes.

What next?

We will continue to atomise and refine each class and build relationships collaboratively using the WebProtege web tool. The terminology will soon be tested against the initial use cases. We plan to make the terminology available in the near future for initial inspection and comment.

Read more.

The Open a GLAM lab book – and collections as data

A Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) Lab is a place for experimenting with digital collections and data. It is where researchers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators and the interested public can collaborate with an engaged group of partners to create new collections, tools, and services that will help transform the future ways in which knowledge and culture are disseminated. These Labs play a significant role in the transformation of large digital collections into data.

So far there was no systematic guidance on establishing GLAM Labs. In September a team of 16 international experts wrote the book ‘Open a GLAM Lab’ in five days during a booksprint and now this book is available under a CC0 licence on  and also accessible from the website of the International GLAM Labs community,

We are sharing with the CODATA community where many colleagues may be interested in the collections as data aspects of this work.

Disaster Risk Reduction and Open Data Newsletter: November 2019 Edition

UN High Commissioner for Refugees: Climate Change and Displacement
Climate change and natural disasters can add to and worsen the threats that force people to flee across international borders. The interplay between climate, conflict, poverty and persecution greatly increases the complexity of refugee emergencies.

Victoria, Australia – National Climate Change and Agriculture Plan Agreed
Australian ministers met in Melbourne at the Agricultural Ministers’ Forum to endorse a Victorian-led program that will facilitate collaboration between state and Commonwealth governments to meet the challenges of climate change and support the agriculture sector to adapt.

Flood forecasting a cyclone game-changer for Fiji
The ground-breaking project has developed and implemented a Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (MHEWS) that delivers an integrated approach to forecasting, monitoring and warning for coastal flooding, no matter what the cause – river or ocean.

Bangladesh to move Rohingya to flood-prone island 
Bangladesh will start relocating Rohingya Muslims to a flood-prone island off its coast as several thousand refugees have agreed to move. 

Tasman fire review finds shortfalls in New Zealand’s preparedness for large-scale blazes
A review of firefighting efforts during the Tasman fires last summer, which cost Fire and Emergency New Zealand $13 million, has found shortfalls in the number of skilled staff working in risk management.

UNSDSN TReNDS – SDG Financing Initiative
In 2018, SDSN launched and became the Co-Chair of a Working Group on SDG Costing & Financing with the IMF, OECD, and World Bank. This group convenes sector experts to aggregate their respective costing models and data for SDG targets, especially for low-income countries.

Addressing the Challenges of Drafting Contracts for Data Collaboration
Contracts for Data Collaboration (C4DC) is a new initiative seeking to address barriers to data collaboration. The partnership, launched in early 2019, has already yielded a number of outputs, including a project inception brief, the Contractual Wheel of Data Collaboration tool — which presents key considerations for the development of data sharing agreements — and an initial analytical framework.

GFDRR: Communication during disaster recovery
This Guide is intended primarily for local and national government officials and key decision-makers involved in disaster recovery planning and operations. It has been developed to support communication during recovery planning and operations in a range of different country contexts and any disaster type.

UNESCO Guidelines for Assessing Learning Facilities in the Context of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation
For the celebrations of the International Day for Disaster Reduction 2019, UNESCO launched a new publication – The UNESCO Guidelines for Assessing Learning Facilities in the Context of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. The Guidelines follow VISUS methodology and come in three volumes – An Introduction to learning facilities assessment and to the VISUS MethodologyVISUS Methodology and VISUS Implementation

UNDRR Work Programme 2020-2021
The UNDRR Work Programme 2020-2021 outlines the plans to accelerate the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The plans are developed in line with the existing Strategic Framework covering 2016-2021 and focuses on the key results under each Strategic Objective of UNDRR.

Data Sharing at Scale: A Heuristic for Affirming Data Cultures
This essay introduces a heuristic for pursuing richer characterisations of the “data cultures” at play in international, interdisciplinary data sharing. The heuristic prompts cultural analysts to query the contexts of data sharing for a particular discipline, institution, geography, or project at seven scales – the meta, macro, meso, micro, techno, data, and nano.

Citizen science and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Citizen science is an emerging example of a non-traditional data source that is already making a contribution. In this Perspective, a roadmap is presented that outlines how citizen science can be integrated into the formal Sustainable Development Goals reporting mechanisms.

World Bosai Forum/International Disaster Risk Conference 2019 – (09-12 Nov, Sendai, Japan)
The World Bosai Forum proposes solutions from various points of view to enable disaster risk reduction in Japan and overseas and aims to promote the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

Big data, Big Impact? The Future of Gender-Sensitive Data Systems – (New York City, 12 November)
This event will showcase the results of a five-year research program on big data and gender, featuring groundbreaking projects that investigated the potential of new data sources to answer critical questions about the lives of women and girls.

CODATA – VizAfrica Botswana (18-19 Nov, Botswana)
The VizAfrica 2019 Data Visualization Symposium will take place from 18th -19th November at the University of Botswana Gaborone, Botswana. The theme of the symposium is “Application of Data, Information and Scientific Visualization for Resource Management and Sustainability.”

Understanding Risk Europe – (27-29 November, Bucharest, Romania) 
The Understanding Risk Europe forum will provide a platform for the public and private sector, local, national and regional institutions, non-governmental organizations, academia and media to build partnerships and to share knowledge and best practices. Registration closes 15 November.

Evidence for Policy School – (Jan 13-15 2020, Florence, Italy)
The Evidence for Policy School aims to help researchers to have more impact on policy and policymakers to use evidence for policy solutions. The school will focus on the tools and approaches to inform the policymaking process through evidence. Scientists and policymakers are invited to send their applications fulfilling the listed criteria. Applications close 8 November.

Data sharing from policy to practice: moving beyond national to global

This post was written by Rebecca Lawrence, Managing Director of F1000. She was a session organiser at the CODATA 2019 Conference in Beijing, China 

Scholarly research is a global enterprise, often requiring researchers to collaborate with relevant experts across the world. The data generated during research is a valuable commodity, and researchers are increasingly required to share the data created during their research endeavour. 

However, institutional and funder data sharing policies are typically developed at organisational or national level. Meanwhile, researchers are often funded by several research agencies, working as part of a collaboration and/or with a myriad of data-related outputs.  This makes adherence to the different data sharing policies complex, burdensome and time consuming.  Furthermore, the practical ability to share data – in reputable repositories, with adequate metadata, in usable formats, at economic cost – can be onerous and in some case prohibitive for researchers.  There also remain real cultural, social and economic barriers for many researchers to share their research data openly and in a timely manner.

The session at CODATA Beijing brought together experts representing many different parts of the world to discuss how we can work better together towards harmonisation of policies and incentives for researchers to share their data so that we can fully realise the benefits of making research data more available. Panelists were Jean-Claude Burgelman (European Commission), Rebecca Lawrence (F1000; chair), Xiaoxuan Li (Chinese Academy of Sciences), Erik Schultes (Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences), Daisy Selematsela (University of South Africa (UNISA) Library and Information Services) and Nick Shockey (SPARC).

There was considerable discussion around making sure that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the road towards Open Access (OA) but rather that we learn from it. With data sharing, there was agreement that it is especially important that it is built on a Commons and not allowed to be built by a small number of commercial closed entities. This is especially important given that ownership of data can be far more powerful and restrictive than ownership/copyright of publications. There was also agreement that much of the slow progress towards OA has been caused by confusing and lenient policies. With data sharing we have the opportunity to ensure early on that clear and stringent policies are put in place to ensure that a middle-ground does not emerge along a similar vein to the ‘hybrid’ approach now prevalent in article publishing.

There was also much discussion about the significant, and growing, gap in data sharing practices between the global north and the global south. We need to not just talk about the positives that data sharing can bring but also (and maybe especially importantly in the global south) about the risks of doing nothing. We need to consider carefully the impact on equity and inclusion before we build data sharing systems, not after when it is too late to make a tangible difference. This is especially important when considering the business model for these infrastructures to ensure that approaches don’t develop that will cause further imbalance and inequity.

The importance of ensuring that researchers not only understand what data sharing is about but also why it is important and the potential positive impact it can have on them and their research should not be underestimated. We need to debunk the many myths about it and recognise that this process is going to take considerable time and effort to achieve. 

Having said this, a significant shift towards greater data sharing will only come about if the rewards and incentives system starts to fully recognise the value of such activities and shifts away from the traditional sole focus on publications in high-impact venues. However, during such a shift, we also need to be alert to potential unintended negative consequences of any new system or approach.

Such a shift in incentives can be achieved not only by dangling ‘carrots’ but also by reducing researcher burden.  For example, the increasing use of automated workflows and data capture was highlighted as potentially creating an incentive for researchers to share their data by removing the considerable time burden in capturing and curating the data and associated methods, whilst also increasing the likely level of FAIR-compliance of the resulting data.

There was a sense from the panel that like the early Internet, the current infrastructures being built globally to support data sharing are going to become another revolutionary global infrastructure that can ultimately be used by everyone. Like then, we don’t yet know what this infrastructure may become or what it may enable. But once we can demonstrate the possibilities and potential brought about by open data policies and implementation by working through a few pilots on a multinational scale, this will mobilise the international community very quickly, and help us to bring about the crucial alignment needed around core elements of data sharing policy and implementation. 

October 2019: Publications in the Data Science Journal

October 2019:  Publications in the Data Science Journal

Title: Different Preservation Levels: The Case of Scholarly Digital Editions
: Elias Oltmanns, Tim Hasler, Wolfgang Peters-Kottig, Heinz-Günter Kuper
Title: A Method for Extending Ontologies with Application to the Materials Science Domain
Author: Huanyu Li, Rickard Armiento, Patrick Lambrix
Title: Analysis of Several Years of DI Magnetometer Comparison Results by the Geomagnetic Network of China and IAGA
: ufei He, Xudong Zhao , Dongmei Yang, Fuxi Yang, Na Deng, Xijing Li