Saturday, May 03, 2008

Event: African Digital Scholarship & Curation 2009

Thsi was posted to the Digital-Preservation email list.

African Digital Scholarship & Curation 2009
12-14 May 2009
CSIR Conference Centre, Pretoria, South Africa
Sponsored by NeDICC

Identification of opportunities, strategies and practical examples for new forms of research and scholarship and for the management of the digital content of these activities by academics, researchers, scientists, information professionals and IT experts

Call for Speakers

The organising committee invites proposals for presentations at African Digital Scholarship & Curation 2009, to be held at the CSIR Conference Centre, Pretoria, South Africa 12-14 May). We welcome dynamic speakers from African and all other countries willing to share their knowledge and experience about information content, tools, techniques, processes and management.

This conference is a follow-up of two conferences that were held independently in 2007 / 2008, i.e. the University of Botswana Digital Scholarship Conference in December 2007 and the 1st African Digital Curation Conference ( in February 2008.

The widespread availability of digital content creates opportunities for new forms of research and scholarship that are qualitatively different from traditional ways of using academic publications and research data.. To support these novel forms of research and scholarship, such content must be captured, managed, and preserved in ways that are significantly different from conventional methods. New forms of research and scholarship can be seen in the following examples:
  • The National Virtual Observatory describes itself as "a new way of doing astronomy, moving from an era of observations of small, carefully selected samples of objects in one or a few wavelength bands, to the use of multi-wavelength data for millions, if not billions of objects. Such datasets will allow researchers to discover subtle but significant patterns in statistically rich and unbiased databases, and to understand complex astrophysical systems through the comparison of data to numerical simulations." (
  • "For many years, we have worked to create systems that can automatically read the current chemical literature, aggregate the data, add semantics and metadata and allow scientific hypotheses to be tested. More ambitiously it is possible for the system to extract patterns or unusual observations from which new hypotheses might be constructed. This is reflected in our OSCAR and CrystalEye systems.... Our thesis is that the current scientific literature, was it to be presented in semantically accessible form, contains huge amounts of undiscovered science. However the apathy of the academic, scientific and information communities coupled with the indifference or even active hostility and greed of many publishers renders literature-data-driven science still inaccessible". (Peter Murray-Rust, University of Cambridge)
  • According to Malcolm Hyman and Jurgen Renn of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science "The quest for open access is not a matter of content communism. Without open access the Web is bound to replicate the insular structure of information in the print world. Lack of open access constitutes one of the main obstacles to the full exploitation of the innovative potential of the Web for research and scholarship. In the sciences open access refers to publications as well as their hinterland of data, simulations, software etc. In the humanities open access should similarly refer not only to publications but also to testimonies of cultural heritage, to historical works of art, literature, and science, to image, film and sound collections, to statistical data, etc." (
  • Building a virtual research environment for the Humanities (BVREH). An initial survey carried out by the BVREH team between June 2005 and September 2006 defined the range of services that a Virtual Environment should offer - from information about researchers and their interests and about conferences, lectures and seminars, to integrated communication and collaboration tools to support advanced research. The "Digital Pen and Paper Technologies" project is showing a lot of promise (
  • PrestoSpace digital curation project. Explicit strategies are needed to manage 'mixed' audio visual (AV) archives that contain both analogue and digital materials. The PrestoSpace Project brings together industry leaders, research institutes, and other stakeholders at a European level, to provide products and services for effective automated preservation and access solutions for diverse AV collections. The Project's main objective is to develop and promote flexible, integrated and affordable services for AV preservation, restoration, and storage with a view to enabling migration to digital formats in AV archives (
In the light of these examples and views the questions remain: " How do academics, researchers, scientists, information professionals and IT experts create opportunities for these new forms of research and scholarship?" and also "How do researchers and research support staff manage and curate the digital output from these activities?"

Suggested topics for papers include (but are not limited to):
  • e-Research & e-Science
  • Digital data management and curation
  • Digital preservation, including digitisation
  • Virtual Research Environments (VREs)
  • e-Resources
  • Web 2
  • Repositories
  • Open scholarship / Open access / Open data
  • Content management
  • Intellectual property issues related to digital content
  • Emerging technologies
  • Distance learning
  • e-Learning
  • Quality Assurance
  • Benchmarking
  • Digital Scholarship Strategy
  • Digital Scholarship Policy
  • Digital divide
  • IT Infrastructure for research e.g. National Research Networks
  • Digital scholarship and curation as a research area
Target audience:
  • Scientists & Researchers
  • Academics
  • Information Scientists
  • ICT Infrastructure Managers
  • Librarians
  • Records Managers
  • Research Managers
Call for papers, posters and workshops: We are looking for a mix of papers for conference sessions, workshops and posters. Our emphasis is on both the practical and theoretical, but we do not want product pitches. If you would like to be considered as a speaker, please submit your abstract to Dr Heila Pienaar - maximum 250 words (deadline: 31 July 2008). Successful candidates will be informed by end September 2008. The organisers cannot be responsible for speakers' registration, travel and accommodation costs.

To meet all deadlines full papers need to be submitted to the organising committee before 15 December 2008. Conference papers will be peer reviewed and a selection of top papers will be published in a recognised open access peer review journal.

A preliminary conference programme and registration will be available by end Septermber 2008 on this web site. The registration fee is R1 500.

Thank you. We look forward to receiving your ideas and suggestions as we plan this very important African and international conference.

Organising committee chairs
Dr Heila Pienaar, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Prof Tunde Oladiran, University of Botswana, Botswana

Conference administrator
Rina du Toit
Tel: +27 12 331 3404
Mobile: +27 82 785 3510

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