Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Events: GWLA Data Curation Webinars

One of the webinars has already occurred, but the other two are still in the future.  The webinars are being recorded and those recordings will be made available online. 

The Greater Western Library Alliance is providing a series of three free webinars on the topic of data  curation. The webinars will be conducted using “Wimba” webinar software. No pre-registration is
necessary. The webinar login address is:

At the login page, select “Participant”. If you haven’t accessed Wimba before, you’ll need to run the “Wizard” setup (even if you have entered Wimba before, it’s recommend to run the “Wizard”). It takes (1
– 4) minutes for the software to confirm the participant’s system compatibility, so allow time accordingly; we recommended that you login at least ten minutes prior to the presentation. The “Wizard” has (5) checks to walk through; all that’s required is to press ‘next’ (there is an ‘audio test’). In order to use the audio function,
you’ll need a headset, or a computer with both ‘mic’ and ‘speakers’.

Each of the webinars will be recorded. After each session, a URL will be posted to mailing lists where the series was announced.

Presentation Details:

1. Big Picture Overview of Data Curation, Thursday May 6, 12-1:30 EST

Over this decade, increasingly more people are viewing research data as an asset requiring proper  management and long-term stewardship. This outlook is a major cultural shift from the perspective that
knowledge outputs such as journal articles and books are the sole treasures of research.  One consequence is that librarians in research institutions are now having to consider how to incorporate data as a library resource.  Chuck Humphrey’s presentation provides an introduction to basic data concepts relevant to librarians.  Topics to be discussed include how to differentiate research data from everything else that is digital, how lifecycle data management helps us better deal with data as a resource, how collections remain
important in managing data and how levels of service can be defined for data.

It is important to understand data curation within the larger scholarly communication context, and then to identify opportunities and capacities where librarians can and should find a role to engage.

Given a definition that ranges from managing to archiving to preserving data along the data lifecycle, there are various points where data curation services can be pursued by librarians: at a point of research initiation (articulating the problem and pursuing  funding), at a point of recent or ongoing research (organization
within the lab), at a point where a larger community needs to be engaged (broadening access), and at a point where time scale is important (archiving and preserving in a repository). D. Scott Brant will discuss the role of librarians in pursuing and engaging in these data curation activities with specific examples presented.


Charles (Chuck) Humphrey has been the Head of the Data Library at the University of Alberta since 1992 and began a data library service in 1980 in the University’s academic computing centre while employed as a
statistical consultant. In 2000, Mr. Humphrey also assumed responsibility for the implementation and  management of a Statistics Canada Research Data Centre (RDC) at the University of Alberta, which is a data enclave for Statistics Canada confidential data. As the Academic Director of the RDC, he oversees the operations of this facility and serves on the RDC National Coordinating Committee.

D. Scott Brandt is a professor of library science and associate dean for research in the Purdue University Libraries. Primarily he helps guide the Libraries’ research and facilitates participation in sponsored funding (e.g., NSF, IMLS, local seed grants)—-since April 2005, Purdue librarians have participated in more than 70 grant applications with more than 80 faculty across campus. As acting director of the Distributed Data Curation Center, he overseesinvestigation into curation issues of organizing, discovery and access to, and archiving research data in complex environments. Prior to arriving at Purdue in 1993 he was associate head of the Science and Engineering Libraries at MIT, and is the author of Teaching Technology (2002) and Unix in Libraries (1991).

2. What kinds of data are libraries managing, how are they doing it and with what staff?, Tuesday June 1, 12-1:30 EST

After giving a brief background summary of what the MIT Libraries are doing, Anne Graham and Amy Stout will discuss issues surrounding starting a data management program and provide an overview of what
libraries need to know before starting a data management program. They will discuss the following topics from a subject librarian perspective:
  • How does your library system operate?
  • Are you better off starting your program from the top-down or using a grassroots approach?
  •  Making contact with your faculty and finding out what they need 
  • Learning about data and e-science
  • Developing relationships across departments that will facilitate your offering of  services to people outside the library system 
Sayeed Choudhury will discuss early experiences related to the Data Conservancy, one of two current awards through NSF’s DataNet program. Choudhury will speak specifically about the types of data being
considered for the early prototype development, the initial technical architecture, and the new duties or skill sets that are being developed as a result of these activities.


Anne Graham is Civil and Environmental Engineering Librarian and GIS Liaison and Amy Stout is Computer Science Librarian at MIT Libraries. Both Anne and Amy have been working on starting data services at the
MIT Libraries. This includes educating faculty, students and lab managers about “best practices” for data management as well as initiating projects that encourage faculty to look to the libraries for the stewardship of their data.

G. Sayeed Choudhury is the Associate Dean for Library Digital Programs and Hodson Director of the Digital Research and Curation Center at the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University. He is also the Director of Operations for the Institute of Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES) based at Johns Hopkins. He is a Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins, a Research Fellow at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Senior Presidential Fellow with the Council on Library and Information Resources. He is a member of the ICPSR Council and DuraSpace Board.

3. What is happening at GWLA Libraries and what are next steps for GWLA?, Thursday July 1, 12-1:30 EST

Presenters from several GWLA libraries will provide 5 minute presentations on what is happening at their institutions, at what stage they are at with data curation, and what they see as a possible GWLA role. Presentations will be followed by discussion about possible next steps for GWLA and potential areas of collaboration among GWLA libraries regarding data curation.

Speakers: GWLA members involved in data curation [an OSU wiki will be updated as GWLA speakers are confirmed for the 3rd webinar: http://wiki.library.oregonstate.edu/confluence/x/0wV9|../x/0wV9
<http://wiki.library.oregonstate.edu/confluence/x/0wV9%7C../x/0wV9> ]

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