Digital Curation Centre
Digital Curation Centre Pipeline Newsletter | September 2016

What we learned this month

International Data Week 2016
Denver was host to over 800 data folk last week for International Data Week, comprising SciDataCon, the International Data Forum and The 8th RDA Plenary. It was a packed programme with some excellent and inspiring talks. Phil Bourne of NIH for example, questioned how the airbnb model could be applied to biomedical research. Their plans to setup a Commons and issue credits for researchers to work in this environment are well worth watching. Kevin took part in an educational panel at SciDataCon, and with our collaborators at UC3, we pushed the agenda of machine-actionable DMPs in the final RDA parallel track. What we learned at IDW2016 could fill Pipeline many times over; look out for some blog posts in the coming weeks on the highlights, and ways you can contribute to RDA and CODATA work. Those in the UK should look out for the first RDA-UK event (see below); the next RDA plenary will be held in Barcelona from 5th to 7th of April 2017.

New training programme
Our training programme is stepping up a gear this year with a mix of open events and commissioned in-house training, and with some new topics added to our portfolio.

An Introduction to Open Science, York, 27 October
This half-day course, comprising a blend of presentations and hands-on exercises,  explains the drivers behind the emergence of Open Science as an academic trend,  provides opportunities to discuss the pros and cons of an Open approach, and introduces useful tools and resources to help get you (or your researchers) underway.

Reviewing DMPs/Introduction to RDM, London, 30 November
We will be running two, half-day courses in London this November. The morning session will offer a general introduction to research data management aimed at researchers and support staff, including practical sessions focused on data publication and developing data management plans. Our afternoon session is for research support staff with responsibility for reviewing data management plans. We will discuss frameworks for assessing plans and participants will have the opportunity to try out evaluation rubrics on real-world examples. The session will offer an opportunity to discuss approaches with peer institutions.

We're taking our training programme on the road to Europe in 2017, starting in Amsterdam next January.
Following on from the success of a similar event in London earlier this year, we will host one session discussing the successful design of RDM services and development of associated business cases. Our second session will build on our experience of working with the European Commission to enable participants to support researchers meeting Horizon 2020 and Open Data Pilot mandates. The session will include practical, hands-on work with data management plans, teaching participants how to support their development and review. Booking will be open soon so watch this space and see you there!

The DCC continues to run bespoke training courses on request. Sarah will be running a training course on Horizon 2020 and Open Data at Trinity College Dublin on 19th October and in November, Sarah and Kevin will run a workshop in Vienna for the e-Infrastructures Austria consortium on Data Management Planning and national shared services. If you're interested in booking a workshop, consult our website for topics and fees.

12th International Digital Curation Conference
IDCC17 - workshop submissions and Call for Papers now open
The International Digital Curation Conference has included a very successful workshop programme for the last 10 years, and this year is no exception. Our workshops will take place on either side of the conference on Monday 20 February and Thursday 23 February. You can find more information on workshop submissions, costs and format on our website

The Call for Papers for IDCC17 was released in August. The call focuses on the challenge of embedding digital curation in organisational workflows to ensure that not only is data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR), but that we have flexible and resilient infrastructures openly available to support communities in this endeavour. You can find more information on key topics, criteria and submission deadlines on our website

Hold the dates! Registration for the conference and workshops will open shortly.

Research support - how European universities are helping researchers with their data
The DCC has participated in a number of events recently about research support. The research officers group of the COIMBRA network of universities hosted an event in Brussels on preparing better Horizon 2020 proposals.They had a number of speakers from the EC talking about their policy, ethics and evaluation, while representatives from the universities spoke about what they were doing in practice to support researchers. Sarah also gave a keynote at the Dutch Support4Research event hosted by SURFsara. Slides are available online. It was great to see how many initiatives are going on at the individual universities and what SURF is doing to embed their portfolio and help coordinate across these. Meanwhile, our Director Kevin Ashley was one of the invited speakers at Portugal's first national event on research data and open science on September 22nd in Porto. Portugal looks ready to create national infrastructures and support for universities dealing with research data and clear commitment from government level was apparent at the event.

European Open Science Cloud pilot to be funded
We are delighted to hear that the European Commission has accepted the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) pilot proposal from a consortium DCC is part of. EOSC will integrate many of the Research Infrastructures the Commission funds. It will offer more services across disciplines, and coordinate the support available to researchers and their institutions. That’s where we will be contributing on a number of fronts. One is on coordinating and delivering training activities, and developing a framework to help plan skills development alongside organisational change. The other is supporting the work to engage with the broad spectrum of stakeholders interested in making EOSC a success. The two-year pilot is set to begin in January.

The Digital Preservation Awards
As members of the DPC, and with our director a past chair of the judging panel, we're thrilled to see the DPC's Digital Preservation awards develop into a real showcase for talent and innovation in digital preservation around the world. The 2017 shortlists have been announced, and the quality of entries is once again impressive. It's particularly pleasing for us to see the 4C project, of which we were a member, shortlisted in the SSI research and innovation category. We're looking forward to hearing the winners announced at the ceremony in December. 

A common set of themes for Data Management Plans
When the DCC revised DMPonline in 2013, we introduced the concept of themes to the tool. The themes represent the most common topics addressed in Data Management Plans (DMPs) and work like tags to associate questions and guidance. We see potential for broader application of the themes though. In collaboration with the DMPTool, we plan to use a refined set of themes to support our objectives around machine-actionable DMPs. The themes provide the beginnings of a common vocabulary and structure for DMPs and could help to identify sections of text to mine, e.g., to identify a repository named in a DMP and the volume of data in the pipeline. A revised set of themes is now online for consultation. Please read the blog post and give us your feedback!

Resource of the month

The W3C Document Data on the Web Best Practices reached the stage of a candidate recommendation on August 30th. This recommendation has the potential to enable a step-change in data discovery, reuse and integration across all domains of research. A view of the table of contents may give the impression that this document simply retreads ground that many others have covered, with topics such as data licences, data quality, versioning and identifiers. But it goes further, articulating ways to use the technology of the web to make machine-readable assertions about topics such as data quality, vocabularies, licences and versions. This recommendation integrates with existing best practice in dealing with data and is already influencing practice in a number of working groups in the Research Data Alliance. In doing so it allows data to be "of the web" rather than simply "on the web" (to borrow a phrase first used by Lorcan Dempsey of libraries.) 

Future events

Research Data Management Forum #16, Edinburgh, 21-22 November
The latest in the long-running RDMF series will be held in Edinburgh in November. As with the last couple of years, our Autumn meeting will focus on data and systems. We'll be announcing the first version of the agenda in the next week or so, but if you have a systems-related story to share, or a thorny problem that you think would benefit from community discussion, there's still an opportunity to get involved. Drop the organisers a line via 

The DCC will be attending Digital Infrastructure for Research in Krakow this week. We're involved in a number of European e-infrastructure projects such as EUDAT and OpenAIRE and are interested to see how services we run like DMPonline can form part of the broader European research support environment.  

November see two UK data events coordinated by OpenAIRE and Jisc which you may also want to mark in your diaries. On 1st November OpenAIRE will be holding a national workshop in the UK and on 2nd there will be a Research Data Alliance UK (RDA-UK) workshop. The aim here is to provide information about how the RDA, as a community-driven organisation, is working to achieve its vision and to discuss how this work can be used practically in universities and data centres in the UK. Information about both events in is the Jisc blog.

And finally...DCC impact around the world
It's always gratifying to see DCC work being picked up and used by others. These are just a few of the examples we're aware of.

After we presented on DMPonline in 2010 at IDCC, the folks at UC3 pulled together a US consortium to establish a similar tool over the pond. We've kept in close contact since then and as you will have read in previous issues of Pipeline, we're now merging our efforts in the Roadmap project as well as contributing to work in the RDA and elsewhere to make data management plans a more active and integrated part of research data infrastructures.

We've also worked within the RDA to build on our Disciplinary Metadata Catalogue and the work that the metadata standards catalogue working group has produced has exceeded anything we could have done alone.

The DCC's Research Data Management Forum (RDMF), established with RIN in 2007, has also provided a useful model for other countries to bring together people from research organisations, funders and publishers to address topical matters. The latest to be established is in Portugal, organised by our colleagues at the University of Minho immediately after the first national conference on research data and open science. Readers in the UK will also want to note details of our next RDMF elsewhere in this issue of Pipeline.

Most of our material is openly licensed and we don't always get to hear about how it is reused. Do let us know what you find useful and how it has helped; we like to hear and (with your permission) share your stories.

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