September 2008

iPRES and Digital Preservation Policies Study

I’m looking forward to catching up with many projects and individuals at the iPRES 2008 conference next week.

My colleague and associate consultant Najla Rettberg and I will be presenting on Monday morning recent work for JISC on digital preservation policies.

The study aims to provide an outline model for digital preservation policies and in particular to analyse the role that digital preservation can play in supporting and delivering key strategies for Higher Education Institutions in areas such as research and teaching and learning.

Although focusing on the UK Higher Education sector, it draws widely on policy and implementations from other sectors and countries and we hope it will be of interest to those wishing to develop policy and justify investment in digital preservation within a wide range of institutions.

The study has been submitted to JISC and is in peer reiew. We hope it will be available from the JISC website in late October and I will post further details to the blog once it is available.

German Science Priority Initiative – Digital Information and e-infrastructure

I have been tracking national research initiatives in Australia, Canada, UK and USA in various blogs over previous months. Another potentially very important national initiative can now be added to the list from Germany.

An alliance of scientific organisations in Germany which includes all the majors players such as Deutsche Forschungsgemeinshaft (DFG, the German Research Foundation), Fraunhofer Society, Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, and the Max Planck Society, have signed a joint national e-infrastructure policy initiative with six priority areas focusing on:

  • National licencing of e-journals;
  • Open Access;
  • National hosting strategy for preservation of e-journals;
  • Preservation and re-use of primary research data;
  • Virtual research environments; and
  • Legal frameworks (focusing on copyright law and equalising VAT treatment on print and electronic publications).

The Alliance agreed to coordinate the activities of the individual partner organisations and to expand on the ideal of the innovative information environment by means of a Joint Priority Initiative from 2008 to 2012 with the following goals:

  • to guarantee the broadest possible access to digital publications, digital data and other source materials;
  • to utilise digital media to create the ideal conditions for the distribution and reception of publications related to German research;
  • to ensure the long-term availability of the digital media and contents that have been acquired from round the world and their integration in the digital research environment;
  • to support collaborative research by means of innovative information technologies.

Further information on the initiative is now available to download as a PDF in English or you can brush up your language skills (as I did or at least tried to) and read it in the original German :-)

Associates and Partners web page

I am pleased to announce we have added an Associates and Partners web page to the Charles Beagrie website. We work with a range of associates and partners to form project teams for specific assignments and fulfil the needs of individual clients.

The company is fortunate to work with leading figures in the field of digital preservation, Higher Education and Scholarly Communication and the web page profiles some of our main associates and business partners. It is intended to give potential clients examples of the breadth and depth of experience and skills that the company can draw on through its directors and network of associates and partners.

Interim Report – UK Research Data Feasibility Study

I have previously blogged on UKRDS, the major consultancy work the company has been undertaking with ther lead partner SERCO Consulting over the last six months on a UK Research Data Service feasibility study for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

The interim report of the study has just been released. The report analyses the current situation in the UK with a detailed review of relevant literature and funders policies, and data drawn from four major case study universities (Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, and Oxford). It describes the emerging trends of local data repositories and national facilities in the UK and also looks internationally at Australia, the US and the EU. Finally it presents possible ways forward for UKRDS. Preliminary findings from a UKRDS survey of over 700 UK researchers are presented in an Appendix. The study has now moved into its second phase building on the interim report and developing the business case.

Luis Martinez-Uribe, Digital Repositories Research Co-ordinator at Oxford University has written on the interim report in his blog “I highly recommend everyone with an interest in research data management to have a look at this report as not only it captures the current state of affairs in the UK and elsewhere but also offers possible ways forward.”

Research Data Canada

Readers of the blog may be interested in work underway in Canada via Research Data Canada which is running in parallel to work on UKRDS here in the UK, Datanets in the USA, and ANDS in Australia.

Research Data Canada has established The Research Data Strategy Working Group – a collaborative effort by a multi-disciplinary group of universities, institutes, libraries, granting agencies, and individual researchers to address the challenges and issues surrounding the access and preservation of data arising from Canadian research.

The group is currently working on a draft report “Stewardship of Research Data in Canada: Gap Analysis” which provides a statement of the ideal state of research data stewardship in Canada and a description of the current state, as determined by examining a number of indicators. The purpose is to provide evidence of gaps between current and ideal state in order to begin filling in the gaps. The indicators of the state of the stewardship of research data in Canada are as follows: policies; funding; roles and responsibilities; [trusted digital] data repositories; standards; skills and training; reward and recognition systems; research and development; accessibility; and preservation. The final version will be available in September.

Information on the working group and other Research Data Canada activities is available from its website.

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