June 2012

New Report – Intellectual Property Rights and Digital Preservation

We are pleased to announce that the  Digital Preservation Coalition is to offer its members a preview of the latest DPC Technology Watch Report ‘Intellectual Property Rights for Digital Preservation by Andrew Charlesworth of the University of Bristol. This is the third report in the DPC technology watch series to have been commissioned with Charles Beagrie Ltd as series editors.

‘While a number of legal issues colour contemporary approaches to, and practices of, digital preservation, it is arguable that intellectual property law, represented principally by copyright and its related rights, has been by far the most dominant, and often intractable, influence,’ explained Andrew Charlesworth.

‘It’s essential for those engaging in digital preservation to understand the letter of the law and to be able to identify and implement practical and pragmatic strategies for handling legal risks in the pursuit of preservation objectives. Moreover, those engaging in digital preservation need to advance a coherent and cogent message to rights holders, policymakers and the public with regard to the relationship between intellectual property law and digital preservation. It is in the long-term interests of all stakeholders that modern intellectual property law permits both the implementation of effective and efficient mechanisms of digital preservation.’

Two more reports – on Preservation, Trust and E-Journals, and Digital Forensics for Preservation – are now well advanced and a further batch are now in development.

The managing editor has been further supported by an Editorial Board drawn from DPC members and peer reviewers who have commented on the text prior to release. The Editorial Board comprises William Kilbride (Chair), Neil Beagrie (Series Editor), Janet Delve (University of Portsmouth), Sarah Higgins (Archives and Records Association), Tim Keefe (Trinity College Dublin), Andrew McHugh (University of Glasgow), Dave Thompson (Wellcome Library).

The preview report is now online for DPC members:
Login or register for the DPC site (DPC Members only)
Download the preview report  (DPC Members only)

It will be available for general public release in the third quarter of 2012.

The Biomedical Research Infrastructure Software Service (BRISSkit)

We are very pleased to announce that we will be providing consultancy support for the second stage sustainability and take-up phase of the BRISSkit service (www.brisskit.le.ac.uk). It was a pleasure for us working with colleagues at the University of Leicester and the Biomedical Cardiovascular Research Unit (LCBRU) at the NHS University Hospitals Leicester Trust in the first phase of the project. Our focus was on community engagement and the return on investment case for funding.

Further funding from JISC for the next stage of sustainability and take-up will now allow the project to consolidate the work to date and extend to two additional Biomedical Research Units within University Hospitals Leicester Trust (including the Institute for Lung Health Respiratory BRU & Lifestyle BRU) and to test the service with two external partners (UCL Institute of Child Health; and University of Birmingham School of Cancer Studies).

The Biomedical Research Infrastructure Software Service (BRISSkit) is led by the University of Leicester and will provide a suite of open source biomedical research database applications as secure web services in a browser. BRISSkit components may be hosted standalone or as integrated, cloud hosted solutions for researchers and clinicians, accessible via the UK JANET academic or NHS accredited networks. It will facilitate cohort discovery; making it easier for researchers to manage the identification, selection, engagement and recruitment of suitable subjects for research. Using internationally recognised data standards researchers and clinicians may then combine, query, visualise and output datasets. Components include:

•             contact management and patient recruitment

•             electronic clinical data capture

•             tissue sample management

•       research data combination and querying

The project partners are currently piloting these services with groups across the University Hospitals Leicester Trust and nationally, working with a range of technical partners and key stakeholders including JISC, HEFCE, JANET and the NHS National Institute for Health Research. For further information see the BRISSkit community website.

Research Data Management in Times Higher and Royal Society Report

Research Data Management is very much in the news today with a lead article  in the Times Higher Education Supplement Seize the Data devoted to the issue and the release of the Royal Society Report Science as an Open Enterprise.

I was particularly pleased to see citation of our JISC funded research reports on Keeping Research Data Safe (pages 66-7) and the references to other major projects and programmes with which we have been involved such as Dryad and its sustainability and business case or the JISC Research Data Management Programme  in the Royal Society report.

Finally as the THES lead article notes one analysis of UK data equity estimated it to be worth £25.1 billion to British business in 2011. This is predicted to increase to £216 billion or 2.3 per cent of cumulative gross domestic product between 2012 and 2017. Although most of this is forecast to come from greater business efficiency in data use, £24 billion will stem from an increase in commercial data-driven R&D. The economic context alone draws attention to the huge importance of the issue, and in normal times would justify serious further investment in the science base.