Strengthening institutional data management and promoting data sharing in the social and economic sciences

Authors : Monika Linne, Wolfgang Zenk-Möltgen

In the German social and economic sciences there is a growing awareness of flexible data distribution and research data reuse, especially as increasing numbers of research funders recommend publishing research data as the basis for scientific insight.

However, a data-sharing mentality has not yet been established in Germany attributable to researchers’ strong reservations about publishing their data.

This attitude is exacerbated by the fact that, at present, there is no trusted national data sharing repository that covers the particular requirements of institutions regarding research data.

This article discusses how this objective can be achieved with the project initiative SowiDataNet.

The development of a community-driven data repository is a logically consistent and important step towards an attitude shift concerning data sharing in the social and economic sciences.


Data Management and Preservation Planning for Big Science

‘Big Science’ – that is, science which involves large collaborations with dedicated facilities, and involving large data volumes and multinational investments – is often seen as different when it comes to data management and preservation planning.

Big Science handles its data differently from other disciplines and has data management problems that are qualitatively different from other disciplines. In part, these differences arise from the quantities of data involved, but possibly more importantly from the cultural, organisational and technical distinctiveness of these academic cultures.

Consequently, the data management systems are typically and rationally bespoke, but this means that the planning for data management and preservation (DMP) must also be bespoke.

These differences are such that ‘just read and implement the OAIS specification’ is reasonable Data Management and Preservation (DMP) advice, but this bald prescription can and should be usefully supported by a methodological ‘toolkit’, including overviews, case-studies and costing models to provide guidance on developing best practice in DMP policy and infrastructure for these projects, as well as considering OAIS validation, audit and cost modelling.

In this paper, we build on previous work with the LIGO collaboration to consider the role of DMP planning within these big science scenarios, and discuss how to apply current best practice.

We discuss the result of the MaRDI-Gross project (Managing Research Data Infrastructures – Big Science), which has been developing a toolkit to provide guidelines on the application of best practice in DMP planning within big science projects.

This is targeted primarily at projects’ engineering managers, but intending also to help funders collaborate on DMP plans which satisfy the requirements imposed on them.


An activity based costing model for long term…

An activity-based costing model for long-term preservation and dissemination of digital research data: the case of DANS :

« Financial sustainability is an important attribute of a trusted, reliable digital repository. The authors of this paper use the case study approach to develop an activity-based costing (ABC) model. This is used for estimating the costs of preserving digital research data and identifying options for improving and sustaining relevant activities. The model is designed in the environment of the Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) institute, a well-known trusted repository. The DANS–ABC model has been tested on empirical cost data from activities performed by 51 employees in frames of over 40 different national and international projects. Costs of resources are being assigned to cost objects through activities and cost drivers. The ‘euros per dataset’ unit of costs measurement is introduced to analyse the outputs of the model. Funders, managers and other decision-making stakeholders are being provided with understandable information connected to the strategic goals of the organisation. The latter is being achieved by linking the DANS–ABC model to another widely used managerial tool—the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). The DANS–ABC model supports costing of services provided by a data archive, while the combination of the DANS–ABC with a BSC identifies areas in the digital preservation process where efficiency improvements are possible. »


Step by step installation guide of a digital…

Step by step installation guide of a digital preservation infrastructure :

« The Ceris-CNR project of digital preservation infrastructure has been committed by Bess (Social Science Electronic Library of Piemonte) for years 2011-2012 sponsored by Compagnia di San Paolo of Turin. Ceris-CNR role is to handle all the post-scan of the digitalization, for this purpose it has deployed the software and server platforms of the repository and also the web portal for the presentation, research and consulting. This report is a guide of step by step followed to build the digital archive infrastructure. »


Preservation Status Of E Resources A Potential Crisis…

Preservation Status Of E-Resources: A Potential Crisis In Electronic Journal Preservation :

« E-journals have replaced the majority of titles formerly produced in paper format. Academic libraries are increasingly dependent on commercially produced, born-digital content that is purchased or licensed. The purpose of this presentation is to share the findings of a 2CUL study that assesses the role of LOCKSS and PORTICO in preserving each institution’s e-journal collections. The 2CUL initiative is a collaboration between Columbia University Library (CUL) and Cornell University Library (CUL) to join forces in providing content, expertise, and services that are impossible to accomplish acting alone.

Although LOCKSS is considered a successful digital preservation initiative, neither of the CULs felt that they fully understood the potential of the system for their own settings and collections. In support of this goal, a joint team was established in November 2010 to investigate various questions to assess how LOCKSS is being deployed and the implications of local practices for both CUL’s preservation frameworks. This study was seen as a high-level investigation to characterize the general landscape and identify further research questions. One of the practical outcomes was a comparative analysis of Portico and LOCKSS preservation coverage for Columbia and Cornell’s serial holdings. A key finding was that only 15-20% of the e-journal titles in the libraries’ collections are currently preserved by these two initiatives. Further analysis suggests the remaining titles fall into roughly 10 categories, with a variety of strategies needed to ensure their preservation. »


Institutional Repositories Long Term Preservation and the changing…

Institutional Repositories, Long Term Preservation and the changing nature of Scholarly Publications :

« The web offers new opportunities for scholars to publish the outcome of their research. One of these new forms is called Enhanced Publications. In an Enhanced Publication different objects and files that has a meaningful and close relation to each other are aggregated on the level of a resource map in witch not only the separate files are described, but also the relation between those files are. An example of an Enhanced Publication is a digital text publication and a dataset on which the publication is based. Preserving these compound entities in the existing infrastructures raises new issues. This article discusses these issues against the background of the Dutch long term preservation infrastructure and organisation. »


Institutional Repositories and Digital Preservation Assessing Current Practices…

Institutional Repositories and Digital Preservation: Assessing Current Practices at Research Libraries :

« In spring 2010, authors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst conducted a national survey on digital preservation of Institutional Repository (IR) materials among Association of Research Libraries (ARL) member institutions. Examining the current practices of digital preservation of IR materials, the survey of 72 research libraries reveals the challenges and opportunities of implementing digital preservation for IRs in a complex environment with rapidly evolving technology, practices, and standards. Findings from this survey will inform libraries about the current state of digital preservation for IRs. »