Quality of Research Data, an Operational Approach

This article reports on a study, commissioned by SURFfoundation, investigating the operational aspects of the concept of quality for the various phases in the life cycle of research data: production, management, and use/re-use.

Potential recommendations for quality improvement were derived from interviews and a study of the literature. These recommendations were tested via a national academic survey of three disciplinary domains as designated by the European Science Foundation: Physical Sciences and Engineering, Social Sciences and Humanities, and Life Sciences.

The “popularity” of each recommendation was determined by comparing its perceived importance against the objections to it. On this basis, it was possible to draw up generic and discipline-specific recommendations for both the dos and the don’ts.”

URL : http://www.dlib.org/dlib/january11/waaijers/01waaijers.html

Information and Communication Technologies in Parliament – Tools for Democracy

Parliaments in a democracy must be efficient in their operations, transparent in their actions and have strong ties to their citizens.

This second booklet in the new Office for Promotion of Parliamentary Democracy (OPPD) series offers a roadmap for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) managers and other parliamentary officials responsible for overseeing ICT to assist them in the planning and development of computer and communication systems to support their respective legislative assemblies.

URL : http://www.epractice.eu/en/library/5268569

Science, institutional archives and open access: an overview and a pilot survey on the Italian cancer research institutions

Background

The Open Archive Initiative (OAI) refers to a movement started around the ’90s to guarantee free access to scientific information by removing the barriers to research results, especially those related to the ever increasing journal subscription prices.

This new paradigm has reshaped the scholarly communication system and is closely connected to the build up of institutional repositories (IRs) conceived to the benefit of scientists and research bodies as a means to keep possession of their own literary production.

The IRs are high-value tools which permit authors to gain visibility by enabling rapid access to scientific material (not only publications) thus increasing impact (citation rate) and permitting a multidimensional assessment of research findings.”

Methods

A survey was conducted in March 2010 to mainly explore the managing system in use for archiving the research finding adopted by the Italian Scientific Institutes for Research, Hospitalization and Health Care (IRCCS) of the oncology area within the Italian National Health Service.

They were asked to respond to a questionnaire intended to collect data about institutional archives, metadata formats and posting of full-text documents. The enquire concerned also the perceived role of the institutional repository DSpace ISS, built up by the Istituto Superiore di Sanita (Italian National Institute of Health, ISS), based on a XML scheme for encoding metadata.

Such a repository aims at acting as a unique reference point for the biomedical information produced by the Italian research institutions. An in-depth analysis has also been performed on the collection of information material addressed to patients produced by the institutions surveyed.

Results

The survey respondents were 6 out of 9. The results reveal the use of different practices and standard among the institutions concerning: the type of documentation collected, the software adopted, the use and format of metadata and the conditions of accessibility to the IRs.

Conclusions

The Italian research institutions in the field of oncology are moving the first steps towards the philosophy of OA. The main effort should be the implementation of common procedures also in order to connect scientific publications to researchers curricula.

In this framework, an important effort is represented by the project of ISS aimed to set a common interface able to allow migration of data from partner institutions to the OA compliant repository DSpace ISS.

URL : http://www.jeccr.com/content/29/1/168

Academic Search Engine Spam and Google Scholar’s Resilience Against it

In a previous paper we provided guidelines for scholars on optimizing research articles for academic search engines such as Google Scholar. Feedback in the academic community to these guidelines was diverse.

Some were concerned researchers could use our guidelines to manipulate rankings of scientific articles and promote what we call ‘academic search engine spam’. To find out whether these concerns are justified, we conducted several tests on Google Scholar.

The results show that academic search engine spam is indeed—and with little effort—possible: We increased rankings of academic articles on Google Scholar by manipulating their citation counts; Google Scholar indexed invisible text we added to some articles, making papers appear for keyword searches the articles were not relevant for; Google Scholar indexed some nonsensical articles we randomly created with the paper generator SciGen; and Google Scholar linked to manipulated versions of research papers that contained a Viagra advertisement.

At the end of this paper, we discuss whether academic search engine spam could become a serious threat to Web-based academic search engines.

URL : http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jep;view=text;rgn=main;idno=3336451.0013.305

Technical workshop on the goals and requirements for a pan-European data portal

Keeping Research Data Safe (KRDS) is a cost framework that can be used to develop and apply local cost models for research data management and long-term preservation. The exact application may depend on the purpose of the costing, which might include:

  • identifying current costs;
  • identifying former or future costs;
  • comparing costs across different collections and institutions which have used different variables;
  • developing a charging policy or appropriate archiving costs to be charged to projects;
  • focussing in more selectively on particular activities and modelling the effect of changes to specific processes.

The major outputs from KRDS have been the project final reports (KRDS 2008 and KRDS 2010) and the supplementary materials to the KRDS2 final report available from the KRDS2 project website (http://www.beagrie.com/jisc.php). The KRDS final reports have been extremely well received by the community. However the project outcomes such as case studies and guidance are now split over two long reports, appendices and supplementary material.

The KRDS User Guide has been developed to support easier assimilation of the combined work of the KRDS1 and KRDS2 projects by those wishing to implement the tools or key findings.

The User Guide is an edited selection and synthesis of the KRDS reports combined with newly commissioned text and illustrations. It provides a succinct summary of key implementation guidance and tools, links to prepared extracts such as case studies from the reports, and additional guidance on its application.

URL : http://www.beagrie.com/KeepingResearchDataSafe_UserGuide_v1_Dec2010.pdf

Electronic Publishing, Knowledge Sharing and Open Access: A New Environment for Political Science

In this article, we present an overview of the major changes occurring in electronic publishing, with a focus on open access. We shall argue that the notion itself of publication is undergoing a deep transformation, as it is no longer the monopoly of a limited number of specialised companies and institutions, but, through the web, it has become an option available to an infinite number of collective and individual actors.

URL : http://www.palgrave-journals.com/eps/journal/v9/n1s/abs/eps201035a.html