Data Discovery Paradigms: User Requirements and Recommendations for Data Repositories

Authors: Mingfang Wu, Fotis Psomopoulos, Siri Jodha Khalsa, Anita de Waard

As data repositories make more data openly available it becomes challenging for researchers to find what they need either from a repository or through web search engines.

This study attempts to investigate data users’ requirements and the role that data repositories can play in supporting data discoverability by meeting those requirements.

We collected 79 data discovery use cases (or data search scenarios), from which we derived nine functional requirements for data repositories through qualitative analysis.

We then applied usability heuristic evaluation and expert review methods to identify best practices that data repositories can implement to meet each functional requirement.

We propose the following ten recommendations for data repository operators to consider for improving data discoverability and user’s data search experience:

1. Provide a range of query interfaces to accommodate various data search behaviours.

2. Provide multiple access points to find data.

3. Make it easier for researchers to judge relevance, accessibility and reusability of a data collection from a search summary.

4. Make individual metadata records readable and analysable.

5. Enable sharing and downloading of bibliographic references.

6. Expose data usage statistics.

7. Strive for consistency with other repositories.

8. Identify and aggregate metadata records that describe the same data object.

9. Make metadata records easily indexed and searchable by major web search engines.

10. Follow API search standards and community adopted vocabularies for interoperability.

DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2019-003

The principles of tomorrow’s university

Authors : Daniel S. Katz, Gabrielle Allen, Lorena A. Barba, Devin R. Berg, Holly Bik, Carl Boettiger, Christine L. Borgman, C. Titus Brown, Stuart Buck, Randy Burd, Anita de Waard, Martin Paul Eve, Brian E. Granger, Josh Greenberg, Adina Howe, Bill Howe, May Khanna, Timothy L. Killeen, Matthew Mayernik, Erin McKiernan, Chris Mentzel, Nirav Merchant, Kyle E. Niemeyer, Laura Noren, Sarah M. Nusser, Daniel A. Reed, Edward Seidel, MacKenzie Smith, Jeffrey R. Spies, Matt Turk, John D. Van Horn, Jay Walsh

In the 21st Century, research is increasingly data- and computation-driven. Researchers, funders, and the larger community today emphasize the traits of openness and reproducibility.

In March 2017, 13 mostly early-career research leaders who are building their careers around these traits came together with ten university leaders (presidents, vice presidents, and vice provosts), representatives from four funding agencies, and eleven organizers and other stakeholders in an NIH- and NSF-funded one-day, invitation-only workshop titled “Imagining Tomorrow’s University.”

Workshop attendees were charged with launching a new dialog around open research – the current status, opportunities for advancement, and challenges that limit sharing.

The workshop examined how the internet-enabled research world has changed, and how universities need to change to adapt commensurately, aiming to understand how universities can and should make themselves competitive and attract the best students, staff, and faculty in this new world.

During the workshop, the participants re-imagined scholarship, education, and institutions for an open, networked era, to uncover new opportunities for universities to create value and serve society.

They expressed the results of these deliberations as a set of 22 principles of tomorrow’s university across six areas: credit and attribution, communities, outreach and engagement, education, preservation and reproducibility, and technologies.

Activities that follow on from workshop results take one of three forms. First, since the workshop, a number of workshop authors have further developed and published their white papers to make their reflections and recommendations more concrete.

These authors are also conducting efforts to implement these ideas, and to make changes in the university system.

Second, we plan to organise a follow-up workshop that focuses on how these principles could be implemented.

Third, we believe that the outcomes of this workshop support and are connected with recent theoretical work on the position and future of open knowledge institutions.

URL : The principles of tomorrow’s university

DOI : https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.17425.1

Recommended versus Certified Repositories: Mind the Gap

Authors : Sean Edward Husen, Zoë G. de Wilde, Anita de Waard, Helena Cousijn

Researchers are increasingly required to make research data publicly available in data repositories. Although several organisations propose criteria to recommend and evaluate the quality of data repositories, there is no consensus of what constitutes a good data repository.

In this paper, we investigate, first, which data repositories are recommended by various stakeholders (publishers, funders, and community organizations) and second, which repositories are certified by a number of organisations.

We then compare these two lists of repositories, and the criteria for recommendation and certification. We find that criteria used by organisations recommending and certifying repositories are similar, although the certification criteria are generally more detailed.

We distil the lists of criteria into seven main categories: “Mission”, “Community/Recognition”, “Legal and Contractual Compliance”, “Access/Accessibility”, “Technical Structure/Interface”, “Retrievability” and “Preservation”.

Although the criteria are similar, the lists of repositories that are recommended by the various agencies are very different. Out of all of the recommended repositories, less than 6% obtained certification.

As certification is becoming more important, steps should be taken to decrease this gap between recommended and certified repositories, and ensure that certification standards become applicable, and applied, to the repositories which researchers are currently using.

URL : Recommended versus Certified Repositories: Mind the Gap

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2017-042