By Allan Barclay, Information Architecture Librarian at Ebling Library

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) held a virtual conference, “Scientific Data Management: Caring for Your Institution and its Intellectual Wealth” on February 18. A variety of data management projects and academic organizations were represented, including the US Department of Energy, Emory University, Tufts University, Oregon State University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Force 11, the Center for Open Science and the RMap project. The web page for the event (including slide decks) is still available at the NISO website. Some highlights include:

The DART Project

A research project using data management plans (DMPs) from successful grant applications, the end product is a rubric for the review of future DMPs prior to submission. It can also help a institution identify gaps in research data management services. The rubric should be available for release later this year.

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Force 11

Force 11 is “a grass roots community that developed out of beyond-the-PDF conferences.” They address issues such as data access and reuse, transparency in research, data citation, and attribution for the different roles and outputs in the research process. They host at least a dozen different forums for the discussion or creation of better standards and practices in research communications and e-scholarship.

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Center for Open Science

The Center for Open Science is a non-profit technology start-up company working on a free, open source application called the Open Science Framework – a set of tools focused on transparency and reproducibility in the research workflow. Features include file sharing, provenance tracking, persistent URLs, automated versioning and API connections to common data storage providers including Figshare, GitHub, Amazon S3, Dropbox, and Dataverse.

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RMap Project

RMap is a two year project that started with discussions between the Data Conservancy community at Johns Hopkins, Portico and the IEEE. The idea behind the project is that the “atomic unit” of scholarly research is a complex distributed object with building blocks of text, graphics, data, and more which resides in different locations at different institutions using different technologies. Not only do the different artifacts themselves need to be preserved, the links between them also need to be preserved. The RMap project hopes to create a framework and tools to facilitate this process, sort of like an operating system for a repository of scholarly research activities.

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