Tuesday, 3 April 2012

RDMF8 - Feedback from the breakout sessions

Breakout by dspindle, on Flickr

Group 1: What are the main barriers to researcher/publisher collaboration and how might they be transcended?

  • Who owns the information?
    • Researchers have a proprietary interest. Journals and institutions also talk about the data being "theirs". Issues of trust.
  • Need to make clear what value-adds publishers make.
    • Publishers are making user-driven solutions.
  • Integrated systems are important 
    • saves duplication of time/effort
    • Feed through of metadata from data collection systems to publication systems
    • The DCC has a key role in research support and infrastructure systems, including sharing metadata.
  • Researcher apathy
    • Publishers make it easier to put data in repositories
    • Vicious circle of not getting credit for data means less likely to share. 
    • Lots of collaboration from everyone needed

Group 2: Can peer review of data be performed as scrupulously as peer review of publications? Is there a universal framework that can be applied?

  • Peer-review of data is not the same as peer-review of publications
    • Data integrity checks
    • Scientific review
    • User review
  • A taxonomy of data review processes is needed.
  • Publishers need explicit guidelines on expectations of reviewers regarding data.
  • Trust in datasets/repositories
    • Encouraging the wider use of DOIs is essential as it allows researchers to find datasets and evaluate them, starting an evolutionary process for trust.
    • There are a number of emerging standards for trusted repositories, but they're not commonly known.
  • Compound or manifest method for publishing the data, article, methods etc.
  • The role of publishers
    • varies widely across communities.
    • Publishers are probably not the best people to archive data.
    • Learned society publishers have a key role to educate researchers about data.
  • Institutions
    • have a key role as part of mobilising the scientific community
    • The expectations of institutions regarding data have to be spelled out.

Group 3: What future is there for national and institutional data repositories to provide a platform for
data publication?

  • The future's great!
  • At the moment, institutional data policies are patchy.
    • A good incentive for the building of a good institutional repository is it will provide a good record of all institutional research outputs.
  • Data is a first class scientific output
  • Institutional repositories should be based on a national template of good practise
    • Some journals are taking this role at the moment, not sure if someone else should.
  • Reuse of datasets is a key driver.
  • Is there mileage in  offering a cash prize for best demonstration of best data reuse?
Summary and next steps
Everyone at the meeting was given the job of cascading information about data publication to their colleagues/funders/institution. The DCC promised to engage with funders and others to the extent it can within the UK.

Getting sharing research data right brings in real economic benefits, and that's something we don't have to persuade government about. We need to find out areas to carry out actions where everyone gains. We might find ourselves in the situation where the effort-benefit doesn't apply to the same people, so we need to be prepared.

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