June 2018 Research Data Management Newsletter




Poster celebrating downloads from the University of Cambridge repository. Picture of northern lights with text 'Apollo: 1 million downloads this year'

Microsoft acquires Github

Big news in the developer world this week as Microsoft acquires GitHub.

GitHub, which started as a free open source tool to allow developers to work together, is now the most popular version control system in the world, already used actively by the Microsoft organisation. As the move is announced, GitHub state they intend to keep the focus on the developer, and believe Microsoft's open source agenda for the future matches their own. 

Read more on the GitHub blog.

Data Tree launches free online course on data training

Data Tree, the NERC-funded online data management training course, launches this month.

The self-paced modular course explores all you need to know for research data management, along with ways to engage and share data with business, policymakers, media and the wider public.

Aimed especially at PhD students and early career researchers in the environmental sciences, the course is also for anyone who wants to get the right data habits now, including thinking of end-users of your data. 

You can register for the online course, and look out later in the month for the competition and a series of workshops around the UK that will each explore a key theme in more detail.

Please be aware that work on the Data Tree website is ongoing, and these links may work sporadically.

FORCE11 enables the development of a standard for global biomedical data citation

A significant step towards creating a standard for data citation in research articles has been achieved by the Identifiers Expert Group of the FORCE11 Data Citation Implementation Pilot (DCIP). 
Led by Tim Clark and Maryann Martone, in collaboration with staff at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Bioinformatics Institute and the California Digital Library, the group have established interoperability of compact identifiers associated with data. This cooperative working system allows for a global approach to formal citation of research data in the life sciences. It brings together existing resolution systems and adapts them for FAIR practices in a move to improve the reusability of the data that underlies published claims. 

The approach and its development are described in an article published in the journal Scientific Data, which has also announced its adoption of the standard.

Read more on the FORCE11 news page

Podcast series follows researchers on the 'Road to Open Science'

The Open Science Community Utrecht is releasing a series of podcasts featuring researchers from different disciplines sharing their experiences of open science.

The series 'Road to Open Science' will cover the practicalities, policies and philosophies that are involved in open research. In the first episode, 'A Social Dilemma', Sascha Friesike, Assistant Professor at the VU in Digital Innovation and Associated Researcher at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin, explains why a lot of people still hesitate to embrace open science. Frank Miedema, Professor of Immunology, Dean and Vice-Chairman of the Board at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, discusses the role of universities and big funders in changing the system of incentives and rewards.
Follow @R2OSpodcast on Twitter to catch future episodes.

Software preservation webinars available 

The Digital Preservation Coalition and the Software Preservation Network invite you to watch their Software Preservation Webinar Series, which explores different software preservation contexts through discussion with guest speakers and attendees.

Galaxies, fish and A Concise History of Romania: the ten most cited sources on Wikipedia

In March this year, the Wikimedia Foundation extracted a dataset across the 297 Wikipedia language editions which they are now analyzing to discover the source of the facts on which Wikipedia is built.

So far they have pulled out every citation that references an 'identifier' - such as a DOI for scholarly papers or ArXiv ID for preprints - to discover the types of sources favoured by Wikipedia contributors around the world. Arabic Wikipedia leads the way in citing preprint repositories, although these remain in a clear minority, accounting for less than 2% of citations in each language. The data show that at least 5% of publications in Arabic and English Wikipedia are open access biomedical publications from PubMedCentral.

The top ten most cited sources are largely (and unsurprisingly) catalogues of genes, molecules and galaxies, although A Concise History of Romania achieves a whopping 15,597 citations, followed at distance by the California Academy of Sciences' Catalog of Fishes!

The dataset comprises 15 million records, and has been released under CC0 license to encourage further insights.

Read more in the Wikimedia blog.

Data skills training course: collecting and storing data from internet-based sources

Urban Big Data Centre, University of Glasgow
Monday 11th June 2018

An afternoon session providing researchers with the essential skills required to effectively use Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for downloading data from a variety of online data sources. It will then cover the use of databases for storing and retrieving data and demonstrate how to automate the collection processes. 


Digital science workshops

Bloomsbury House, London

Monday 18 June and Tuesday 19 June

Day one:  Symplectic European User Conference
Day two: Digital Science Showcase -
 industry experts will share their views on the latest trends and challenges facing research organisations.


Data Tree data management training workshops

The Data Tree online data management course is being launched with a series of workshops around the UK that will each explore a key theme in more detail. Workshops are open to all, and PhD students and early career researchers are particularly encouraged to come along.
Communicating with the media and public
Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation
21 June 2018

Publishing papers and data
Institute of Physics, London
29 June 2018

Data visualisation
University of Birmingham
2 July 2018
Engaging with public policymakers
University of Bristol
10 July 2018
Communicating with business
University of Leeds
18 July 2018


Dataset licensing workshops with the University of Glasgow and Jisc 

Hilton Grosvenor, Glasgow

Friday 29 June

A day exploring issues around licencing of datasets. How do creators of data select suitable licences? Do consumers of data understand what the licences mean? What do you think is needed to address concerns?


8th ESRC Research Methods Festival 2018

University of Bath

3-5 July

This event, organised biennially, brings together people from different sectors, methodological traditions, and disciplines. It promotes research methods and opportunities for further training. Previous events attracted around 800 social science researchers at various stages of their careers, from across a range of disciplines and sectors.


Research transparency and reproducibility training (RT2)
Los Angeles CA

5-7 September

The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences is currently accepting applications for this event. The 3-day workshop is designed for social science and public health science graduate students, postdocs, faculty and research professionals who are eager to learn more about cutting-edge mechanisms for transparent and reproducible research. The curriculum will cover the most relevant topics in research transparency, including pre-registration and pre-analysis plans; data preparation and de-identification; version control and dynamic documents; and other open science software.

Picture of six white doors and one yellow with the text 'opportunities' overlaid

Scholarly Communication Librarian
Institute of Science and Technology, Klosterneuburg, Austria

Responsibilities include: 
  • support of IST Austria repositories for publications and data
  • consulting researchers in the fields of open access and research data management
  • updating and conceptually developing the publication database
  • providing training for researchers in the fields of open access and research data
  • participation in national and international working groups
  • document delivery

Apply by 18 June 2018.

Senior Advisor in Data Management for the 'Digital Salmon' 
Centre for Integrative Genetics, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

The Data Manager will be associated with the project 'Towards the Digital Salmon: from a reactive to a pre-emptive research strategy in aquaculture'.
  • Help design the architecture of the Digital Salmon knowledge base, in close interaction with the researchers that will contribute to and benefit from the knowledge base, and with partners that provide technical solutions. 
  • Be the contact point with the FAIRDOM consortium, benefit from community support and training in cutting-edge tools and workflows, and contribute to FAIRDOM’s future development.
  • Be involved at the national level in Digital Life Norway’s development of data and model management.

Apply by 15 June 2018.

OpenUP blog competition
for Early Career Researchers and students

Tell OpenUP, in no more than 1000 words, your ideas for the future of review, dissemination or assessment in research and win a scholarship to attend and present your ideas to the OpenUP Final Conference in Brussels, 5-6 September 2018.

The theme is an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly research outputs openly available. Your contribution could concentrate on issues relating to responsible research and innovation (eg gender equality, science education, ethics), a new service or tool you would like to see, increasing transparency and participation in science, or how you think scientific culture can be shifted to make better use of new methods.

The extended deadline is 29 June 2018 17:00 CEST.  

Read more about the competition and how to submit on the OpenUP Hub.
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