With apologies for cross posting
From: [log in to unmask] [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Andrew Treloar [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 31 January 2010 23:24
To: ANDS general
Subject: [ands-general] Fwd: [CNI-ANNOUNCE] Final Report on CSHE/Mellon Study on Faculty Practices in Scholarly Communication
Interesting report looking at disciplinary differences in scholarly communication. Data does show up, although it isn't the main focus (certainly not a first-class object in this report!). The comments on data in the executive summary are as one might expect:
Judging Other Scholarly Products
Scholars who produce data sets, cell lines, edited volumes, critical editions, exhibitions, dictionary/encyclopedia entries, software, etc., will get credit for that work, but these are usually not the sole basis upon which their scholarship is judged. Without high-impact publications, such activities do not count for much. Official credit can be earned, however, in a peer-reviewed publication that “discusses” the resource or data set. “Support” personnel such as instrument builders in astrophysics, bioinformatics specialists in biology, and various technical support personnel in archaeology are crucial to the overall scholarly productivity of any faculty member in those fields, but they produce non-text “scholarship” that can be difficult to assess by traditional means. This challenge will only grow as large collaborative projects, especially in the sciences, depend on ever-expanding cadres of technical experts.
Opinions varied on sharing and publishing data sets. Generally, most scholars are agreeable to sharing as long as they have finished their analyses and publication of the data in question. Sharing can ultimately depend on who is doing the asking and what they want to do with the data, since scholars need to ensure that they are properly credited and that work will not be “ripped off” for commercial purposes. Journals in the sciences, economics, and political science increasingly require that data sets be published by authors. Funding bodies are more often promoting the publication of data; whether or not this policy is mandatory differs among agencies. For example, NASA and other agencies require that observatories archive all observational data stemming from projects they support. Some scholars publish supplementary data sets on their websites, including codebooks and so on, after they complete and publish analyses.
Despite mandates, data sharing is idiosyncratic and may not occur at all (Nelson 2009, Noor, Zimmerman, and Teeter 2006, Savage and Vickers 2009, Schofield et al. 2009). In many fields, barriers to sharing included a lack of personal time to prepare the data and necessary metadata, a desire to “squeeze” more publications out of the data in the future, a lack of clarity about how to prepare data for specific repositories, concerns about privacy and ownership of some data sets, and the sometimes Herculean difficulty of converting analog data to digital formats or migrating old digital formats to new ones. Some suggested that sharing data should be a high priority in academia because it allows for data reuse and provides transparency to replicate and facilitate better scholarship. Yet, institutional support for hosting and managing such data is not generally provided (with the exception of some large facilities for social science data and large-scale science repositories). There were also a few remarks that transparency may not be welcomed by those who fear that their work practices will come under too much scrutiny.
Preservation of Data
One common theme across all fields, although it varied by scale, was the problem of data sharing and preservation. And almost all scholars were concerned about preservation of their “personal data.” Large national funding bodies may invest in these activities (and the perception is that the EU seems to have such issues as a higher priority compared to
the US).40 Even though data sharing and deposit are currently mandated in some fields by funding bodies or journals (e.g., in biology, political science, economics), policies are uneven and faculty practices remain highly idiosyncratic. One significant problem is developing consistent standards for data annotation, deposit, and curation. While much (but far from all) data within the physical and biological sciences are relatively more comparable and can be deposited into common databases, no such “common denominator” exists for social and humanistic data since data types, sources, and collecting practices can vary so widely (Lynch 2007).41 The result is that the financial costs and the time needed to prepare data for sharing can be prohibitive for some scholars in fields that are not well-funded.
38 See, for instance, Ballon and Westermann (2006). 39 The cyberinfrastructure needs for researchers in the sciences have been explored by Atkins et al. (2003), Nature (2006a), and Borgman (2007), among others. Needs for funding support in the area of data preservation and curation is addressed by new grant programs such as National Science Foundation (2009). See also select essays in Hey et al. (2009).
But there are also some more interesting responses in the discipline sections, and some fascinating disciplinary challenges for ANDS in areas like archaeology (for example). Worth adding to the reading pile.
Begin forwarded message:
From: Clifford Lynch <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Date: 30 January 2010 8:41:37 AM AEDT
To: CNI-ANNOUNCE -- News from the Coalition <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Subject: [CNI-ANNOUNCE] Final Report on CSHE/Mellon Study on Faculty Practices in Scholarly Communication
Reply-To: CNI-ANNOUNCE -- News from the Coalition <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
The Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has been conducting a major multi-year study of how faculty needs and research practices shape their choices about scholarly communication. The final report on this work is now available, as described in the announcement copied below. In my view, this is a very important look at where faculty thinking and practice stands in regard to the changing scholarly communication environment, including a sensitive examination of differences across disciplines. We've been fortunate to have updates on this work at some of the CNI member meetings, and I hope to be able to host a report on this most current work in the near future.
We are delighted to announce the publication of the final report:
Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An Exploration of Faculty Values and Needs in Seven Disciplines.
The full report can be accessed at: http://escholarship.org/uc/cshe_fsc
Since 2005, the Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE)<http://cshe.berkeley.edu/>, with generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation<http://mellon.org/>, has been conducting research to understand the needs and practices of faculty for in-progress scholarly communication (i.e., forms of communication employed as research is being executed) as well as archival publication.
The final report brings together the responses of 160 interviewees across 45, mostly elite, research institutions in seven selected academic fields: archaeology, astrophysics, biology, economics, history, music, and political science. Our premise has always been that disciplinary conventions matter and that social realities (and individual personality) will dictate how new practices, including those under the rubric of Web 2.0 or cyberinfrastructure, are adopted by scholars. That is, the academic values embodied in disciplinary cultures, as well as the interests of individual players, have to be considered when envisioning new schemata for the communication of scholarship at its various stages.
Links to the complete results of our ongoing work can be found at the Future of Scholarly Communication's project website<http://cshe.berkeley.edu/research/scholarlycommunication/index.htm>.
Diane Harley, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator and Director, Higher Education in the Digital Age Project,
Center for Studies in Higher Education
771 Evans Hall, # 4650
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
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Andrew Treloar, PhD, MACS PCP, FRYE (2005) - http://andrew.treloar.net/
Deputy Director, Australian National Data Service - http://ands.org.au/
Monash University, Room 156, 700 Blackburn Rd, Clayton, 3168, Australia
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