I know what faithful DCXL readers are thinking: didn’t you already post about data citation? (For the unfaithful among you, check out this post from last November). Yes, I did. But I’ve been inspired to post yet again because I just attended an amazing workshop about all things data citation related.
The workshop was hosted by the NCAR Library (NCAR stands for National Center for Atmospheric Research) and took place in Boulder on Thursday and Friday of last week. Workshop organizers expected about 30 attendees; more than 70 showed up to learn more about data citation. Hats off to the organizers – there healthy discussions among attendees and interesting presentations by great speakers.
One of the presentations that struck me most was by Dr. Tim Killeen, Assistant Director for the Geosciences Directorate at NSF. His talk (available on the workshop website) discussed the motivation for data citation, and what policies have begun to emerge. Near the end of a rather long string reports about data citation, data sharing, and data management, Killeen said “There is a drumbeat into Washington about this.”
This phrase stuck with me long after I flew home because it juxtaposted two things I hadn’t considered as being related: Washington DC and data policy. Yes, I understand that NSF is located in Washington, and that very recently the White House announced some exciting Big Data funding and initiatives. But Washington DC as a whole – congress, lobbyists, lawyers, judges, etc. – would notice a drum beat about data? I must say, I got pretty excited about the idea.
What are these reports cited by Killeen? In chronological order:
- NSF’s advisory panel report waaay back in 2003: a “Harbinger of Cyberinfrstructure” according to Killeen
- National Science Board’s report in 2005 on the importance of ensuring digital data are long-lived.
- Final report from ARL/NSF Workshop on Long-Term Stewardship of Digital Data Collections in 2006: called for promoting “change in the research enterprise regarding… stewardship of digital data”
- NSF’s stated vision in a 2007 report Cyberinfrastructure Vision for 21st Century Discovery. The vision? Data being routinely deposited in a well-documented form. Love it.
- A 2009 Report of the Interagency Working Group on Digital Data stated that “all sectors of society are stakeholders in digital preservation and access.” Agreed!
- NSF’s 2012 Vision and Strategic Plan: Cyber Infrastructure Framework for the 21st Century
The NSB report on long-lived digital data had yet another a great phrase that stuck with me:
Long-lived digital data collections are powerful catalysts for progress and for democratization of science and education
Wow. I really love the idea of democratized data. It warms the cockles, doesn’t it? With regard to DCXL, the link is obvious. One of the features we are developing is generation of a data citation for your Excel dataset.