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All Things Data in Amsterdam

Posted in UC3

The International Digital Curation Conference is wrapping up today, and I feel like I just finished a big, tasty Thanksgiving dinner: full and slightly uncomfortable, but in the brain rather than the gut.  IDCC is a meeting that draws about 300 individuals from all over the world. Participants include librarians, repository administrators, publishers, funders, information technology folks, and people working at all manner of data and archiving organizations. Get these people in the same room, and the result is interesting talks, an amazing twitter backchannel, and novel ideas for collaboration. This was my first IDCC conference, and I was not disappointed.

Pre-workshops started on Monday, and I participated in a data management tools update (Data Management Planning: what’s happened, what’s happening and what’s coming next?), organized primarily by Martin Donnelly of the Digital Curation Centre in the UK. It was interesting to hear about the future of the DMPTool and DMPOnline, as well as an overview of current data policies in the UK, Europe, Australia, and the US. Martin and I are arranging a similar workshop for the iConference, held next month in Fort Worth TX.

On Tuesday, I was inundated with really great talks and conversations. The keynote speaker was Ewan Birney from the European Bioinformatics Institute on Bioinformatics infrastructure in Europe was chock full of great examples about how data sharing can benefit research. There was also a talk by  Kaitlin Thaney from Digital Science, who discussed the many projects they are funding, including Figshare and Altmetric. These two talks highlighted the many approaches people are taking to tackle digital data: we need both infrastructure and tools, as well as incentives and changes in the culture of research data.

Fun fact: Eddie and Alex Van Halen are Dutch! Photo from
Fun fact: Eddie and Alex Van Halen are Dutch! Photo from

Tuesday afternoon was devoted to a poster session where I schmoozed with folks over the DataUp poster. The DataUp team (Trisha Cruse, John Kunze, and myself) won 2nd place for best poster; first place went to the Right Field project (Right FIeld: Spreadsheet Annotation by Stealth), which was especially interesting given how closely aligned this project is with DataUp. Wednesday was more talks, meetings, and discussions. I’m excited about the post-conference workshop today on data publication. I’m guessing I will be inspired by this workshop and my next blog post will be about all things data publication.

Hungry for some Dutch music trivia? Wikipedia has a great list of songs about Amsterdam… including one by Van Halen.

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