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In your worst nightmares: Provenance

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A talk given at the "Use Cases for Provenance Workshop" at the eSI on April 20 2009

A talk given at the "Use Cases for Provenance Workshop" at the eSI on April 20 2009


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  • 1. In your worst nightmares How experimental scientists are doing provenance for themselves
  • 2. Non-st ackup esn’t b andard/ bly do Proba inconsi stent data fo rmats Record o f data anal ning? ysis? ersio V
  • 3. Non-st ackup esn’t b andard/ bly do Proba inconsi stent data fo rmats Record o f data anal ning? ysis? ersio V Uses Excel for data analysis?!?!!
  • 4. ...a typical dataset...
  • 5. We have... tp://www.flickr.com/photos/schnurrbart/43568532/ CC-BY-SA
  • 6. But how did we end up here? http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmasters/2884480103/ CC-BY-SA
  • 7. ...we used to be good at this... © Cell Press, Nature Publishing Group, American Chem Soc, American Soc Microbiology, fair use claimed
  • 8. When it was on paper... ...you had to ask for a copy... ...and you said so in the paper... http://www.flickr.com/photos/nbachiyski/2186228572/ CC-BY
  • 9. But in the online world... ...too many people ...too many files ...too much movement ...it’s all too hard isn’t it? http://www.flickr.com/photos/antjeverena/3368703708/ CC-BY
  • 10. But all is not lost...
  • 11. ...because even online researchers still care about citation
  • 12. http://twitter.com/mrgunn/statuses/1542572037 http://is.gd/tgaz
  • 13. http://is.gd/thvE http://is.gd/thwD
  • 14. Link to information... ...acknowledge source... ...evolving best practice
  • 15. http://is.gd/thzK ?
  • 16. http://is.gd/thAA
  • 17. Expectations of link behaviour Granularity of citation Evolving best practice Some technical problems....mostly social
  • 18. Some real research data...
  • 19. Published data... http://is.gd/thCK
  • 20. Published data... http://is.gd/thEg
  • 21. Data summary... http://is.gd/thEX
  • 22. Original experiment http://is.gd/thFa
  • 23. Versioning... http://is.gd/thGb
  • 24. Versioning and provenance... ...through linked open data... ...and third party timestamps
  • 25. Video http://is.gd/thMB
  • 26. URI for every object... ...can link in or out No semantics to links (at the moment)
  • 27. http://is.gd/thVr
  • 28. Technical solutions... • Push data to the open web • Highly granular URIs...repositories for which “the file” is not the atomic concept • Strong versioning and forking functionality...like any halfway decent code repository • Strong identity management solutions for people, projects, organizations • Tools for linking objects
  • 29. Social solutions... • Use the strong culture of citation in community • Leverage the need of researchers to track their own data properly • A discussion of best practice for citation,
  • 30. Problems are primarily social, not technical... ....technical solutions are needed to make it easy
  • 31. ...but the first problem is to tell people why they should care...