Research data ecology


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Keynote delivered at Nordbib 2012, June 12, 2012. Uses an ecological perspective to analyse research data publishing

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  • But first some context…
  • What was Mikkel thinking?
  • I’ve been working on/for ANDS for over four yearsPrior that e-Research and Institutional RepositoriesNow, on with talk. I’m going to look at one way of thinking about research data within scholarly communication. When you think of the current system of scholarly communication do you think of this?
  • or thi?
  • An alternative – and probably more realisticSo, why take an ecological approach
  • Building here on the work of Nardi and O’Day (as well as Kaufer and Carley). Homework at end.
  • So, what does this mean in the context of research data?
  • I’d now like to think about relationships between ‘species’ in research data ecology. Four basic kinds of relationships possible
  • Predator-Prey
  • Competitor
  • Parasitism:Eucalyptus mistletoe
  • Symbiosis: Potato cod on GBRSo, how does this framework help us think about scholarly communication and role of research data? Here are some thoughts
  • Volume – SKA producing 10 Petabytes per hour (1 PB = one thousand Terabytes). 2,000,000 DVDs/hour
  • Symbiosis between coral (sedentary filter-feeding animal) and green algae within their tissues provides benefits to both (and opportunities for huge diversity)
  • Research data ecology

    1. 1. Conceptualising Collaboration and Competition in the Changing Ecology of Research Data Dr Andrew Treloar Director of Technology Australian National Data Service18/06/2012 1
    2. 2. Why me?• Information management• Scholarly communication• Institutional repositories• Research data management• „Adjunct librarian‟• 2
    3. 3. ANDS enables transformation of:Data that are: To Structured Collections that are: Unmanaged Managed Disconnected Connected Invisible Findable Single use Reusable so that Australian researchers can easily publish, discover, access and use research data.18/06/2012 3
    4. 4. Clockwork 18/06/2012 4CC-BY
    5. 5. Jungle 18/06/2012 5BY
    6. 6. Why an ecological approach?• Information ecology: o people o practices o values o technologies• Way of thinking about the space that offers richer insights18/06/2012 6
    7. 7. Ecology elements• Systems that evolve over time• Environmental factors (constraints, forcing)• Selection pressures• Biodiversity• Species and individuals• Niches for colonisation/exploitation• Resources• Interactions• Species co-evolution/co-adaptation18/06/2012 7
    8. 8. Research data ecology elements• Researchers• Institutions• Research funders• Data centres (institutional, disciplinary, national, international)• Disciplines• Research facilities• Libraries• Publishers18/06/2012 8
    9. 9. Predator-Prey 18/06/2012 9CC-BY:
    10. 10. Competitor 18/06/2012 CC-BY: 10CC-BY
    11. 11. Parasitism 18/06/2012 11CC-BY
    12. 12. Symbiosis18/06/2012 12 CC-BY
    13. 13. Co-evolution isn‟t necessarily good• Systems co-evolve• But can also get stuck in a new stable (not necessarily more desirable) state• Example: p-journals e-journals o form and access arrangements largely unchanged• #openaccess is now gaining momentum• But form changing more slowly18/06/2012 13
    14. 14. New niches allow for new possibilities• Internet was new niche for journals18/06/2012 14 CC-BY
    15. 15. Research data can be new niche for librarians• New roles within institutions• New way to engage with wider range of clients• New application of existing skills• New partnerships with Research Office, IT Services, e-Research folks18/06/2012 15
    16. 16. Selection pressures in research data driving change• Increasing o o o volume variety } velocity (Gartner, 2001)• Increasing importance of data relative to publications• Mixed messages from journal publishers• Outcomes currently unclear18/06/2012 16
    17. 17. Role of Publishers• Is the relationship between the publishers of research and the producers of research symbiotic or parasitic?• And how will rise of data-intensive research change this? o Protein Data Bank o Human Genome Project o International Virtual Observatory18/06/2012 17
    18. 18. Collaboration or competition? • Symbiotic relationships are often better for both parties than either competition or predator/prey 18/06/2012 18CC-BY
    19. 19. Conclusions• Ecology provides a richer way of thinking about scholarly communication than mechanics• Research data is a new niche for (some) librarians o but it‟s a niche undergoing great change• Look for symbiotic relationships• Critically examine the roles of other players in the ecosystem18/06/2012 19
    20. 20. Further reading• B. A. Nardi, & V. L. O‟Day, “Information ecologies: using technology with heart. Chapter Four: Information ecologies”, First Monday Vol 4 No 5 May 3, 1999. ardi_chapter4.html• R. J. Robertson, M. Mahey, J. Allinson, An ecological approach to repository and service interactions, v. 1.5 http://ie- yreport.pdf18/06/2012 20
    21. 21. Questions?•• @atreloar•• -data-ecology18/06/2012 21