Digging into Data Funders Forum


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Summary on the 'Digging into Data' international collaboration for a Funders Forum held following a programme meeting where projects from Phase Two presented their outputs to date.

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Digging into Data Funders Forum

  1. 1. Digging into Data: looking back – looking forward Catherine Grout/ Stuart Dempster Montreal, Palais de Congres 13th October 2013
  2. 2. Introduction • To add context to aid discussion for next phase of the meeting • To highlight key findings and achievements of DiD 1 and 2 • To suggest some future ideas about directions and next steps
  3. 3. DiD 1 and the CLIR report • For Round One, the Digging into Data (DiD) Challenge was sponsored by four research funders (NEH, NSF, SSHRC, Jisc) • Funded 8 international projects • Achieved impact and acclaim via a range of publications e.g. e New York Times, Nature, Times Higher Education, Globe and Mai letc. • DiD was also the subject of a major research report published by the Council on Library and Information Resources(CLIR). • CLIR report found that we need to: 1) Expand our concept of research 2) Expand our concept of research data and accept the challenges that digital research data present 3) Embrace interdisciplinarity 4) Take a more inclusive approach to collaboration 5) Address gaps in training and skills 6) Adopt models for sharing credit 7) Adopt models for sharing resources 8) Re-envision scholarly publication 9) Make greater, sustained investments in human and cyber infrastructure
  4. 4. DiD 2 • For Round Two, four additional funders joined (IMLS, AHRC, ESRC, NWO) and the Netherlands joined as a fourth country. • 14 projects won awards, chosen by our international peer reviewers. These 14 presented their work in Montreal yesterday at the Digging into Data Conference • These fourteen projects represent a very wide variety of exciting research, among them the IMPACT project which made the headlines when their paper in the Lancet revealed that clogged arteries plagued the ancient world. • Some outcomes from Did 2 so far 1) Exploiting what open access and open data has enabled 2) New ways of visualising and interpreting existing data and resources 3) Development of tools that can then be applied to more contexts and data 4) Unanticipated and important new insights. Throwing up new research questions. 5) Enabling precision as well as speed of performance over very large datasets (like Amazon) 6) Challenging boundaries between disciplines and how you do the research process 7) Can anyone be a historian or sociologist if they have the right data?
  5. 5. DiD 3 and onwards • Two new funders have joined DiD (CFI and NSERC), bringing us to a total of ten. • The Round Three projects will be announced in January of 2014. • DiD demonstrates a unique and field-proven method for international cooperation among research agencies. Proposals are reviewed by an international peer review committee jointly selected • Each applicant team must represent at least two countries. Awards made using a “fund-own” system under which funders only pay for their own researchers. Allows each funder to participate with minimal paperwork. • Multiple funders from a single country can work together (e.g. NEH, NSF, IMLS) which makes interdisciplinary projects easier to fund.
  6. 6. DiD achievements (Channelling Brett) • Pioneered and legitimised big data based research in the humanities – for computer scientists and others. (‘from zero to hero’) • “Digital humanities”, “computational social sciences” and others working together (‘breaking boundaries’) • Engage GLAM sector and others to encourage them to make their data available in forms useful to researchers and to work with them (encourages joint data curation) • Progress on the policy side toward reforming copyright and IP to allow for big data research on cultural heritage materials. (more to do here) • International & multidisciplinary cooperation had high impact (more than anticipated). Increased visibility also strengthened research bringing new teams together (‘breaking new ground’)
  7. 7. DiD achievements (Brett and others) • Brought knowledge to the funders themselves through working with other agencies, improving and transforming ideas. How can these lessons be highlighted for us within other collaborative endeavors like the Transatlantic Platform? • How might expanding the range of Digging funders help researchers expand the breadth of their work? To find new partners and new perspectives using big data research as a catalyst? • Project spanning domains (humanities, social science, and library/information science). Create a new kind of research that would not be funded because of boundaries between research councils and funder • • Societal value. Service to humanity – important new findings effect people’s lives Economic value. Health, crime, legal issues, efficiency gains - supports economy
  8. 8. Funders responses to big challenges • • • • • • • • • • How might funders help? ‘Not enough to just say ‘open data’, but policies and procedures need to add ‘utility’ to ensure interoperable data. Open data mandates but with a data curation, data standards (DOI, APIs etc.) and credit (data citation e.g. Harvard) needed Develop common methodologies of checking and re-analysis to see the cumulative value and quality of data Encourage the availability and analysis of data in real or near time (John Willinsky) Encourage computational scientists, SSH researchers and digital libraries to work together (data preservation). Encourage permissive ‘model licences’ for public domain and copyrighted data Encourage ‘credit’ career progression/tenure amongst host institutions Develop sustainable and extensible shared digital infrastructure (grid, cloud etc.) Encourage ‘good practice’ in ethics and governance (privacy etc.) Encourage model legal and rights management approaches for (IPR) issues
  9. 9. Discussion 1. Reactions – what are the main highlights so far? Do you agree with Brett? Are there other points? 2. Where should/could Digging go next led New research/Themes/ issues to be considered? (Taking forward grantees feedback) What is now done and finished (Implementing/embedding?) T-AP context? Is bigger better?