D-Lib Magazine
The Magazine of Digital Library Research

D-Lib Magazine

March/April 2017
Volume 23, Number 3/4
Table of Contents



Research Data Challenges

Laurence Lannom
Corporation for National Research Initiatives




Our March/April issue consists of four articles, a workshop report, and our usual collection of News and Events. The articles present an interestingly varied array of current topics of interest to research libraries, which we know from feedback and surveys are home to the majority of our readers.

We lead with ReplicationWiki: Improving Transparency in Social Sciences Research by Jan Höffler. Replication is an important topic in science and our ability to make data relatively easily available, and the new policies directing us to do so, bring the topic closer to home for data curators. The project described in this article looks mainly at economics research, covering over 300 replication studies and over 1600 empirical studies linked to availability of information needed for replication studies. The project will be of interest to those who care about the development of practices and standards for full replicability, which will in turn depend on the availability, and understandability, of the underlying data.

Our second article, by Lovins and Hillmann carries the interesting title of Broken-World Vocabularies. The 'broken-world' concept, as applied here, comes out of science and technology studies. The focus is not on innovation but on repairing a world in flux, in which sociotechnical systems seem in a constant state of change and dissolution. This concept is then applied to library metadata, particularly its integration into the semantic web. Bibliographic vocabularies of all kinds have always required maintenance but those existing workflows now need to adjust to more distributed and network centric environment. Wikipedia and GitHub are examined as possible examples of how to embed maintenance and repair into best practices.

Kindling et al. present an analysis of research data repositories (RDR) in The Landscape of Research Repositories in 2015: a re3data Analysis. The authors take a snapshot of the well-known research data repository registry re3data and conduct a thorough statistical analysis of the 1,381 repository entries available at that time. The results include breakdowns by institutional type, country, repository type, domain, content type, policies, access conditions, and available services. The authors are unsurprised to find a quite varied landscape and end with a set of recommendations aimed at increasing RDR compatibility with community-approved standards.

Our fourth and final article, by Joachim Schöpfel, looks at Open Access to Scientific Information in Emerging Countries. The countries examined are the BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Each country is different and the history of and future challenges to open access that each face is examined in detail. While both traditional publishing and open access is dominated by the developed West, the BRICS are rising in global influence and the future of scientific information access will in part be determined by the evolution of the BRICS in this area.


About the Editor

Laurence Lannom is Director of Information Services and Vice President at Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), where he works with organizations in both the public and private sectors to develop experimental and pilot applications of advanced networking and information management technologies.

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