[ESIP-all] Dataset request

Ruth Duerr via ESIP-all esip-all at lists.esipfed.org
Tue Jul 15 18:24:23 EDT 2014


What: Request for identification of a data set

Why:  Offer of assistance with data set by a data curation student

Course: Foundations in Data Curation

When: September-December 2014

We work with a Data Curation Specialization certification program team at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science (UIUC, GSLIS). Taught since 2007 as part of the MSLIS program, this one-semester Foundations of Data Curation (DC) course integrates as much exposure to data issues and direct experience with data as possible.

In recent semesters we have found that hands-on experience with authentic data sets noticeably improves student class engagement and understanding of data curation. Students are able to work effectively upgrading, ingesting, and/or rescuing a dataset.  For instance, students improve their skills by enriching documentation, creating metadata, structuring for ingestion, and reformatting to accessible formats.

Graduate students select a dataset at the start of the course and continue working on it in phases: 1) investigating & selecting a dataset; 2) developing a data management plan for improving the dataset; and 3) implementing the plan given available time and resources.  Each dataset has an associated contact but communication with the dataset contact is restricted until the student has demonstrated to the instructors that they have mastered an understanding of the data and related available resources including papers or reports in the peer reviewed literature.

There is an expectation that if a student substantially improves the metadata, documentation or the state of the data that the repository would consider using the results of their work.  For instance, the National Snow and Ice Data Center is currently in the process of publishing datasets worked on by students, datasets that would not otherwise be publically available. In addition to contributing to data availability, this approach represents an opportunity for a) students to provide a pointer to an example of data curation work on their vitae and b) repositories to enhance visibility of some data as well as to highlight their contributions to education and training of a much needed workforce in data curation.  

We note that the data may be of any type, from any discipline including the social sciences, humanities, business, law, etc.  Students in the program have a wide variety of interests and we hope to have a selection of data of types that might interest them.
The next class will take place from mid September to mid December. It is taught both Fall and Spring semesters so if you have data that require attention and are interested in working with us, please contact us.

Ruth Duer, rduerr at nsidc.org, National Snow and Ice Data Center

Karen Baker, ksbaker2 at illinois.edu, UIUC Graduate Student in Data Curation
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