Calls for Papers: Text as Data Conference

New Directions in Analyzing Text as Data Conference at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Northwestern University invites you to attend the fifth annual research conference on “New Directions in Analyzing Text as Data” that will be held at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management on October 10-11, 2014. This two-day invitation-only conference draws together scholars from many different universities and disciplines to discuss developments in text as data research.

The main purpose of this workshop is to bring together researchers from political science, computer science and linguistics to investigate new approaches to utilizing text in political science research. Text has always been a valuable resource for political science research. However, recent developments in digital archiving as well as breakthroughs in automatic language-processing methodologies from the fields of information retrieval, natural language processing, and machine learning are creating unprecedented opportunities for searching, categorizing, and extracting political information from text.

You can learn more about this conference at:


How to Find an Appropriate Research Data Repository, an Open Science tool, heps you find a data repository

In our earlier Data Forwards posts (Sept. 19 & Nov 22), we introduced whose goal is to create a global research data repositories. 

Recently, Heinz Pampel, one of the people behind, wrote a blog post on this new emerging Open Science tool that helps researchers to easily identify a suitable repository for their data and thus comply to requirements set out in data policies. covers the following aspects of a research data repository:

  • general information (e.g. short description of the repository, content types, keywords),
  • responsibilities (e.g. institutions responsible for funding, content or technical issues),
  • policies (e.g. guidelines and policies of the repository),
  • legal aspects (e.g. licenses of the database and datasets),
  • technical standards (e.g. APIs, versioning of datasets, software of the repository),
  • quality standards (e.g. certificates, audit processes).

You can learn more about at:

European Commission Launches Pilot to Open Up Publicly Funded Research Data

The Commission recognizes research data as important as publications

In our recent Data Forward entry, we drew your attention to Horizon 2020. Here is a related news about the pilot on Open Research Data in Horizon 2020.

Researchers in projects participating in the pilot are asked to make the underlying data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications and other scientific information available for use by other researchers, innovative industries and citizens. This will lead to better and more efficient science and improved transparency for citizens and society. It will also contribute to economic growth through open innovation. For 2014-2015, topic areas participating in the Open Research Data Pilot will receive funding of around €3 billion.

Continue reading about this Pilot….

ICPSR White Paper Urges New Approaches to Assure Access to Scientific Data

Recommendations to encourage data stewardship and support sustainable repositories

According to ICPSR Director George Alter, this white paper aims to start a conversation with funding agencies about how secure and sustainable funding can be provided for domain repositories. Five recommendations are offered to encourage data stewardship and support sustainable repositories:

  • Commit to sustaining institutions that assure the long-term preservation and viability of research data
  • Promote cooperation among funding agencies, universities, domain repositories, journals, and other stakeholders
  • Support the human and organizational infrastructure for data stewardship as well as the hardware
  • Establish review criteria appropriate for data repositories
  • Incentivize Principal Investigators (PIs) to archive data

You can find more information about the recent announcement about this white paper:

You can also download a white paper (in PDF) from the following link:

ICPSR Webinar: Guidelines for OSTP Data Access Plans

Guidelines for OSTP Data Access Plans – Providing Public Access to Federally Funded Research, ICPSR recorded webinar now available

In February 2013, the Executive Office of the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy published a memo entitled “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research,” which directs funding agencies with an annual R&D budget over $100 million to develop a public access plan for disseminating the results of their research. ICPSR strongly supports this memorandum and feels it will “promote re-use of scientific data, maximize the return on investments in data collection, and prevent the loss of thousands of potentially valuable datasets.”

Recently, on December 9th, ICPSR’s Director of Data Curation Services, Jared Lyle, talked about guidelines for OSTP Data Access Plans and recent activities related to the OSTP memo.

Horizon 2020 Research Infrastructures

Draft Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014-2015 in the area of “European research infrastructures (including e-Infrastructures)” now available

For those interested, the “Research Infrastructures” draft work programme is now available. Themes that might be of particular interesting to our DF site visitors include:

  • EINFRA-1-2014 – Managing, preserving and computing with big research data: including “Services to ensure the quality and reliability of the e-infrastructure, including certification mechanisms for repositories and certification services to test and benchmark capabilities in terms of resilience and service continuity of e-infrastructures;”
  • EINFRA-2-2014 – e-Infrastructure for Open Access: including “Developing proof of concept and prototyping new services in support of open science (e.g. new forms of publishing, innovative services based on data mining, new forms of peer review etc.), assisting researchers and educators in everyday tasks”
  • EINFRA-3-2014 – Towards global data e-infrastructures – Research Data Alliance
  • INFRASUPP-4-2015 – New professions and skills for e-infrastructures: “Formal education for emerging professions of e-infrastructure operators, research technologists (including those possessing computational skills, e.g. in parallel programming), data scientists or “data librarians” hardly exists today. Professional recognition of these communities and the development of appropriate curricula, training and skills are crucial to ensure effective services to institution staff and students.”

Electronic Laboratory Notebooks, Blog Post

Electronic Laboratory Notebooks – help or hindrance to academic research?

Recently, we hear more and more about electronic lab notebooks as a way of better managing lab data. Here is a blog post on the ELN topic by the University of Edinburgh.

On the 30 October 2013 the University of Edinburgh (UoE) organised what I believe to be the first University wide meeting on Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELN), and allowed a number of Principal Investigators (PIs) and others the opportunity to provide useful feedback on their user experiences.  This provided an excellent opportunity to help discuss and inform what the UoE can do to help its researchers, and whether there is likely to be one ‘solution’ which could be implemented across the UoE or if a more bespoke and individual/discipline specific approach would be required.

Continue reading….