‘Data in Brief’ Articles Make Reproducibility a Reality

The first volume of an open access journal Genomics Data, data journal by Elsevier, was published in December 2013. Paige Shaklee recently wrote an ElsevierConnect article summarizing the context and goal of this new data journal that helps researchers make the most of their data. Dr. Shaklee says in her article, “(a)lthough this precious genomic data is uploaded into public repositories, sadly, few people dare to touch the data because it is too complicated to understand. Data files are often mislabeled, data may be raw or analyzed and analysis from dataset to dataset is highly variable, experimental subtleties are not mentioned, and software code used to filter through data is not available. The lack of reproducibility has far-reaching consequences.” And she continues, “(n)ow, these kinds of accompanying details must be documented in a Specifications table at the top of each Data in Brief. The journal’s Editorial Board also checks that any related software or programming code is submitted alongside the Data in Brief.”

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Data to Knowledge to Action: Building New Partnerships

The Obama Administration on Big Data and NSF on national efforts enabling data-driven discovery

On Tuesday, November 12, the Obama Administration hosted an event under the auspices of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Networking and Information Technology R&D program coordinating office titled “Data to Knowledge to Action: Building New Partnerships” which provides a progress report on the big data initiative first announced in March 2012.

The agenda, and more importantly several very useful background documents, can be found here: http://www.nitrd.gov/nitrdgroups/index.php?title=Data_to_Knowledge_to_Action

In conjunction with this event, NSF also issued a press release that summarized their progress in supporting the initiative, with many links to descriptions of specific projects and programs. The overview release can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=129244&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click

Managing Global Borders: In Defense of Big Data

Managing Global Borders: In Defense of Big Data, Lecture by Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

  • Date: Thursday, September 12, 2013, 4:30 PM-6:00 PM
  • Venue: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Annenberg Auditorium, University of Michigan

  • Registration: Not required, free and open to the public.
  • Twitter Hashtag: #policytalks

Alan Bersin commenced service as Assistant Secretary of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer for the Department of Homeland Security on January 3, 2012. In that capacity, he oversees the Department’s international engagement and serves as the principal advisor to Secretary Janet Napolitano on all international affairs. Previously, Bersin served as Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection where he oversaw the operations of CBP’s 57,000-employee work force and managed an operating budget of more than $11 billion geared to protecting the nation’s borders from all threats while expediting lawful trade and travel.

Big Data and Digital Humanities: A Librarian’s View | Wiley

Big Data and Digital Humanities: A Librarian’s View (Interview Video)

Humanities is an area ripe for exploiting big data, enabling scholars to analyze topics more broadly and deeply than ever before – whether in the form of books, artworks, music, or any other digitizable format. In this video, Amanda Rust, Assistant Head of Research & Instruction, Arts & Humanities at the Snell Library of Northeastern University, Boston, MA tells us about her experience of and visions for the use of big data and digital humanities.

Interview video is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hf0TLD8J5r0

NIH BD2K Data Catalog Workshop, August 21 | NIH

NIH VideoCasting and Podcasting: BD2K Data Catalog Workshop, August 21

The BD2K NIH Data Catalog workshop is designed to begin the implementation one arm of the BD2K program to develop a means for the discovery, accessibility, and citation of biomedical big data. The Data Catalog will need to be designed with community input to meet the needs of the broarder biomedical community for access and sharing of all forms of biomedical big data. The workshop will focus on providing opportunities to maximize discussion among the participants to synthesize conclusions about the need for a data catalog, its potential use, appearance and content. This workshop is being implemented and supported through the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, which is supporting several workshops in FY13 to help inform the BD2K initiative.

BRDI Big Data Symposium in DC (w/simultaneous webcast!)

The Board on Research Data and Information (in Washington D.C.) is holding a 2 1/2 hour symposium on Monday, September 23rd. Registration is free and open to the public. See below for more information:

“Big data” describes the phenomenon of an explosion in quantities of scientific data available for research. The term is also used to describe the vast increase in personal data available in a digital world. The enormous quantities of data are requiring new terms such as exabytes, zettabytes, and yottabytes, new methods of processing and storage, such as cloud computing, and additional broadband. Big data also implies new ways of thinking about data that emphasize their reuse and repurposing, and the recombination and aggregation of data from multiple sources; these are practices that are often in tension with traditional ideas about privacy and anonymity. Such developments offer unprecedented opportunities to realize scientific advances and economic growth – if we can sort out the right balances with privacy, and if legal and regulatory constraints do not become intractable barriers.

Data flow across boundaries for both scientific and commercial uses. There are several international and national efforts to enhance data privacy in a big data world, including revisions in the United States to the OECD 1980 Privacy Guidelines, the EU General Data Protection Regulation, and proposed revisions to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects. These activities impact access and use of data for a wide variety of research purposes. How can we provide adequate privacy protection for individuals without impeding research and innovation? How do these different regulatory approaches to privacy impact national and transnational research? Has society’s perspective on privacy evolved in a digital world, and how may it have to change further in the future?

This Symposium will explore current developments in these areas. The co-chair of the Board on Research Data and Information, Clifford Lynch of the Coalition on Networked Information, will lead the symposium discussion, beginning at 3 p.m. on Monday, September 23. The event will continue for 2 ½ hours in a mix of short presentations and discussion. The entire proceedings will be recorded and an audio-tape will be archived on the Board’s website. The meeting will be followed by a reception outside the Lecture Room.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but space is limited and advance registration by no later than noon on September 20 is required (contact: Cheryl Levey, clevey@nas.edu or call 202-334-1531).

Request for Info from National Institutes of Health

NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative RFI

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has just issued a call for information on software tools and analysis methods as part of their Big Data to Knowledge Initiative.

Details can be found here: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HG-13-014.html

Responses are due by September 6.