[Asis-l] NISO Publishes Data Curation Themed Issue of Information Standards Quarterly in Open Access

Cynthia Hodgson chodgson at niso.org
Thu Oct 17 15:23:01 EDT 2013

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announces the
publication of the Fall 2013 issue of Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ)
with a special theme of Data Curation. Interest in the topic of data
curation has increased greatly as many governments and funding organizations
have mandated that publicly funded research must be made more openly
available-including not only the results published in journal articles, but
also the underlying data. As a result, much discussion and work is under way
around the process and tools needed to ensure that data can be made
accessible for reuse and preserved for the long-term.

"If I were to sum up the topic that comes up time and time again, not only
in the articles in this issue, it is the necessity for standards to enable
digital curation," states Sarah Callaghan, Research Scientist and Project
Manager, British Atmospheric Data Centre, and guest content editor for the
issue. "It doesn't matter what type of data is curated; anything from
metadata about research projects, publications and grey literature, the
methodologies and results of laboratory work, or the measurements from
long-term observational missions. One thing is certain, the rate at which
data is created is increasing so dramatically that the only way to manage
curation is to automate it, and the only way to do that is to have
standardized structures and ontologies."

The feature article by Colin L. Bird, Cerys Willoughby, Simon J. Coles, and
Jeremy G. Frey discusses Data Curation Issues in the Chemical Sciences,
specifically the extent to which chemists respect the importance of curation
in their day-to-day activities in the laboratory and at their computers. The
authors emphasize that an essential ingredient in the curation process is
metadata, particularly at the time data and information are created, which
they describe as "curation at source."

Three "in practice" articles provide case studies for how data is curated in
the European scholarly community in general and specifically in the fields
of archeology and earth sciences. Jochen Schirrwagen and co-authors describe
Data Curation in the OpenAIRE Scholarly Communication Infrastructure, the
European Union initiative for an open access infrastructure for access to
the research output of European funded projects and open access content from
a network of institutional and disciplinary repositories. Ray Moore and Tim
Evans discuss Preserving the Grey Literature Explosion: PDF/A and the
Digital Archive in the Archaeology Data Service (ADS), with particular
emphasis on the pros and cons of using the PDF Archival format as a standard
for preservation. Esther Conway and her co-authors examine the challenges in
Ensuring the Long Term Impact of Earth Science Data through Data Curation
and Preservation, since much of earth sciences data occurs from natural
phenomena and is not reproducible. They point out the societal benefits in
preserving such data for use in areas such as disaster management, human
health, sustainable energy resources, climate change, water quality and
availability, ecosystem protection, and agriculture management.

"NISO is becoming increasingly involved in discussions and work surrounding
data curation," states Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director. "As the
articles in this issue show, standards originally developed for managing
electronic journals, such as the Digital Object Identifier and PDF/A, are
now being applied to data as well. The articles also point out many areas
where standards work is still needed, such as data citation, metadata,
preservation formats, and metrics, to mention a few."

Information Standards Quarterly is available in open access in electronic
format on the NISO website. Both the entire Fall 2013 Data Curation issue of
ISQ and the individual articles may be freely downloaded. Print copies are
available by subscription and as print on demand. To access the free
electronic version, visit: www.niso.org/publications/isq/2013/v25no3/.


Cynthia Hodgson
ISQ Managing Editor
National Information Standards Organization
chodgson at niso.org


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