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SciDataCon 2018 Call for Abstracts Extended & WDS Sessions

SciDataCon 2018 Call for Abstracts Extended & WDS Sessions

Following a large number of requests and practical reasons relating to the review process, the Call for Abstracts for SciDataCon 2018 has been extended to Monday, 25 June (23:59 UTC). Abstracts for papers or posters are invited for sessions at SciDataCon 2018, part of International Data Week (5–8 November 2018; Gaborone, Botswana). Abstracts must be submitted to an accepted session or to the General Submission, and will be reviewed for quality and appropriateness to be included in a either an existing session or a (to be created) thematic session. Accepted abstracts will be available from the conference website and will form a persistent collection.

In relation to the Call for Abstracts, we would like to draw your attention to the following WDS-sponsored sessions and to encourage the WDS community to submit abstracts by the 25th June deadline.

  • Africa Data Centers: Challenges and Opportunities (Abstract)
  • Improving Data Repository Trustworthiness (Abstract)
  • Spatial Data for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa (Abstract)
  • Citizen Science Data – from Collection to Curation to Management (Abstract)
  • Health Databases across the African Continent:  What do we have and what do we need for Sustainable Development? (Abstract)
  • Repositories: Are we serving our scientists? Cross-learnings from multiple disciplines (Abstract)
  • Scientific Data Challenges for Sustainable Development (Abstract)
  • The Role of Early Career Researchers and Scientists in the Data Revolution (Abstract)

Africa Data Centers: Challenges and Opportunities

African researchers and development institutions generate large volumes of data, but the region has lagged in the provision of data through repositories. The World Data System (WDS) is organizing this session to share lessons learned from data repositories in the region, and to identify practical strategies to overcome challenges and take advantage of new opportunities that will result in a greater number of trustworthy digital repositories. This session will explore a number of well-known challenges – including insufficient funding, the need for supportive policies and licenses, human resource constraints, and poor internet and computer infrastructure – but with a solutions-oriented approach. The session will also explore opportunities such as advances in cloud storage and computing at reasonable cost, which means that data centers no longer need to operate their own servers and security infrastructure. Papers are encouraged that present the experience of data center managers, as are papers by scholars and practitioners working in the development of regional capacities to sustainably archive and disseminate data.
This session is sponsored by the ICSU World Data System.

The opportunity to continually access and use research data is necessary for scientific progress, validation, and for subsequent studies to build on the work of previous research. Producers, users, funders, and managers of research data need to know whether the digital repositories that are accepting the responsibility for the stewardship of research data will be managing the data and related information within their collections in accordance with established and accepted practices for managing and caring for digital research data.

Improving Data Repository Trustworthiness

The Core Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements (CoreTrustSeal) have been developed to provide specifications for assessing digital repositories as trustworthy stewards of data. Based on the Open Archival Information Systems (OAIS) Reference Model and on previous instruments for assessing data repositories (e.g. the Data Seal of Approval), the sixteen CoreTrustSeal requirements are being actively used by the research data community. The CoreTrustSeal is also used by several consortia and federations to assess data repositories. Examples include the World Data System (WDS) for its Regular Members, the US NASA Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) for its Digital Active Archives, and the CLARIN – European Research Infrastructure for Language Resources and Technology for its B-Centres.

The CoreTrustSeal requirements provide an opportunity for data repositories to continually improve their capabilities and services for managing and distributing their data holdings. Furthermore, the CoreTrustSeal requirements offer an opportunity for data repositories to conduct self-assessments and to identify areas of their own data repository practices that are in need of improvement. Adopting the CoreTrustSeal requirements also enables data repositories to demonstrate their commitment to the stewardship of research data.

This session presents panelists who will introduce the CoreTrustSeal requirements, explain the certification process, and provide case studies of experiences that data repositories have encountered in their efforts to improve the trustworthiness of their data stewardship practices by means of core certification.

Spatial Data for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 17 associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the far larger number of indicators to monitor each SDG have created a tremendous demand for high spatial and temporal resolution data. This is in line with the United Nations General Assembly Report of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (A/68/970 12 August 2014), which states that “In order to monitor the implementation of the SDGs, it will be important to improve the availability of and access to data and statistics disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts to support the monitoring of the implementation of the SDGs”.
National statistical offices (NSOs), census bureaus, and space agencies have been working diligently to identify the data needs and to demonstrate the potential for traditional statistical data, in combination with newer remote sensing, crowd sourced, mobile, and other “big data”, to track progress. As a continent, Africa has the potential to leapfrog other regions by applying novel data development methods and data streams to solve its development challenges.
This session invites papers that illustrate the potential for spatial data to assist with SDG monitoring and to identify people groups or geographic areas that are in under-served (as part of the Leave No One Behind agenda). Presentations describing new data development strategies and worked examples of SDG indicator monitoring platforms incorporating spatial data are welcome, together with broader examples of the application of spatial data to development challenges. Examples of data or services that are developed in collaboration with end-users, as well as approaches to open data, and presentations by researchers and practitioners from Africa, are especially encouraged.
This session is co-sponsored by the ICSU World Data System, the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, and CIESIN at Columbia University.

Citizen Science Data – from Collection to Curation to Management

The goal of this session is to discuss the ecosystem of data-generating citizen science and crowdsourcing (“CS”) projects so as to characterize the potential and challenges of these developments to impact science as a whole, and data science in particular. Varying standards for collecting and documenting CS data can cause potentially valuable sources of information to be overlooked for scientific analysis. CS data has the potential to contribute to an improved understanding of people and the environment, however, challenges still need to be addressed in this data revolution, mostly because of wrong perceptions of data users regarding its appropriate evaluation and handling.
Properly maintained and evaluated CS projects already provide consistently reliable data for common use and scientific studies in many fields, although there is still some resistance to their use. Communicating to scientists who have difficulties in understanding alternative QA/QC methods is a major challenge that needs to be addressed. Improved management and resourcing of CS initiatives will assist in handling large data, simplifying access, intentionally gathering data to answer specific questions, and gaining value from raw data. Good data management practices can also effectively communicate data quality.
The session will explore issues surrounding common methods and approaches for ensuring and evaluating data quality, including validating various streams of citizen science data; mechanisms for cleaning and curating the data; and, systems in place for the long-term management and dissemination of those data. Important topics of discussion also include how projects in different disciplines, geographies, and spatial or temporal scales handle data practices, and concepts such as fitness for use. We welcome general submissions describing the activities of CS programs and projects in Africa and around the world, as well as papers by academics or scientists exploring data-related issues in CS.
This session is sponsored by the The CODATA-WDS task group on citizen science data.

Health Databases across the African Continent:  What do we have and what do we need for Sustainable Development?

The purpose of this panel discussion session will be to discuss the current state of health related databases across the African Continent. One of the most amazingly diverse, dynamic and challenging environments for health care, Africa can also pose specific opportunities for health care partnerships. The purpose of this session is to identify current successful efforts designed to support, characterize and inform human health and well-being. Examples from three sectors of our health communities will provide exceptional examples of these challenges and opportunities and will identify databases of various outputs.
The first example will be on HIV databases that have been established to identify risk factors and effective intervention tools. This example illustrates Human Health databases of key importance for country and regional development goals for specific diseases. The second speaker will discuss genetic databases using H3 Africa as an example biobank. The third speaker will look at INDEPTH a health surveillance database. Abstracts submitted from the participants will be added as relevant to these topics. A discussion will follow which will identify common needs and goals for these diverse but interrelated databases: How are these data accessed? How these databases are sustained and further developed and How these databases are interrelated and used to address global sustainability goals will be a part of this session.

Repositories: Are we serving our scientists? Cross-learnings from multiple disciplines

Repositories are secured data collections providing open access for science, policy makers and interested lay people. Are we serving our Audiences? With increasing frequency, the need for databases that include physical, biological and artifact specimens is evident. The purpose of this research paper session is to determine the following: 1) what are the current options for making these repositories public? Accessible? Are there set guidelines across disciplines and how similar are they to guidelines we have developed for other types of databases; 2) What changes might be needed to ensure sustainability and open accessibility? 3) What certification systems exist? Who is currently active in setting these standards? and 4) What examples or case studies exist that can illustrate both successes as well as challenges in establishing these repositories? Case examples are invited to present as a part of this session: We are looking for successful examples from the natural sciences including geological specimens such as soil data repositories, examples form the social sciences and humanities such as art and photography repositories, and examples from data science such as code and code versions repositories (Github, Bitbucket, SourceForge, etc.)
These examples will stimulate discussion of the key question: are we serving our scientists? Audiences? And if not what are the main challenges?

Scientific Data Challenges for Sustainable Development

Access to reliable and credible data is central to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and successful implementation of international agreements such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Connecting the many different communities and organisations involved in data collection, each with their own practices and standards, remains a major challenge. An even more significant challenge is the need to integrate data from diverse social, natural, health, and engineering disciplines, across national boundaries, and on a range of temporal and spatial scales to meet the needs of SDG monitoring and to support evidence-based decision making about sustainable development and disaster risk reduction. Understanding of data needs is still evolving but it is clear that the active involvement of scientists with a range of expertise is required to address key issues in data acquisition, integration, analysis, validation, and application and to facilitate the development of systems that minimise resource requirements and deliver information in near-real time.
This session will address innovative solutions to the data challenges and the opportunities arising from data analytics for the SDGs from leading scientific, statistical, data management and development organizations. It will further opportunities for collaboration to support international agendas related to climate change, disaster management, and sustainable development.

The Role of Early Career Researchers and Scientists in the Data Revolution

“Data deluge”, “data revolution”, “Big data”, … are common expressions to describe the evident change in production, collection, use, storage, re-use, variety and volume of data. In this context, new jobs are emerging such as data scientists and data managers. However, the role of these scientists is not evident in the academic field where researchers are the main actors and data are very specialized. A certain knowledge and expertise of the research field are necessary for the data manager to do his/her job.
How can data managers and researchers work together to provide good research and re-usable data? That is the challenging question the Early Career Researchers and Scientists Network (collectively ECRs) of the ICSU - World Data System will try to answer in the proposed session. The coming generation of ECRs has indeed an important role to play in changing mindsets regarding data management.
In particular, the following questions will be addressed: How will research data be collected, shared and preserved? How will researchers communicate about their findings and how it can impact their careers? How will a research project be organized in this new environment?
The session will be organized around these three topics:

  • New ways to collect, share, harness and preserve research data: participative science, open clouds
  • New ways to communicate about findings of researchers and impact on their careers: social networks, publishing and indicators (impact factor)
  • New vision for research: How can researchers and data managers work together? How to organize research projects?

The session is intended to be interactive with a set of lightning talks, enlightening us on the different themes and discussions in order to think and reflect about a new age of research in the data revolution. The perspective of the future data environment will be discussed and the role of Early Career Researchers and scientists will be explored.
Lightning talks are invited among Early Career Researchers and Scientists, giving them an opportunity to share their innovative technologies, methodologies and visions for the future data environment.