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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Data-related sessions at ALA-Midwinter

ALA-Midwinter is coming up in Seattle, January 25-29, 2013, and there are several session related to data curation, management, literacy, and other related issues. This list no doubt leaves something out, post any additions to the comments.

OCLC Americas Member Meeting and Symposium
Friday, January 25
11:00 am – 2:00 pm | Red Lion Hotel Fifth Avenue, Emerald Ballroom
GIS Discussion Group & Map Collection Management Discussion Group
W Seattle Hotel, Great Room 2BC
Saturday, January 26 8am - 11:30a

ACRL ULS Campus Administration & Leadership Discussion Group
Topic: Planning & Partnerships for Research Data Services
Saturday, January 26, 2013, 3:00p-4:00p
Westin Seattle (Denny/Mercer)

OCLC Linked Data Roundtable
Saturday January 26, 10:30a-12:00p
Convention Ctr Room 213

Digital Literacy Forum: Setting the Agenda
Saturday January 26, 3:00p-4:00p
Washington State Convention Center, TCC304

Top Technology Trends
Topic: "If Data I Created Resides in a Cloud Environment, Is It Still Mine?"
Sunday, January 27, 2013, 10:30a to 11:30a
Washington State Convention Center, Room 606-607

Linked Library Data
Sunday, Jan 27, 10:30-11:30
Washington State Convention Center, Room 205

ACRL WGSS Section is sponsoring a digital humanities discussion group.
Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 10:30a to 11:30a
Westin Seattle Hotel Cascade

ACRL Digital Curation Interest Group
Sunday, Jan. 27, 1-2:30 PM
Westin Seattle Hotel, Denny/Mercer

Digital Literacy Task Force Meeting
Sunday, Jan. 27, 1-2:30 PM
Washington State Convention Center, Room 307-308

Library Technology Challenges: Woes and Wows
Sunday, Jan. 27, 1-2:30 PM
Washington State Convention Center, TCC301

ACRL Digital Humanities Discussion Group
Sunday, Jan 27, 4:30-5:30p
Westin Seattle Hotel, Fifth Ave Room

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Big data vs data mining vs statistics vs etc. FAQ

Love this link from Flowing Data to an article by William Briggs (he bills himself on his blog as Statistician to the Stars!). In the article, Briggs answers questions FAQ-style to talk about the differences between big data, data mining, statistics, probability, etc. He's got a good sense of humor, and is clear about what he sees as distinguishing characteristic of each field.

Given that the hype about "big data" lately seems about ready to jump the shark, I love his definition. While he acknowledges that vast amounts of data are interesting for the facts contained within, Big Data is not likely to save us from ourselves:
What is big data?
Whatever the labeler wants it to be; data that is not small; a faddish buzz word; a recognition that it’s difficult to store and access massive databases; a false (but with occasional, and temporary, bright truths) hope that if characteristics down to the microsecond are known and stored we can predict everything about that most unpredictable species, human beings. See this Guardian article. See also false hope (itself contained in the hubris entry in any encyclopedia).
Big data is a legitimate computer science topic, where timely access to tidbits buried under mountains of facts is a major concern. It is also of interest to programmers who must take and use these data in the models spoken of above, all in finite time. But more data rather than less does not imply a new or different philosophy of modeling or uncertainty.

Jer Thorp had similar things to say in a Harvard Business Review blog recently; he would like to see people have a better understanding of data ownership, along with more conversations about data and ethics. Oh, and he'd like to see data understood as an entirely new societal resource by bringing artists into the mix. Let the conversation begin.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Interview with Stephanie Wright #IDCC13

UW's Data Services Coordinator Stephanie Wright will be speaking at the upcoming 8th International Digital Curation Conference in Amsterdam in January 2013. The conference brings together folks who create, manage and use information, and those who research and teach about the curation process. This year's theme, "Infrastructure, Intelligence, Innovation: driving the Data Science Agenda," has invited speakers from around the globe to discuss issues such as stewardship in the marine sciences, data stories from the business world, supporting data-intensive research, and many others.

In preparation for her participation in the symposium, titled "What is a Data Scientist?," the conference organizers interviewed Wright and asked her opinion on pressing issues, her thoughts of types of data, and more. Follow the conference January 14-16 via #idcc13.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

UW Data Management Guide gets recognized!

Our Data Management Guide got a nice write-up from Kevin the Librarian, an NLM librarian and archivist who has been compiling a list of libraries that have data management guides. Listed as one of his top five along with the University of Minnesota, MIT, California Digital Library, and Purdue, each resource listed offers a little something different, from examples of data management plans, data planning checklists, and information on the importance of data sharing.

If you want to keep reading, he has another excellent post from July 2012 on data curation and where librarians fit in. He talks about our skill set and why we're ready-made to help researchers take care of their data. He also summarizes some nice tidbits from the data curation lifecycle that will be familiar to anyone who's helped someone archive their research.