THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Social Science blog

4 posts categorized "Open data"

12 December 2014

ODIN - Linking datasets and their creators

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Rachael Kotarski, Content Specialist for Datasets, gives us an update on the ODIN project:

Odin-logo

You may or may not have noticed from various blog posts that we love persistent identifiers at the British Library, especially for data. There's no better way to tell the difference between two datasets – or books, papers or people, than by checking their identifiers.

While these identifiers are important parts of the research machinery, they haven't been as well connected as they could be. Over the past two years the British Library has been involved in the EU-funded FP7 project, the ORCID and DataCite Interoperability Network – ODIN. The aim of the project was to investigate where the integration of identifiers for research objects (primarily research datasets) and the people involved in creating them could be improved.

There were many strands to this work carried out in parallel over the past two years. One that we have been heavily involved in is proving the concept of identifier use in humanities and social science, as compared with high energy physics data archives.

Proof of Concept in Humanities and Social Science

As part of the ODIN work here at the British Library, we have worked very closely with three major data archives in the UK to develop workflows for object and people identifiers. We worked with the UK Data Archive (UKDA, a node of the UK Data Service), the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) and the MRC National survey of Health and Development (MRC NSHD).

While these data archives all exist within a similar subject area, they all have different challenges in identifying long-term, dynamic and historical data. They have also all been at different stages in their use of identifiers. Despite these differences, the ultimate approach has been similar across humanities and social sciences, as well as in high energy physics:

  • Object identifiers are given to datasets as part of the ingest process
  • For highly dynamic and aggregated datasets, it may be possible to assign identifiers to the subset of data as downloaded
  • Identifiers for authors and contributors are requested as part of the submission information, and can be associated with other forms of identity or profile management at the archive
  • Identifiers for legacy datasets are added in a bulk-process

Feedback to the project has helped to direct technical changes to the way in which DataCite and ORCID work.

Websmall-ODIN_FinalEvent
ODIN final event: standing room only. Photograph by Sergio Ruiz

If you run a data repository, find out more about DataCite in the UK. If you create, contribute to or manage research data, see if you have an International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) or consider signing up for an ORCID iD.

ODIN Partners

Not all the reports from all the strands of work are available yet, but once they are they will be linked from http://odin-project.eu/project-outputs/deliverables/.

25 November 2014

Socio-Economic Developments since 1820

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Jerry Jenkins writes:  While unpacking some parcels earlier in the month, Matthew Shaw, the North American Curator and I were comparing the contents of our respective parcels.  I produced from my parcel an OECD title: How Was Life? Global Well-Being Since 1820.

It struck me on browsing the contents that this work provides a useful 'long view' of social development in many different fields and disciplines. The report is in the main concerned with socio-economic developments since the industrial revolution. 

In the foreword it states that the work goes beyond the traditional measures of GDP “to encompass a broader set of dimensions that shape people’s living conditions such as their wages, longevity, education, height and personal security among others.”

Across thirteen chapters, illustrated with figures and tables, the central themes of human well-being are analysed and explored in-depth. Each chapter is organised in a uniform way providing an introduction leading into eight sections all of which provide an overview of the historical sources consulted along with a description of the concepts used.  Each chapter also provides an explanation of the main research findings as well as devoting space to the important issue of data quality and recommendations for future research.

Its publication is a timely one, as it coincides well with a renewed interest in 'long history' as demonstrated by the publication of The History Manifesto by Jo Guldi and David Armitage which is freely available to read on the  publishers website

These two publications go some way to indicate how the 'long view' is coming into focus as methodology and data become accessible for both academics and practitioners to use in their work on modern society and all its competing pressures and the forces which shape it.

Along with How Was Life? Global Well-Being Since 1820 the library has a historic collection of OECD material available and accessible to the researcher in our Reading Rooms.  Furthermore, this title, along with many others by OECD, is available with the click of a mouse through the OECD i-library

I should also mention Matthew Shaw's recent acquisition was a leather bound pocket book diary of a Philadelphia oil worker from the 1870s, which I am sure you’ll be able to read more about in a forthcoming entry on the Americas Studies blog in the future.

Jerry Jenkins is the British Library's Curator for International Organisations & North American Official Publications.  

13 May 2013

New ORCID Integrated Citation Tool from the ODIN Project

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The ORCiD and DataCite Interoperability Network (ODIN) project, which BL Social Sciences are a project partner in, have announced the beta launch of a new service for searching and claiming works in DataCite, including UK social science datasets. 

The new tool can be found at http://datacite.labs.orcid-eu.org and it enables users to search the DataCite Metadata Store for their works, and subsequently to add (or claim) those research outputs – including datasets, software, and other types – to their ORCID profile. Datasets contained in the DataCite metadata store include UK social science datasets provided by the UK Data Service (formerly ESDS). Claiming these works on an ORCID profile should increase the visibility of these research outputs, and will make it easier to use these data citations in applications that connect to the ORCID Registry – ImpactStory is one of several services already doing this.

Datacite_orcid_integration

The new service also provides formatted citations in several popular citation styles, supports COinS, links to related resources, and displays the attached Creative Commons license where this information is available. In addition to datasets, the DataCite Metadata Store of course also contains many text documents from academic publishers and services such as figshare or PeerJ Preprints, and these works can also be claimed.

This tool is created by ORCID-EU as part of ODIN Work Package 4 – Interoperability, with major input by Karl Ward (CrossRef) and Sebastian Peters (DataCite). The source code is a fork of the code for CrossRef’s Metadata Search written by Karl Ward and is available at https://github.com/mfenner/cr-search.

We encourage everyone to sign in with their ORCiD and try out the new tool. Any feedback on problems or usability issues would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Martin and Mummi at ORCID with feedback.

The service is at early beta stage still, so please expect minor bugs and user interface glitches. The official launch will be at the joint Dryad/ORCID Meeting May 23 in Oxford, where ORCID will present the work and brainstorm ideas for future work with fellow developers at the Codefest.

This blog was re-posted from the ODIN project blog.

Previous social science blog posts have explained the Library's contribution to the ODIN Project, which includes creating a proof of concept for the humanities and social sciences around linking up author and data creator identifiers, such as ORCID, and digital object identifiers, such as DataCite DOIs. We will be reporting on the initial findings of this work in Summer 2013.

03 May 2013

New BL Labs Competition launched

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Calling all researchers and developers!

BLLabs

Our colleagues at BL Labs have launched a new competition. Propose an innovative and transformative project that answers a research question using the British Library's digital collections / data and if your idea is chosen, the Labs team will work with you to make it happen and you could win a prize of up to £3,000.

From the digitisation of thousands of books, newspapers and manuscripts, the collecting of UK websites, bird sounds or location data for our maps, over the last two decades we’ve been faithfully amassing a vast and wide-ranging digital collection for the nation. What remains elusive however is understanding what researchers need in place in order to unlock the potential for new discoveries within these fascinating and diverse digital collections. The Labs competition is designed to attract scholars, explorers and trailblazers to the Library who see the potential for new and innovative research lurking within these immense digital collections. Through soliciting innovative and transformative projects utilising this content you will be giving us a steer as to the types of platforms, arrangements, services and tools needed to surface it. We’ll even throw the Library’s resources behind you to make your idea a reality.

To find out more, visit the competition pages (deadline for submission of ideas is the 26 June 2013), sign up to the wiki,  express your interest and participate in one of the related events, virtually (17 May 2013, 1500 GMT), hack event in London on the 28 and 29 May, 2013 or one of our roadshow events, or hack event in London on the 28 and 29 May, 2013

Good luck!

This post originally appeared on the British Library digital scholarship blog here and was posted by Mahendra Mahey. Follow BL Labs on Twitter @BL_Labs.