OXFAM. (2017). Responsible data management.  http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/responsible-data-management-training-pack-620235

Managing data properly may be the greatest challenge of the information age. We now have more ways to collect, store, share, transmit, analyse and publish data than ever before. As new legal frameworks emerge and increasing attention is paid to the ethics of data management, humanitarian organizations are adopting new policies on how to manage data responsibly. But policy alone is not enough; we need to practise responsible data management (RDM), and in many cases, change our organizational culture, individual attitudes and behaviour as to how we handle data. This training pack has been developed to help introduce the principles of RDM, the planning processes that can be used, and to examine how we might handle unexpected issues that arise in different contexts.

RDM is about treating the data that we collect with respect, and upholding the rights of respondents – people whose data we collect. RDM focuses on treating respondents with respect and dignity, and ensuring that we always act in their best interests. Managing data responsibly need not be restrictive. Instead, it can strengthen and facilitate the contribution that data make to high-quality work.

Keywords: Accountability, Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, Humanitarian practice, Programme design, Protection, Data management, Research methods, Photography in humanitarian crises, Training, RDM 

Schöpfel, J. (2017). Open Access to Scientific Information in Emerging Countries. D-Lib Magazine. Volume 23, Number 3/4 https://doi.org/10.1045/march2017-schopfel

Access to information plays a critical role in supporting development. Open access to scientific information is one solution. Up to now, the open access movement has been most successful in the Western hemisphere. The demand for open access is great in the developing world as it can contribute to solving problems related to access gaps. Five emerging countries, called BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — play a specific and leading role with a significant influence on regional and global affairs because of their large and fast-growing national economies, their demography and geographic situation. In order to better understand open access in each of the five countries, in this paper we take a look at specific conditions in each country, relying on data from information professionals and scientists from BRICS, with an empirical approach focused on country-specific characteristics and challenges. The paper is an updated and enriched synthesis of a recent work on open access in the BRICS countries published by Litwin, Sacramento CA.

Keywords: Open Access, Scientific information, Emerging countries, BRICS

Crotty, D. (2017). Predatory Publishing as a Rational Response to Poorly Governed Academic Incentives. The Scholarly Kitchen Blog. 28-02-17. Full text

In many developing countries, India and Nigeria for example, the evaluation of a faculty publication record for appointment and promotion decisions is based on publishing in an international journal — not a journal with an Impact Factor, not a journal indexed in Medline or Web of Science, not a journal in the DOAJ. As a result, researchers from these countries regularly publish in predatory journals. This approach to career advancement by academic institutions needs to change for predatory publishers to lose the market niche they serve.


Leggott, M., Shearer, K. & Ridsdale C. (2016). Unique Identifiers: Current Landscape and Future Trends. Research Data Canada, IDs Working Group, Standards and Interoperability Committee. 09-09-16. http://ic.idrc.ca/sites/committees/openaccess/reference/Unique%20identifiers.pdf

Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) serve two major functions: using a label or ID to uniquely identify an object, person or organization so that a reference to the entity can be unambiguous; and to provide a mechanism to locate an entity over time even when they move (persistence). A PID System adds a third function: a framework (e.g. a software and associated repository) for discovering objects described by a PID and doing something with them (such as viewing the object) and doing so in a sustainable way. The lack of PIDs, or the poor use/maintenance of them, stifles the power of discoverable or actionable information gained from linking multiple items, or objects, together – a fundamental characteristic of information systems.

(2016). Concordat on open research data. Higher Education Funding Council for England, Research Councils UK, Universities UK & Wellcome Trust. 28-07-16. http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/documents/documents/concordatonopenresearchdata-pdf/

The Concordat on Open Research Data has been developed by a UK multi-stakeholder group. This concordat will help to ensure that the research data gathered and generated by members of the UK research community is made openly available for use by others wherever possible in a manner consistent with relevant legal, ethical, disciplinary and regulatory frameworks and norms, and with due regard to the costs involved.


Meadows, A. (2017). 15 Things We Can Do To Stand Up For Science! The Scholarly Kitchen Blog. 27-02-17. Full text

There are a number of tools, services, and initiatives out there that we can use to ensure that the scholarship being published is as rigorous as possible. Some are commercial, others are non-profit; some open, others proprietary. They have been launched – and are supported by – organizations across all sectors of scholarly communications: associations, funders, publishers, research institutions, service providers, and researchers themselves. Many encourage or enable increased transparency as a way of increasing trust. Not all of them will be appropriate for every organization, but they all represent an opportunity not just to make research more trustworthy, but also to make it work better – for everyone.

Fry, J. et al. (2017). Research Data Management Training Landscape in Canada: A White Paper. Portage Training Expert Group. Canadian Association of Research Libraries. January 2017. https://portagenetwork.ca/news/portage-network-releases-white-paper-research-data-management-training-canada/

The Portage RDM Training Expert Group (TEG) has investigated strategic directions for RDM professional development to address part of the academic library community’s response to Tri-Agency expectations as expressed in The Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management. In providing a national outlook, the TEG’s central focus is to integrate the expertise of the research data management community with other research stakeholders and to collaborate in training initiatives within the broader RDM community.

Smith, R. & Roberts, I. (2016). Time for sharing data to become routine: the seven excuses for not doing so are all invalid.  F1000Res. 2016; 5: 781. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4909097/

Data are more valuable than scientific papers but researchers are incentivised to publish papers not share data. Patients are the main beneficiaries of data sharing but researchers have several incentives not to share: others might use their data to get ahead in the academic rat race; they might be scooped; their results might not be replicable; competitors may reach different conclusions; their data management might be exposed as poor; patient confidentiality might be breached; and technical difficulties make sharing impossible. All of these barriers can be overcome and researchers should be rewarded for sharing data. Data sharing must become routine.

Keywords: Data sharing, data analysis, data management, publishing

Harnad, S. (2017). OA Overview January 2017. (email sent 06-01-17  Repositories discussion list <JISC-REPOSITORIES@JISCMAIL.AC.UK>.

(1) The old librarians’ “double-payment” argument against subscription publishing (the institution pays once to fund the research, then a second time to “buy back” the publication) is false (and silly, actually) in the letter (though on the right track in spirit).

(2) No, the institution that pays for the research output is not paying a second time to buy it back. Institutional journal subscriptions are not for buying back their own research output. They already have their own research output. They are buying in the research output of other institutions, and of other countries, with their journal subscriptions. So no double-payment there, even if you reckon it at the funder- or the tax-payer-level instead of the level of the institution that pays for the subscription.

(3) The problem was never double-payment (for subscriptions): It was (a) (huge) overpayment for institutional access and (b) completely intolerable and counterproductive access-denial for researchers at institutions that couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for subscriptions to any given journal (and there are tens of thousands of research journals): The users that are the double losers there are (i) all researchers at all the institutions that produce all research output (who lose all those of their would-be users who are at non-subscribing institutions for any given journal) and (ii) all researchers at all the non-subscribing institutions for any given journal, who lose access to all non-subscribed research. Now take a few minutes to think through the somewhat more complicated but much more accurate and informative version (3) of the double-payment fallacy in (1). The solution is very clear, and has been clear for close to 30 years now (but not reached — nor even grasped by most):

Continue reading “”