Category: iDCC 2020

International Digital Curation Conference, February 2020, Dublin (Ireland)


Over 300 participants gathered to talk on:
Collective Curation: the many hands that make data work.
The programme focused on the community:  the various stakeholders that play a role in ensuring digital objects are properly created, managed and shared.

The 2day conference started with a very interesting keynote on the Internet of Things (IoT) from Francine Berman, Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and this year based at Harvard. The main message was: IoT can be Utopia or Dystopia, it is all up to us. The IoT will generate TBs of data. How do we cope with that? How do we prevent devices for being hacked? Where is the privacy when you drive in an automated vehicle? The car knows which music you listen to!!

I spoke with people engaged in the training of people and had the chance to promote the courses Essentials 4 Data Support course and the MOOC Delivering Research Data Services. We ran this MOOC last year Autumn and we rerun the MOOC, starting February 24. Last year we had over 1600 participants!! The poster was presented in a poster:


One of the session was on a risk catalogue that can be used to review data management plans. There are legal, privacy, ethical and technical risks. It makes the data management plan more a working document, knowing the risks and how to manage them.

Second day, February 18

The second day started with a keynote from Kostas Glinos, Head of Unit for Open Science at European Commission, in the directorate-general for Research & Innovation since 1 June 2019. He spoke on how responsible research data management will be key in mainstreaming Open Science policies under the next framework programme, Horizon Europe. In that programme mandatory data management plans for all projects that generate or collect research data, and by introducing data management considerations as an element on which applicants can be evaluated. One of the reasons is that the EU wants to improve trust between science and society by engaging citizens in co-designing and co-creating research.

Another presentation I liked was on gaming: Lego; Metadata for reproducibility. In short:
Build a vehicle with 13 bricks, document what you have built and take it apart again. Another group will then build the car again using the documentation. After building the cars are compared with another. This generates lots of discussions and can be used for talking on the importance of metadata. 

I attended a session on the Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) from the ICPSR. The PIA investigates the privacy issues concerning data. The ICPSR trains researchers to acquire a passport that approves access ta various databases, based on their training and credentials. Researchers acquire a passport where the level of access is mentioned.

An impression of the conference: 


Sandra Collins (Director of the National Library of Ireland) on Collecting and Curating the National Memory was the last keynote speaker.
The Irish National Library collects memories to share the culture and story of a nation. In the past that were ‘physical’ memories: newspapers, books and also lottery tickets! But in the digital age, our life is more and more open and our personal memories are digital-born. The National Library collects nowadays more and more digital items, already more than 300.000 Irish websites! The National Library works together RDA and DCC in curating their collection. And many volunteers to provide metadata to all kind of items.

Some conclusions of this iDCC:

– There is a strong focus on FAIR, and on how to put these principles into practice
– Reliability is becoming more and more an issue
– More and more data are generated, as more and more devices are connected. We as a society need to take care of that, in good collaboration with government and academia. 

The next iDCC will be organised in collaboration with the RDA Plenary, Edinburgh, UK, from 20th to 22nd April 2021.