Research Lifecycle: Partnering for Success
Reproducibility – Indentifier – Collaboration. With these three words Jean Shipman, Director of the Eccles Health Sciences Library concluded and summarized the e-science event held on March 15, 2013.
Keynote speaker, Victoria Stodden, based her presentation on the credibility crisis in science because results are not reproducible. Reproducibility is a core standard for science. Why are results not reproducible? Today’s science generates data, but data and the code to identify data is rarely being shared. This means that results cannot be verified or reproduced. She described how few journals include information on where to access data and fewer mention where to access the code. Without access to data and code, we have “science” based on trust rather than evidence. Funding agencies have encouraged sharing but sharing is not enforced. Dissemination platforms are now available and runmycode.org/ is one example. It accepts data and code that can be shared with interested parties. Victoria convinced the audience that we are in a crisis and that librarians can help by assisting researchers to make their data and code accessible.
Everything has an identifier
Mike Conlon expounded on identifiers. VIVO is a tool that enables networking among researchers. The importance of identifiers was obvious to the librarians in the audience who remember adding unique identifiers when cataloging a collection. It’s as important when building databases that make individuals, research interests, institutions, departments, and, well everything, findable. This is also an important feature for eagle-i that allows users to find invisible resources. Melissa Haendel described the cost in dollars, time, and effort of not selecting the right reagent, protocols, and instruments – resources that eagle-i is designed to identify.
Four tools were described during the tools panel of the event. In addition to VIVO and eagle-i, DMPTool and REDCap were featured. Carly Strasser convinced participants that when writing a proposal, DMPTool facilitates data management planning. It incorporates requirements from many funding bodies to ensure that the plan is complete. DMPTool also allows customization by institutional members. Veida Elliot clearly stated the benefits of using REDCap. It can be used for managing clinical data, is intuitive, and supports multiple models. All of these tools are collaborative efforts involving 25 to 600+ partners.
The collaboration among researchers and librarians was mentioned by all presenters. Librarians helped produce VIVO and DMPTool. Presenters recognized that if librarians have knowledge of these tools, they can assist researchers manage data and resources.
A third collaboration occurred during the event. This was the collaboration among the NN/LM MidContinental Region, the Pacific Northwest Region, and the Oregon Health and Science University to organize the forum and pilot group-to-group videoconferencing among the three locations. Audiences were located at the University of Utah, the University of Washington, and the Oregon Health and Science University. The keynote speaker presented from the University of Washington and the panelists presented from the University of Utah. Participants at all sites participated in the Q&A sessions and all sites shared the highlights from breakout sessions that encouraged participants to identify aha! moments, support needs, identify next steps, and other key points brought out by the speakers.
Participants agreed that the following three objectives for “Research Lifecycle: Partnering for Success” were met.
- Participants will gain increased awareness of the potential and challenges for computationally intensive science in health sciences research.
- Participants will gain increased awareness of innovative tools and technologies for collaboration, discovery, data sharing and data management.
- Participants will identify how librarians, data specialists, and researchers can use these concepts and resources to provide added value to their research community.
Links to presentations and a resource list http://nnlm.gov/2013escience/
-Claire Hamasu, Associate Director