Cliff Lynch – wrap-up discussion [ #rdlmw ]

One tag line – scholarly practice is changing, and that’s what put us all here. That won’t go away just because we’re having trouble dealing with it.

There’s a great search for leverage points where we can get a lot of return for a little investment. Lots of wondering whether there aren’t things we can do as consortia, for example. Other players, like instrument manufacturers. We have to keep looking for these leverage points, but need to realize that this is a sizable and expensive problem that we can’t make go away with one or two magic leverage points.

The discussion we just had about scaling and being involved up front, but being scared about whether we can deal with demand, is a real look at our problems.

Some new discussions about putting data lifecycle and funding strategies on different timelines that have complex interactions – certain funding strategies can distort the lifecycle by making it attractive or necessary for investigators to hold on to data that should be migrating.

This is not a NSF problem, nor a funding agency problem. We need to come up with a system that accommodates unsponsored research too. There’s a significant amount of work that goes on in social sciences and humanities with little or no funding attached.

One of the ugly facts we need to mindful of is the systematic defunding of (particularly public) higher education, and the pressure for defunding of scholarly research in government agencies. We need to come up with means of data curation and management that allow us to make intelligent decisions about priorities. Saw a striking example of this in the UK when they applied massive cuts to their funding agencies, including defunding of national archiving system for arts and humanities.

Pleased to see a session on secure data which said more than “this is hard – let’s run away”, which is the usual response. Secure data is probably not the right word. So much work to do on definitions and common languages, so we don’t spend so much time redefining problems – maybe we need to put some short-term effort into definitions. Also, we’re short on facts on the ground. Serge offered some real data on what’s going on with grants at Princeton – we need that campus by campus and rolled up by discipline and national lines. It’s not that hard to get, and there are various projects talking about it.

What’s the balance between enabling sharing and enabling preservation. Often a lot of the investment starts going into preservation and you never get to sharing. Bill Michener gave us a look at a nice set of investment into discovery and reuse systems (DataONE), maybe that’s something that could be federated so we don’t have to build a ton of them.

Was glad to hear about the PASIG work – developed over 3-4 years between Stanford, a group of other institutions and Sun. As we think about the right kinds of industry/university venues for collaboration that’s one to have a look at. In particular look at the agendas for past meetings. Some of the conversations about expected structure of storage market, things that drive tech refresh cycles in storage, are very helpful.


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