Portage Winter-Spring Highlights
The Portage Network recently reached several milestones in research data management (RDM) stewardship and services, thanks to its Network of Experts, Secretariat, and partner organizations. We are pleased to highlight the following exciting recent developments:
- Portage joins NDRIO
- FRDR and DMP Assistant launches
- Expansion of the FRDR Discovery Service
- Institutional Strategy resources to support the Tri-Agency RDM Policy
- CoreTrustSeal Support Cohort and Funding
- COVID-19 Data Curation Funding Call
- Expert Group publications, tools, resources, and events
- ORCID-CA membership
- Conference presentations and webinars
Portage joins NDRIO
On April 1, 2021, the Portage Network fully integrated into the New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO). In this new capacity, Portage will continue to support RDM nationally through stewardship platforms, services, tools, outreach and training established through the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), Canadian research libraries, and other stakeholders. This integration is a planned outcome of an earlier agreement between CARL and NDRIO to support Portage and RDM in Canada. NDRIO and Portage are grateful to CARL for its exceptional leadership, strategic action, dedication, and support in developing the Portage Network to contribute to the shared stewardship of research data in Canada.
FRDR in full production has many new features and benefits, including: the ability to publish research data in a Canadian-owned, bilingual national repository option; 1 TB of repository storage available to all researchers at institutions eligible for Tri-Agency funding, and their designates; secure repository storage and long-term preservation support, distributed geographically across multiple Compute Canada Federation hosting sites; data curation support provided by Portage; the ability to work with multiple collaborators on a single submission; and data discoverability alongside other Canadian collections in the FRDR Discovery Portal.
FRDR is made possible through a collaboration between Portage, the Compute Canada Federation, and CARL, with funding from NDRIO. Development and infrastructure support come from the University of Saskatchewan, Simon Fraser University, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Toronto.
FRDR was developed with the expertise of several Portage Expert and Working Groups, including the FRDR Policy Working Group, the FRDR User Experience and Training Working Group, the FRDR Discovery Service Working Group, the FAST & the FRDR Working Group, the Discovery and Metadata Expert Group, and the Data Repositories Expert Group. The FRDR Steering Committee is instrumental in providing direction and governance for FRDR.
The DMP Assistant is a national, open, bilingual data management planning (DMP) tool to help researchers create DMPs and better manage their data throughout the lifespan of a project. Version 2.0 has several new features and benefits, including: the ability to ‘clone’ DMPs for use in similar projects, the ability for institutions to create more flexible DMP templates, and new usage statistics dashboards for institutional administrators. Version 2.0 also features enhanced bilingualism supported by recent upgrades to the original DMP Roadmap codebase in collaboration with the Digital Curation Centre (DCC).
The DMP Assistant is hosted by the University of Alberta Library with support from Portage’s Data Management Planning Expert Group (DMPEG). A DMP Assistant Steering Committee has been established to provide essential guidance, support, and advisement for the overall development, delivery, capacity, and sustainability of the DMP Assistant.
A series of training webinars were offered to promote the launches of the DMP Assistant and FRDR, and to help users understand new features and benefits. Recordings and slides are available in Portage Training Resources under webinars.
Expansion of the FRDR Discovery Service
The FRDR team is working hard to increase the reach of its discovery service and make it more accessible to the Canadian research community. Geodisy, FRDR’s map-based search interface, is now fully bilingual in English and French. Geodisy also now pulls directly from FRDR’s harvested metadata collection, which includes content from over 80 Canadian research data repositories. The FRDR harvest and discovery OAI-PMH feed was launched, so FRDR metadata is now harvested by the OpenAIRE Research Graph, ensuring that Canadian research is represented in this global research aggregator. You can view FRDR records in OpenAIRE, and view the OAI-PMH feed on FRDR. Thanks to our partners at UBC Library, all datasets indexed by FRDR are findable in ProQuest’s Central Discovery Index (CDI), which will help to increase the discoverability of Canadian research data.
Tri-Agency RDM Policy and Institutional Strategy Resources
CARL and Portage welcomed the release of the Government of Canada’s new Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy. The policy aims to support Canadian research excellence by promoting sound data management and data stewardship, and was developed by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in consultation with stakeholders.
Portage has several Institutional Strategies resources to help research institutions develop their RDM capacity, comply with funder policies and other RDM best practices, and align with national RDM policies and statements such as the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy. These resources were developed by the Portage Institutional Strategies Working Group and Portage Training Expert Group (now the National Training Expert Group) and are updated to reflect changes in the RDM ecosystem.
CoreTrustSeal Support Cohort and Funding
Portage launched a CoreTrustSeal Certification Support Cohort and Funding call to support a group of Canadian repositories to work toward achieving the requirements for CoreTrustSeal certification. The purpose of this initiative is to advance FAIR principles for data (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) and TRUST principles for digital repositories (Transparency, Responsibility, User focus, Sustainability, Technology); support excellence and strengthen confidence in Canadian data repositories; and foster excellence in Canadian research by supporting a cohort of repositories in achieving, or progressing toward the achievement of, CoreTrustSeal certification requirements. In so doing, we aim to build capacity in the broader community of Canadian repositories, for the benefit of all.
Selected repositories will receive training and engage with peers through facilitated workshops, including peer and expert review of repository self-assessments. Twelve participating repositories will also receive funding in the amount of $10,000 to assist with the work necessary to achieve CoreTrustSeal requirements, prepare the required self-assessments, and cover the CoreTrustSeal application fee.
COVID-19 Data Curation Funding Call
NDRIO and Portage announced the availability of $336,000 in funding to support the curation of Canadian research data related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this funding is to bring COVID-19 related data into timely compliance with the FAIR Guiding Principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) for the management of research data, algorithms, tools and workflows, as well as to build capacity for RDM in Canada by supporting the training of highly-qualified personnel (HQP) in data stewardship and curation. Successful applicants will be notified by June 25, 2021.
Expert and Working Group Activities
The Curation Expert Group began hosting virtual meet-ups to connect with the wider research data management and data curation community. Topics of discussion include curatorial appraisal for digital preservation, and research consent and data curation. Stay tuned for future meet-ups! The Dataverse Curation Guide Working Group is developing a set of basic documentation and reference materials to communicate best practices for curating datasets in Scholars Portal Dataverse. Portage Curation Officers Nichole DeMichelis and Subhanya Sivajothy presented “Building Community: Expanding Curation Community of Practice in Canada” at the International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC2021) on April 19th.
The National Training Expert Group released French versions of instructional videos for FRDR. These introductory training videos cover the basics of using the service, setting up an account, and uploading and downloading datasets using Globus File Transfer. The Institutional Strategies Working Group is also working on new videos and discussion prompts to help guide research institutions in the creation of institutional RDM strategies – more details coming soon! These are part of a suite of resources for developing institutional RDM strategies. Please visit Portage’s Institutional Strategies page for more information.
The Data Management Planning Expert Group assisted in the successful launch of DMP Assistant 2.0 as well as new resources to assist researchers with creating data management plans. These include new Brief Guides and Primers, as well as discipline and methodology-specific Templates, which were initiated by a Portage funding call in April 2020. The Templates are embedded for use and institutional customization in the DMP Assistant, and are also available on Portage Training Resources as well as in the Portage Zenodo Community. Two new working groups have also formed: the DMP Assistant Tutorial Video Working Group and The DMP Assistant Institutional Customization Guide Working Group.
The Preservation Expert Group prepared a report which describes a preservation recommendation for Scholars Portal Dataverse – details coming soon! Work is also underway on a File ID Tools project to test the functionality of various file identification tools in characterizing research data formats. Rebecca Dickson and Steve Marks gave a lightning talk on using file ID tools for curation at the International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC2021) on April 19th, titled “File identification tools for curating research data formats: Not just for preservation anymore.”
The Research Intelligence Expert Group published the second in a series of Insights Reports, Current Capacity within Institutions: Highly Qualified Personnel, Infrastructure, and Services. This second report examines current capacity for RDM on campuses with respect to highly qualified personnel, infrastructure, and services. Insights Reports provide in-depth analysis of the results of the 2019 Institutional RDM Services Capacity Survey. The survey evaluated Canadian research institutions’ efforts to develop and allocate human, organizational, infrastructure, and fiscal resources for RDM on campus. The third and final Insights Report will be published soon!
Portage joined the ORCID-CA Consortium as its 38th member. As a member of ORCID-CA, Portage is part of a growing number of Canadian institutions that support ORCID’s unique identification and reliable connectivity of researchers and their work. As a leader in promoting good data stewardship and the provision of services for research data management in Canada, Portage fully endorses the use of persistent identifiers like ORCID and plans to integrate ORCID with FRDR and the DMP Assistant.
CARL and Portage Response to “Data Repository Selection: Criteria That Matter”
CARL and Portage issued a joint response to “Data Repository Selection: Criteria That Matter”, proposed through the FAIR Sharing initiative. A number of concerns were raised, including: national sovereignty and governance of Canadian research data, publisher control of the repository market, lack of consultation and transparency, diversity and equity, and Indigenous ownership of local knowledge.
Portage has been active in many conferences, presentations, and events including:
- CEG virtual meetup – Building a community of practice, May 28
- Portage Webinar – RDM and Metadata for Discovery: What’s in it for Researchers?, May 19
- Canadian Association of Research Administrators 2021 Conference, Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy: Institutional Strategies, May 10
- Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards (CAREB), 2021 Conference, ‘Research Data Management & Sensitive Data — What’s new and what’s coming…’, May 7
- Canadian Association of Graduate Studies Virtual Symposia, Research Data Management (RDM) – The Ins and Outs for Grad Students, Postdocs, and Early Career Researchers April 27
- International Data Curation Conference (IDCC), April 19
- Ecohydrology Research Group presentation, University of Waterloo, April 6
- Portage Webinar – Support Your Research with DMP Assistant 2.0!, March 30
- Curation Expert Group and the Data Curation Network virtual meet-up, March 26
- Portage Webinar – Support Your Research with Data Management Planning!, March 23
- RDAP Summit 2021 – Radical Change and Data, March 11
- Colloque GDR, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, March 4
- The Who, What, and Where of Persistent Identifiers: A six-part webinar series devoted to all things PID, by the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), CARL, Portage, and Research Data Canada (RDC), March 3 – May 12
- Portage Webinar – Certify Your Data Repository – Get the Support of a Cohort!, February 24
- CEG virtual meetup – Consent and research ethics for curators, February 19
- Presentation to NDRIO Researcher Council ‘Data Management & Transition to NDRIO’, February 16
- Portage Webinar – Introduction to FRDR Curation, February 10
- Portage Webinar – Introduction to FRDR, February 3
- Presentation to College Libraries Ontario, ‘Update on the Canadian RDM Landscape’, January 26
- CEG/PEG virtual meetup – Appraisal for curation, January 22
- MERIDIAN Winter Webinar Series: Management of underwater acoustics data – “Bringing Canadian Research Data Together: The FRDR Discovery Service”, January 20
- Portage Webinar – Schema.org for Research Data Managers, January 20
- ACENET: Data Organization & Analysis for Humanities and Social Sciences – “Data Cleaning with OpenRefine”, January 14
- Portage Webinar – Put Your Work Twenty Times Upon the Anvil: The Challenges of RDM Training, January 13
- Portage Webinar – Cent fois sur le métier remettez votre ouvrage : les défis de la formation en GDR, January 12
- College Libraries Ontario Interest Group – RDM Presentation, December 15
- INKE Engaging Open Social Scholarship – Lightning Talk: Canada’s Portage Network: The Foundational Role of Community Engagement in the Evolution of Research Data Management in Canada, December 10
We hope to see you at future events!