More than Interoperability and Durability

  • Time & Location: October 29, 2012 @ Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan 
  • Scientific Domain:  Social Science (sessions:  HL1.1, B5 and C5)
  • Report prepared by:  Joseph Chen and Andrea Huang

This COATA 2012 daily report summarizes three sessions of social science topics which included one high level discussion on the specific topic related to best practices and future directions in data sharing; two sessions on open knowledge environments. In the report below we provide a general summary of each discussion and recommendations on how to implement data sharing, and on some experiences which we have learned from different projects to build up a picture of Open Knowledge Environments (OKE). We also include links to detailed abstracts or slides that have been provided by individual talk authors.

Similar experiences among different regions, gap between products and governments / disciplines all spotlighted the data sharing challenges in modern times.  Other than interoperability and durability, unavoidably we have to take law and technical realities into consideration when launching a project. The cyber infrastructure paves way for solid data repositories, yet it also makes data security a pressing issue.  Though regulations like Taiwan’s Personal Information Protection Act is not uncommon worldwide, we need more specific research data policies and laws.  Besides, addressing sector specific needs / user-friendly Interface is always the basic demand in data collecting and sharing.  Trust is an issue.  Increase trust between different disciplines can encourage data sharing.  When we reach that milestone, the long term goal of interoperability among different data bases or different software becomes a simpler technical problem.

In the Open Knowledge Environment (OKE) discussions, speakers provided an overview of OKE concept, a new way of thinking about knowledge creation, management, dissemination, and use with Open Access (OA) and data sharing models.  The vision is that the application of OKE ideas and the implementation of OKE services can foster efforts to enable global access to information, facilitate interdisciplinary work, and support young and independent researchers, as well as citizen science. Four knowledge-based activities that OKE supports were discussed: interactive, participatory knowledge production; knowledge distribution and sharing; open collaboration and use; and storage, curation, and preservation.  These OKE technical requirements and conformance metrics are described and illustrated using existing, operational, digital library and document portal systems.

In the later C5 discussion, we realized that hardly can we make an OKE without the mutual efforts from locally and globally.  The Caribbean Academy of Sciences, GeoBrain, LinChao Geomuseum, and three projects in Taiwan (EzGo, PeoPo, OpenFoundry) all confirmed it.  Constituting inter-academy panels and integrating earth science and people in the knowledge production process are both consensus of open participation.  However, the quality of web service will decide the ultimate knowledge dissemination effects.  Shorten the digital divide is an inevitable challenge. And can regional researches made by external researchers’ contributions deem as “By A Community For The Community” is another challenge.  In the “data quality” discussion, the question is “would external / imported data better”?  If so, how to improve local data quality?  Besides, some countries are pure data contributors, if we take the sociology approach, would those countries become victims of the Dependency Theory model in the future?

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此 CODATA 2012 摘要日報主要記錄此次會議的三個主要分屬於社會科學相關的會議議題,其中包括高階議題: 資料分享的實行與未來的展望,以及二個與開放式知識環境(OKE)的相關討論。另外我們也在內文中提供相關的個別演講的作者摘要、或由作者提供的演講投影片等資訊之連結。

在資料分享討論中,不同區域的相似實證經驗或是產品與政府政策間的差異在在顯示當下資料共享面臨的挑戰;在相容性、耐久性的期待之外,科法現狀亦是發表新產品時必要的考量。資訊基礎建設使得資料庫更臻完善,但也點出保護資料安全的急迫性。雖然世界各國多有類似個人資料保護法之立法例,我們仍需要更明確的研究資料政策和規範。此外,無論是在資料收集或資料共享的階段,客製化/友善使用介面都一直是基本要求;信任也是重要議題,增進不同學科間的信任將能促進資料分享。當我們達到此境界,不同資料庫或不同軟體間的可相互操作性將變成單純的技術問題了。

而關於開放式知識環境(OKE),第一篇論文探討開放式知識環境的概念。講者強調所謂資料開放並非單純將資料公布於網路,而是從知識的生產、創造、管理與傳播的整體過程,透過開放取得以及資料共享等模式,作一番新的觀點理解與思考。講者期盼開放式知識環境可在實際應用與服務的層面上讓資訊流通於全世界,促進跨領域工作交流,使學院、獨立研究單位以及民眾科學皆能共享其利。 第二篇論文探討開放知識環境所涉及的四類相關活動,包含互動參與式的知識生產、知識傳播與分享、開放式協作與使用,以及資料的存檔、資料保護與資料保存。例如PKP和 Islandora等目前既有的數位圖書館和文件入口系統模式可看出此四類活動之技術需求和統一性。

接續著前一場次的熱烈討論,我們瞭解到OKE的成敗取決於內部和外部的共同努力。無論是在加勒比海科學院(CAS)的計畫、地腦(GeoBrain)、林超地理博物館或和台灣的(EzGo, PeoPo, OpenFoundry) 相關計畫中都能佐證;設立如IAP的跨院小組或是整合地球科學和人文等等都是在開放參與下的資訊創造過程共識,然而資訊傳播的效果繫於網路服務的良窳,縮短數位落差乃吾人責無旁貸之挑戰;在另一方面,外來研究者所成就之區域研究是否可廣泛歸納為社群所創社群所用等議題亦值得關注;最後,在資料品質的討論上,爭點在於外來的或輸入的資料品質會比較好嗎?若如是,又該如何提升在地資料的品質?此外,若我們採社會學研究途徑,淪為資料純貢獻者的國家,未來是否也將成為依賴理論的犧牲者呢?