IDCC13 Preview: Patricia Cruse

11 December, 2012

The 8th International Digital Curation Conference is just around the corner and we are anticipating great discussions about data science when our international audience gather in Amsterdam in January 2013.

In the fifth of our series of preview posts, Patricia Cruse from the California Digital Library, gives us her insights into some of the current issues... 

Your presentation will focus on services that support data intensive research.  Are there any specific messages would you like people to take away from your talk?

One of the most exciting aspects of data intensive research is that it can mean different things to different communities and no single solution is going to satisfy the diverse needs of all. However, it is possible to identify commonalities across a range of disciplines and then work on several fronts to make complex problems smaller. With this approach we can deliver a range of services that can be used and exploited by a diverse range of stakeholders. 

We address three areas in our call this year - Infrastructure, Intelligence and Innovation. What do you see as the most pressing challenges across these?

I would say that infrastructure is one of the most challenging aspects of data intensive research. It is very resource heavy since it is expensive to build, maintain, deploy, and refresh and is often difficult to secure external funding for infrastructure. Our challenge then becomes how to develop new infrastructure that is simple and discreet and therefore less resource intensive – perhaps that requires innovation and intelligence – a bit of a chicken and egg problem. 

And in terms of opportunities, do you see potential in data science as a new discipline?

Absolutely. I think that we are seeing data intensive research reinvigorating many existing disciplines such as library and information studies, informatics, and many subject based disciplines. All of these communities are increasingly dependent on data scientists, which are pushing the demand for data science as a discipline.  

The conference theme recognises that the term ‘data’ can be applied to all manner of content. Do you also apply such a broad definition or are you less convinced that all data are equal?

All data are not created equal, but at a certain level can be managed equally. The challenge happens when different communities want to do different things with disparate data. 

You’ll undoubtedly have looked at the programme in preparation for IDCC. Which speakers / sessions are you most looking forward to?

There is definitely a wealth of topics and speakers to choose from at this year’s IDCC. I personally will try and listen in on sessions that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to see in California – speakers from DCC, ANDS, etc. 

Patricia's presentation entitled Building Services, Building Communities, Supporting Data Intensive Research is on Day 1 of the conference, 15 January. Programme is available.

If you have not already done so, you can still book your place

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