Because good research needs good data

IDCC10 - initial impressions

Kevin Ashley | 15 December 2010

It's now nearly a week since our sixth conference in Chicago finished, and my initial impressions are that it was a great success. With over 270 people registered for the conference itself, and many others attending the events scheduled around it, we had the largest attendance yet for IDCC. But success isn't just measured by numbers; we also had some excellent keynote speakers, a diverse set of papers and a real feeling of engagement shown in the questions being asked and in the conversations taking place outside the sessions.

The conference brought together lots of people from different institutions and professions who hadn't previously had the opportunity to meet in person. I got the impression that many of those meetings are going to lead to things happening - new projects, new collaborations, re-use of tools and ideas - which is a an ideal outcome from our perspective. Attendees at IDCC aren't simply passive consumers or providers of information, they are people who want make things happen.

We'll know more about what went well and not so well when we've analysed the conference feedback forms (please complete yours if you haven't done so already) and we'll report on our findings here. We know some things weren't ideal - many people were unhappy with wireless connectivity on the first day, and despite the hotel responding rapidly with 5 additional access points there were still some problems. But overall things ran smoothly and I'm grateful to my DCC colleagues and our partners at UIUC for all their efforts in making it a success.

As well as the main conference and its workshops there were a number of other associated events, primarily invitation only, taking place on the fringes. DataONE held a two-day workshop to review their preservation strategy and the iDEAworking group held a short meeting prior to a 1-day workshop on digital curation research (#dcrs10) organised by UIUC.

I'm not going to pick out particular presentations in this post for further comment, although I hope to provide some more reflection on some of them in the coming days. In the meantime, whether you attended IDCC10 or not, you may like to follow up on some of the other resources emerging from the conference. The netvibes page contains links to session summaries, the tweetstream, video interviews and recordings of the keynote presentations and questions; there's a twapperkeeper archive of conference tweets; and I'm aware of at least two blogposts by attendees Dorothea Salo and Eric Lease Morgan. (Actually, Dorothea produced at least 5 blog posts during the conference; that link is to the last of them.) Thanks to them both, and to our speakers, sponsors, and all attendees for making the event so worthwhile.