Workshop May 2007

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Digital data preservation, sharing, and discovery:
Challenges for Small Science Communities in the Digital Era

A workshop sponsored by NESCent and the UNC <Metadata Research Center>

Location and Date

Venue: National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) (directions, also see information for visitors)

Date: May 16-17, 2007

Organizers: Jane Greenberg, Hilmar Lapp and Todd Vision


Evolutionary biology is at the intersection of a number of disciplines that have taken proactive approaches to data preservation and sharing, but there is no registry or repository that can serve as the home for published data in the discipline as a whole. This workshop is intended to help identify the way forward for long-term preservation and sharing for the datasets that underly published works in evolutionary biology. Invited participants include experts from the information science community and representatives from leading evolutionary biology journals. The outcomes of this workshop will be used to guide the future of NESCent's digital data initatiative (DRIADE).

The workshop is structured along four central themes. Each theme is addressed by a break-out group. The break-out groups will be run concurrently, but the whole session of all four break-out groups will be repeated once, giving each participant the ability to participate in two groups. A fifth "theme" looking at emerging technologies to be included in future plans follows at the end.

Theme 1: Adoption and sustainability 
How can a repository achieve long-term financial sustainability? What must be done to promote adoption by scientists?
Theme 2: Intellectual property 
How to balance intellectual property concerns with the goals of data sharing?
Theme 3: Distribution and replication 
What are the possibilities and liabilities of distributed data management and how can a repository interface with specialized repositories?
Theme 4: Lifecycle management 
What are the challenges and issues related to a heterogeneous and changing landscape of data formats and technologies?
Theme 5: Looking toward "Phase III" 
How might emerging technologies (e.g. semantic web/Web 2.0) impact the future of digital data sharing in small science disciplines?


May 16

  • 9:00 Introduction and Objectives
    • Welcome
    • Introduction to DRIADE
    • 1-2 minute introductions for each participant
    • Chalk-talks on key topics
    • Objectives for workshop
  • 11:00 break
  • 11:15 Four concurrent breakouts
  • 12:15 Lunch
  • 1:30 Four concurrent breakouts - continuation of groups from morning
  • 3:30 Break
  • 3:50 10 minute group summaries with 10-20 minute discussion

identify issues to address the second day

May 17


  • For long-distance participants, the hotel is the Millenium Hotel (2800 Campus Walk Ave, Durham, NC 27705; tel. (919) 383-8575)
  • For dining & entertainment, NESCent is right across from Ninth Street
  • For the venue, NESCent is in the historic Erwin Mills building (directions)



Members of the DRIADE team are in bold font.

Name Institution
Bradley Anholt University of Victoria
Ahrash Bissell Duke University
Amy Bouck University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Leesa Brieger Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI)
Sarah Carrier University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Jed Dube University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lori Eakin University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Jane Greenberg University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Harold Heatwole North Carolina State University
Brad Hemminger University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Paul Jones University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Joel Kingsolver University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Hilmar Lapp NESCent
Karen Letarte North Carolina State University
John Madden Duke University
Kristin Martin University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Steve Morris North Carolina State University
Michael Nelson Old Dominion University
Bob Peet University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Mark Rausher Duke University
Oya Rieger Cornell University
Dav Robertson National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
David Romito University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ryan Scherle Indiana University
Kathleen Smith Duke University
Gail Steinhard Cornell University
Helen Tibbo University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Larry Tindell (Currently unaffiliated)
Marcy Uyenoyama Duke University
Todd Vision University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Stuart Weibel Online Computer Library Center (OCLC)
Derek Wildman Wayne State University