Yes, My Hiatus is “Kind of” Over…

iStock_000011772508XSmallI’m still working on my dissertation. Yes, I still have to defend my dissertation.

It’s hard for me to detach and stay completely offline. My posts may or may not be regular between now and the end of the spring semester 2014.

Wish me luck (completing my dissertation, not staying offline)!

Doctoral Candidate….

PHD Comics: Your Thesis CommitteeI am not sure if I should announce this myself, but as of Monday, January 28th, around noon, I passed my Dissertation Proposal Defense. The title of my dissertation proposal is “Machine-level Policy Implementation by Data Managers and Data Scientists, and the Impact on Digital Stewardship: a Mixed-Methods Content Analysis.”

Yes, I have a new title now. I am a “Doctoral Candidate”!


I should have about a year left, now. My program “front-loads” the work.

Short Hiatus…

I will be taking a short hiatus from writing in this blog while I work on my literature reviews in preparation for my Comprehensive Exams later this year.

While I may still post occasionally, I will not be posting my usual two or more times a week.

I hope you have a wonderful summer.

Save the Data

Welcome to my own version of NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard-ism).

Yes, I know the US federal budget needs to be cut, but not my programs.

Seriously. :)

The Sunlight Foundation writes:

Some of the most important technology programs that keep Washington accountable are in danger of being eliminated.,, the IT Dashboard and other federal data transparency and government accountability programs are facing a massive budget cut, despite only being a tiny fraction of the national budget. Help save the data and make sure that Congress doesn’t leave the American people in the dark.

The video below provides a brief overview of some of the benefits the open data movement has provided.

If this issue is of concern to you, please sign a petition, write your Congressional Representative or Senator, write a letter to the editor, of just spread the word online via resources such as Twitter or Facebook.


A Moment to Remember the Victims of Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami on 11 March 2011

The Great Wave at Kanagawa by Hokusai

The Great Wave at Kanagawa” by Hokusai.

I’d like to take a moment to remember the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan on 11 March 2011.


If you would like to help the victims of this disaster, or find out more about it, Google has created this page of resources related to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. You can see more of Hokusai’s prints at Artsy.

Starbuck’s Adds the 31 oz “Trenta” to the Menu

How big is a 31 oz cold coffee beverage? How can you display the new beverage size so that a layperson like me can understand exactly how oversized the new beverage is?

Starbucks recently announced that they will add a larger size to their menu of beverages — the “Trenta“. As I stated above, the new cold beverage size is 31 oz.

The National Post created this graphic that shows exactly how large 31 oz is. In the metric system, 31 oz equals 916 ml. The average human stomach holds a mere 900 ml. In other words, if you drink one of these beverages, you probably won’t need a meal for a while. Thankfully (depending on your point-of-view), the new size will only be available for cold beverages.

Graphic: How big, exactly, is Starbucks’ new ‘Trenta’ size?

All I can say is, hot or cold, the last thing I want is someone near me to have consumed 31 oz of any caffeinated beverage!

Would you drink 31 oz of a caffeinated beverage at one sitting on a normal day?

[Blog post idea via Anderson Cooper’s “The Ridiculist“, video dated 18 January 2011. The thumbnail at the upper left of this post is courtesy the National Post.]

Digital Preservation Education for NC State Government Employees

This past week, the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources released guidelines for state employees responsible for preservation of the state’s public record. I have included the press release below. Whether or not you are an employee of the State of North Carolina, if you are interested in learning about digital preservation, I encourage you to spend some time exploring the site.

The digital information of today is our heritage of tomorrow.” –Governor Bev Perdue

The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources’ State Library and State Archives (Cultural Resources) are proud to announce a new website to guide local and state government employees responsible for the preservation of our state’s public record. The site,, has resources that can help North Carolina government employees – and those responsible for digital information in general – learn how to ensure that today’s digital information is saved so that it can become tomorrow’s heritage.
Continue reading “Digital Preservation Education for NC State Government Employees”

Oxford Launches Research Data Management Website

The following announcement was posted to the Research Data Management listserv on 14 November 2010 via S. Hodson. I thought it might be on interest to some of you.

The University of Oxford has recently launched a new Research Data Management Website:

The development of this resource was ‘a close collaboration between Research Services, Computing Services and the Bodleian Library and is an important deliverable from the EIDCSR project ( and

From the University of Oxford’s internal announcement:


A new website designed to support researchers with their research data management activities is now available at This has been developed by Research Services in collaboration with OUCS.

The website includes information about

· research funder requirements in the area of research data management

· services available within the University to assist researchers in this area

· guidance on how to produce a data management plan as part of a funding application

· further sources of advice and online guidance, updates and news, and tools and training available to help.

Previously, web-based information about research data management was available from a number of sites across the University but it was felt that a single source of `signposting’ information would be a valuable resource for researchers from all subject disciplines at differing stages of the research cycle, increasing understanding of the benefits of improved research data management, as well as communicating the range of services available.

The website is one of the project outputs from the JISC-funded ‘Embedding Institutional Data Curation Services in Research’ (EIDCSR) project, which aims to scope the requirements to manage and curate research data generated by Oxford researchers. The intention is that information available from the site will increase as policy and services in this area develop.

We would welcome your feedback and any help you can offer in publicising this site further (eg.linking to this from existing University websites). Please do get in touch by contacting either Kathryn Dally ( ) or Sian Dodd ( in Research Services.

Programme Website:
JISCMRD Netvibes:
Community Discussion List:
Twitter, Skype: simonhodson99
Programme Tag: #jiscmrd
Programme Manager – Managing Research Data
JISC Executive
Brettenham House (South Entrance)
5 Lancaster Place
London WC2E 7EN

M1: +44 (0) 7545 524 009
T: +44 (0) 203 006 6071

ICPSR also recently released guidelines for effective data management plans.

Please Vote!

This is just a friendly reminder to please vote today. Whatever your party affiliation, if you are a U.S. Citizen, please take the time to vote today. I believe it is our civic duty to vote. If you need help deciding on the issues, Mashable has links to 17 Web Resources to Help You Decide on Election Day.

If you want to know why you should vote, read up on how many people had to fight to get the right to vote for all citizens of the United States — whether it was propertyless white males in the 18th and 19th centuries, or women and African-Americans during the 19th and 20th centuries.

“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.” — George Jean Nathan

(Of course, one may also reverse that argument somewhat — that good citizens who do vote elect bad officials!)

Still not motivated? I’ve included a School House Rock Rock the Vote video below to get you out.

Now, after that, how can you not vote today? I bet you’ll be singing that song all day now.

ICPSR Releases “Guidelines for Effective Data Management Plans”

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) has released their Guidelines for Effective Data Management Plans.

On the web site ICPSR writes this about these guidelines:

Many federal funding agencies, including NIH and most recently NSF, are requiring that grant applications contain data management plans for projects involving data collection. To support researchers in meeting this requirement, ICPSR is providing guidance on creating such plans.

The guidelines include:

  • A List of Federal Agency Policies on Data Management and Sharing
  • Elements of a Data Management Plan
  • Data Management Plan Resources and Examples
  • Other Data Management Plan Examples
  • Depositing Data with ICPSR for Long-term Data Management
  • List of Links Related to Data Management and Data Sharing
  • A Guide to Preparing Data

The guidelines contain a lot of really great information on how to effectively manage data; the information in the ICPSR guidelines is not just relevant to Social Science data managers, but to all data managers.