DIRISA Attendance at the International Data Week 2018 held in Botswana

The International Data Week 2018 (IDW 2018) was held on 5-8 November 2018 in Gaborone, Botswana. IDW was hosted by the Botswana Open Science and Open Data Forum and was co-organized by the ISC World Data System (WDS), the ISC Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA), the Research Data Alliance (RDA), University of Botswana (UoB) and the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), IDW 2018.  This event combined the 12th RDA Plenary Meeting, the bi-annual meeting of the research data community, and SciDataCon 2018.  The theme of IDW 2018 was ‘The Digital Frontiers of Global Science’ and drew in access of 800 delegates from more than 60 countries. 

The conference had an array of pre-conference activities:

Monday – Saturday, 29 October – 3 November 2018

Tuesday – Wednesday, 30-31 October 2018

Thursday-Friday, 1-2 November 2018

Friday, 2 November 2018

Saturday – Sunday, 3-4 November 2018

IDW 2018 5-8 November 2018

His  Honourable Minister Mr Ngaka Ngaka, Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology gave the welcoming address and attendees were inspired by the keynote address and official opening of His Excellency Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana. 

The four day program of the IDW 2018 provided an opportunity for researchers, funders, policy makers and academia alike to engage on a variety of research data related teams in a gross disciplinary platform.  The IDW 2018 was a culmination of the 12th RDA Plenary Meeting (http://www.internationaldataweek.org/rda-12th-plenary-programme), the bi-annual meeting of the research data community, and SciDataCon 2018 (https://www.scidatacon.org/IDW2018/programme/).  

The DIRISA team provided a South African perspectives over the course of the IDW conference. 

Sthembiso Mkwanazi represented DIRISA at the 3rd International Conference on the Internet, Cyber Security and Information System (ICICIS) from the 1st to 2nd November 2018 at University of Botswana Conference Centre, Gaborone. The conference was officially opened by University of Botswana Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris. The attendees were representing government and private institutions from South Africa, USA, Botswana, Ethiopia, etc.  The discussions during this 2 day conference were around cyber security issues and experiences from the international community. The roles played by data, networks and high performance computing in the context of cyber security were discussed. DIRISA was represented in a form of a presentation where an overview on what DIRISA is about was presented in one of the parallel sessions. This presentation included amongst others the organisation of NICIS; the role of DIRISA; DIRISA external (Tier 2 Nodes) and internal projects i.e. infrastructure stack.

A paper was presented on Measuring the impact of Data Citation by Nobubele Shozi. The aim of the paper was to conduct a survey to determine the impact metrics of data citation and how these metrics are used and measured. The work was done as part of the Data Citation Standards and Practices Task Group is a group that is supported by The Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) and International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI). The mission of the Data Citation Task Group is to influence research policy to make data citation protocols a common practice within research. In the presentation, the results of the South African survey was shared with the audience.

Dr Anwar Vahed presented a paper entitled “A federated national open science cloud platform” during a session for delivering a global open science commons which had other countries present their data initiatives. The presentation highlighted the importance of data, the purpose of DIRISA and the work/projects that DIRISA is currently doing and plan to do. After the presentation discussions were held by each country to establish how they have built their initiatives and what lessons can other countries learn from this.

The SciDataCon session on Citizen Science Data focused on the Collection to Curation to Management of Citizen Science DataNicolene Fourie presented a paper on the use of mapathons (citizen science and crowdsourcing approaches) within OSM and hackathons to support the development of South Africa “blue economy”.  The project investigated the use of mapathons and hackathon to address the gap in geographic information sources in the coastal areas and to see to what extent such information sources could support the development of localized, custom build ICT applications.  The presentation provided an overview of the project and discussed the methodology used to develop a quality matrix to improve the quality and reuse of the mapathon data.  In addition, insights into the preliminary results of the project and the ICT applications were provided. 

Mbuyiselo Ndlovu presented a poster entitled “Integration of Digital Object Identifier with Data Upload Services”.  Data Intensive Research in South Africa (DIRISA) is working towards providing a scalable storage facility for research data. The purpose of the poster was to share the work being done by DIRISA toward implementing a Data Upload Service in a form of a web application to address storage and access issues amongst research communities in South Africa. The integration of the data upload service with a global unique identification system was discussed in the poster.