UCLA Today asked Christine Borgman (Professor and Presidential Chair of Information Studies at UCLA) 10 questions about the new role of digital data for scholars, which is also the subject of her recent book, Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet.
Here are three of the questions:
Using digital tools, researchers can collaborate more easily and access data more quickly. But what are some trade-offs?
Collaboration has considerable overhead. Tools and services for conducting online meetings are not yet robust or easy to use. Similarly, data are not always easy to find or to interpret.
Can you protect your rights, but still post your papers on a Web site or e-repository?
You can. I recommend assessing a journal's copyright policy before submitting an article, modifying agreements where appropriate and using Creative Commons licenses whenever possible. The Creative Commons is a some-rights-reserved legal model. You can learn more about these methods through the UCLA Library.
Is preservation of data a problem?
A massive problem, especially as the "data deluge" accelerates. Information scientists are partnering with other scholars to build up data preservation expertise in specific disciplines.