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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

eResearchNZ2013 Day 1 Wrap-up #nzes

Selected notes from the audience inspired by today's sessions:
  • Synergies between sectors, between Australia/New Zealand. Ability to move to researcher-centric rather than infrastructure-centric.
  • No connections apparent to government systems which are needed by digital humanities.
  • From experience researchers need lots of help. Australian ideal seems to be it's all there and easy-to-use on desktop. Nice ideal but how practical?
  • Data management and data curation are still "dragons in a swamp. We know there's dragons there, don't know what they look like, but we're planning to kill them anyway."
  • Need data management policy and a national solution. And if going to invest all this money in research don't want to delete all the data so need to work on preservation too.
  • Good to see REANNZ looking at service level and tools. Lots to learn from Australia about where we need to put our efforts.
  • There is a policy direction from government around access and reuse of data. Challenge is around how to most effectively implement this. Especially re publically funded research (cf commercially sensitive) there's an expectation that there'd be access to the results and, where possible, the data. But still work to do.
  • Users who don't get help can get something out of the system; but users to do get help can do a whole lot more. Hence software carpentry sessions. [Cf this blog post about software carpentry I coincidentally read today.]
  • Peer instruction becomes very important - need someone who's doing similar things to come in and teacher researchers and students.
  • Can embed slides, photos, etc into 'abstract' pages linked from the conference programme.
  • Many tools and skills great to instill in people but don't always fit with packages - eg version control doesn't really work with MATLAB. :-(
  • Therefore "the less software researchers write, the better". There's a limit to how much we can afford to maintain.
  • Benefit to software carpentry is so people can collaborate on software rather than write your own. The best software is what lots of people work on.