SciDataCon 2016

Advancing the Frontiers of Data in Research

As part of International Data Week to be held on September 11-17, 2016 in Denver, Colorado, USA, SciDataCon 2016 will seek to advance the frontiers of data in research.

This means addressing a range of fundamental and urgent issues around the ‘Data Revolution’ and the recent data-driven transformation of research and the responses to these issues in the conduct of research.

Research and the Data Revolution

The unprecedented explosion in the capacity to acquire, store and manipulate data and information and to communicate them globally, is a world historical event involving a revolution in knowledge creation far more profound and pervasive than that associated with Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press. This transformation has led to more data intensive research and to theorizing around ‘Big Data’. The data revolution offers new opportunities to identify patterns and processes in phenomena that have hitherto been beyond our capacity to resolve. It presents a simultaneous challenge to transform fundamental processes by which scientific evidence—the data on which new discoveries are based—is managed and scrutinised. New modes of collaboration and coordinated action are required to sustain observational and monitoring capacities and maximize scientific and societal benefit.

These developments in data-intensive science also challenge deep-seated scientific norms have created major new opportunities for research:

  • to identify patterns and processes in phenomena that have hitherto been beyond our capacity to resolve;
  • to integrate data reflecting a wide variety of coupled processes to obtain much deeper understanding of relationships than has hitherto been possible;
  • to improve forecasts of system behaviour by integrating data acquisition and modeling;
  • to make cognate datasets and data-integration tools readily available and useable by individual researchers from the rapidly growing number of open databases, while ensuring the quality and reliability of the available data;
  • to permit re-use, re-combination and re-purposing of data in ways that make data of perennial, cumulative value, rather than being lost from generation to generation;
  • to exploit the opportunities created by communicating, automated sensors - the ‘internet of things’ - in exploring complex phenomena and unraveling complexity.

The challenge of how to address and realize these frontier issues of ‘data science’ is the core subject of the conference.

Advancing the Frontiers of Data in Research

SciDataCon explicitly seeks to advance the frontiers of data in all areas of research. The conference is motivated by the conviction that the most significant contemporary research challenges—and in particular those reaching across traditional disciplines—cannot be properly addressed without paying attention to issues relating to data. These issues include policy frameworks, data quality and interoperability, long-term stewardship of data, and the research skills, technologies, and infrastructures required by increasingly data-intensive research. They also include frontier challenges for data science: for example, fundamental research questions relating to data integration, analysis of complex systems and models, epistemology and ethics in relation to Big Data, and so on. The transformative effect of the data revolution needs to be examined from the perspective of all fields of research and its relationship to broader societal developments and to data-driven innovation scrutinised. Taken together these issues form a multi-faceted challenge which cannot be tackled without expertise drawn from many disciplines and diverse roles in the research enterprise. Furthermore, the transformations around data in research are essentially international and the response must be genuinely global. SciDataCon is the international conference for research into these issues.

The conference will also:

  • advance discussions of the international policy agenda for Open Data and Open Science; and,
  • provide a forum that brings together the researchers who create and use data with the other professional communities involved in data science, those concerned with long-term data stewardship and with data and science policy.

Further Information

More details (registration, session types, submission procedure, themes and scope)

Information about International Data Week