National cooperation gained recognition at IDCC

Edinburgh castle on a sunny day with several people on the yard. The castle is built on a cliff in central Edinburgh.iolle rakennettu linna Edinburghin keskustassa.

Greetings from Edinburgh! The 18th edition of the International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC) was organized between 19-21 February 2024 in Scotland. The Best Poster Award for Siiri Fuchs, Pinja Immonen and Päivi Rauste from CSC.

The 18th edition of the International Digital Curation Conference brought together people across disciplines around the world in order to exchange ideas and learn more about the best practices in terms of data curation and policy. The main theme of the 3-day conference was Trust through Transparency which showcased itself across different types of presentations and ways of working: workshops, lightning talks, keynotes and a poster exhibition. 

The atmosphere at IDCC was extremely welcoming and relaxed without neglecting the high professionalism of the event. We were lucky to hear many interesting presentations from the very best of the digital curation world. A recurring thought throughout the different talks and presentations was how important it is that we cooperate together despite the fast-developing technology and the role of machines. Thus, the key takeaway in our opinion was how crucial it is to focus on the quality of human interaction when developing and maintaining better software or tools for curating different types of data. 

We presented our poster, titled Challenges in Research Documentation: Enhancing Transparency and Reproducibility, at the conference. The posters were displayed in two different ways: in a traditional poster exhibition and a Minute Madness poster session in which we were required to give a 60-second pitch about our poster. Overall, 40 posters were displayed at IDCC and we ended up winning the Best Poster Award, which was selected via public vote among the conference participants! We received excellent feedback both on our poster and the work that has been done in Finland. 

During the poster exhibition, one of the most frequent question from the people who came to see our poster was: How are we able to lure the researchers to speak at our workshops and events? Based on our discussions, it seemed that one of the biggest challenges in other countries is to get researchers to voluntarily speak about their data description and management practices, thus leading to a situation where it is almost impossible to organise such events. Here in Finland, researchers have been more than happy to share their tips and experiences regarding data description! 

However, the biggest thought provoker among the conference participants was how it is possible for us to cooperate on a national level on a topic like this. The key to this is cooperation beyond disciplines and organisations as well as open and transparent dialogue. In addition, everyone is more than welcome to join in the effort of improving data documentation skills and creating guidance. All the created material is for everyone’s benefit. This creates a win-win situation for everyone that is involved. When it comes to the Data Support Network, you can read more about what it is and how it was established here.

IDCC 2024 tapahtuman parhaana palkittu CSC:n posteri. Aiheena ovat kansallinen yhteistyö, yhdessä järjestetyt työpajat sekä avoimesti saatavilla olevat ohjeet liittyen tutkimusdatan dokumentoinnin hyviin käytänteisiin.

CSC:n Siiri Fuchs, Pinja Immonen ja Päivi Rauste won the Best Poster Award in Edinburgh. Photo: CSC. 

What was our poster about?

The poster summarized what we have been doing in Finland over the last couple of years to raise awareness of the importance of documenting research data and research process, but also how we support researchers in this. The aim has been to collaborate on a national level, and here we made use of the CSC Data Support Network.

In 2022, CSC and University of Eastern Finland (UEF) organized two events where researchers shared their insights about their data documentation practices as well as what kind of support they would need. You can read more about the thoughts and key challenges identified by researchers here (in Finnish). 

In 2023, we continued working together nationally and CSC joined forces with UEF as well as University of Helsinki and University of Jyväskylä. First, we organized another event with the same concept, where researchers could share their own documentation practices and tell about their wishes for support and key challenges. After that we gathered data support specialists to a brainstorming event to find concrete ways of supporting researchers in their needs. You can read more about the workshop and its results here (also in Finnish). 

The brainstorming led to two ideas: 

  • To strengthen peer support and knowledge sharing among researchers, CSC developed a workshop concept that makes it easier for organizations or research communities to organize events where researchers can exchange information on their documentation practices. This facilitates knowledge sharing and strengthens peer support. The concept model has been published both in Finnish and English on Zenodo: How researchers describe their data - instructions for the workshop organizer. Special thanks for the University of Eastern Finland data support specialist for the feedback on the published guide. The circle also closes as UEF is the first one to pilot such an event for researchers.
  • Another thing that came out of the brainstorming event was a national working group tasked with developing a checklist of best practices in data documentation that both researchers and data support specialists could use in their day-to-day work. This work is ongoing and it is open for everyone. The group acts under FinnARMA Data training group and is led by Anna Salmi from University of Jyväskylä. 


In Finland, we can be happy and proud of the way we work together nationally. Cooperation enables us to promote issues widely, openly and for the benefit of all. This way of working also attracts interest in other countries and can serve as a good example for others.


Text: Päivi Rauste, Siiri Fuchs and Pinja Immonen (CSC) 

Main photo: Päivi Rauste (CSC)

Poster: CSC

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