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SciDataCon 2016: Advancing the Frontiers of Data in Research

SciDataCon 2016 was held on 12–13 September 2016 in Denver, Colorado as part of International Data Week (IDW) 2016. This scientific research conference advanced the frontiers of data in research by addressing a range of fundamental and urgent issues around the ‘Data Revolution’ and the recent data-driven transformation of research; exploring the responses to these issues in the conduct of research.

SciDataCon 2016 - Opening & Day 1

SciDataCon 2016

Title: Advancing the Frontiers of Data in Research
When: 12–13 September 2016
Where: Sheraton Downtown Hotel, Denver, Colorado, USA                  

SciDataCon 2016 and International Data Week

SciDataCon 2016 was part of International Data Week 2016, a major event that brought together all stakeholders who care about the role of data in research—researchers, data scientists, data stewards, data librarians, as well as industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and policy makers—to explore how best to exploit the Data Revolution to improve our knowledge and benefit society through data-driven innovation.

Conference ThemeWelcome to SciDataCon 2016!

SciDataCon 2016 explicitly aimed at Advancing the Frontiers of Data in [all areas of] Research. The unprecedented explosion in the capacity to acquire, store, and manipulate data and information—as well as to communicate them globally—is world-changing and is causing a major transformation in way knowledge is created. This so-called ‘Data Revolution’ has led to an increase in data-intensive research and theorizing around Big Data; offering new opportunities to identify patterns and processes in previously unresolvable phenomena whilst simultaneously questioning the fundamental processes by which scientific evidence (data) is managed and scrutinized. New modes of collaboration and coordinated action are thus required to sustain observational and monitoring capacities and to maximize scientific and societal benefits.

How to understand and address such frontier issues of data science was at the core of SciDataCon 2016. Not only is the relationship between the Data Revolution and both broader societal developments and data-driven innovation important to study, but also its transformative effects need to be Poster receptionexamined from the perspective of each and every research field. These concerns form a multifaceted challenge that cannot be confronted without the expertise of those in all disciplines and roles in the research enterprise being brought together to form a genuinely global response. SciDataCon 2016 was the international platform to tackle these issues directly and drive forward the solutions.

Scientific Programme

The full Scientific Programme, including links to all submitted papers, can be accessed here: Conference Programme

SciDataCon 2016 featured scientific papers from a wide range of perspectives, with the scope kept explicitly broad and inclusive such that it covered all aspects of the role of data in research. The principal topics  of SciDataCon 2016 are listed below, these topics were seen as indicative and overlapped in places: suggesting the extent of the conference, but not constituting fixed ‘Strands’.
Panel discussion at SciDataCon 2016

  • Research and Data: Addressing major research questions from the perspective of data issues.
  • Data Science and Data Analysis: Addressing the frontier scientific, technical and epistemological challenges associated with data in research.
  • Data Stewardship: Addressing issues to advance sustainable, long-term data stewardship.
  • Policy and Practice of Data in Research: Addressing research into data policies and practice, and the role of data in scholarly communications.
  • Education and Data: Addressing research into educational and training responses to the Data Revolution.
  • Data, Society, Ethics and Politics: Addressing research into the broader dimensions of data and data driven research in relation to society.


The following prominent scientists opened and closed SciDataCon 2016 with keynote speeches (see here and here for more information).

Dr Faustman at SciDataCon 2016Elaine M. Faustman: A Professor at the School of Public Health, University of Washington, Dr Faustman directs the Institute of Risk Analysis and Risk Communication and the Center for Children’s Health Research, is Secretary General of the International Union of Toxicology, and is a member of the WDS-SC. For over two decades, Dr Faustman has been involved in and has directed Stakeholder forums and Community Based Participatory Research for the US Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, and National Institutes of Health. Her research expertise is on integrative scientific approaches, including identifying molecular mechanisms of developmental, reproductive, and neuro toxicants; characterizing in vitro techniques for toxicology assessment; and developing biological and exposure-based dose-response models.

Dr Cox at SciDataCon 2016 Simon Cox: A specialist in environmental informatics, Dr Cox is based within the Land and Water 'research flagship' of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. After obtaining a PhD in Geophysics from Columbia University, he identified patterns in information structures common across multiple applications or domains, and thus amenable to general solutions that can be standardized at a cross-domain level. He has engaged in various international standardization efforts, primarily in geospatial and web communities, and has adapted a consistent conceptual view to successive technology frameworks. Dr Cox's present focus is on aligning geospatial information standards with semantic web technologies and linked open data principles; in particular, governance arrangements and vocabulary publication and management.

Prof Borgman at SciDataCon 2016Christine L. Borgman: A distinguished Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies at University of California, Los Angeles. Prof Borgman is the author of over 250 publications in information studies, computer science, and communication; include the award-winning books Big Data, Little Data, No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World (2015), Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet (2007), and From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure: Access to Information in a Networked World (2000). Among her many positions, Prof Borgman is Chair of the Committee to Visit the Harvard Library, a member of the Library of Congress Scholars Council, and on the Board of Directors of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

SciDataCon 2016 - Day 2