Published: Sept. 29, 2017

Skiff boat on a river parked along a shore with woman standing on sandIn this talk, Strawhacker discusses her work with social scientists and Indigenous communities in the Arctic to build digital tools to ensure data and information are ethnically shared and managed for the future. As a result of the ‘open data’ movement, an increased focus on how data should be attributed and cited has become increasingly important. As data becomes reused in analyses not performed by the initial data creator, efforts have turned to crediting the data creator, such as data citation and metrics of reuse to ensure appropriate attribution to the original data author. The increased focused on metrics and citation, however, need to be carefully considered when it comes to social science data, local observations, and Indigenous Knowledge held by Indigenous communities. These diverse and sometimes sensitive data/information/knowledge sets often require deep nuance, thought, and compromise within the ‘open data’ framework, in order to consider issues of the confidentiality of research subject and the ownership of data and information, often in a colonial context. These cases include atlases of placenames held by elders in small Arctic communities, as well as databases of local observations of wildlife and sea ice in Alaska that are essential for sharing knowledge across multiple villages. These examples suggest that a more nuanced approach to understanding how data should be accredited would be useful when working with social science data and Indigenous Knowledge. Strawhacker will discuss conversations with communities in the Arctic, as well as her archaeological experience to build capacity for the social sciences in this region.

Dr. Colleen Strawhacker
Research Scientist
National Snow and Ice Data Center

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