DiSSCo’s first “micro-changes” workshop

20 July 2021


More than 40 participants attended DiSSCo’s 1st “micro-changes” online workshop last July 8. The workshop was the first in a series of meetings in which DiSSCo partners will discuss the necessary technical and organizational steps to ensure that all institutions achieve a sufficient level of technical alignment and interoperability with DiSSCo services.

This short piece will summarily walk you through the main topics discussed during the workshop while highlighting some important concepts that are crucial for the entire process of digital transformation that DiSSCo envisages for all its partner institutions.

Embracing the (digital) future

First among those steps, understanding DiSSCo partners’ current state of affairs regarding digital maturity was deemed particularly essential by our technical team, hence we spent the first minutes of the workshop mapping some general issues concerning digitization of collections at the different institutions. Some of the questions that the participants.

What is a micro-change?

We see this concept as a small -and relatively effortless- technical or operational change that leads to a significant outcome. An image is worth a thousand words, so here come a few examples of micro-changes that were thoroughly discussed during the workshop:

  • If the institutions does not have one already, getting a ROR for the institutions and checking that the metadata is correct.
  • Harmonising institutions and collections identifiers in GBIF and starting to use the ROR as the ID of the institution in GBIF
  • Identifying datasets already in GBIF by checking a prepared list with GBIF organization keys.

A key role in all this: Institutional Moderators

DiSSCo is planning to set up an Enablement Team (E-Team) including representatives from all partners, small and big. The goal is to create a community to embark together upon a digital transformation in DiSSCo institutions, whose changes will facilitate operation of DiSSCo e-Services and ensure that a minimum level of interoperability with DiSSCo is achieved.

Along with the representatives of the E-Team, the role of the Institutional Moderators is key here, insofar as they will act as liaison between DiSSCo institutions, DiSSCo’s Coordination and Support Officer and DiSSCo National Nodes (NN) at the technical and operational level.

During the workshop, DiSSCo technical team presented a summary of other responsibilities that will lie on the institutional moderators’ hands:

  • Maintenance of the institutional profile metadata (facilities, collection descriptions, etc.).
  • Assignment of access levels for persons affiliated with the institution in the services such as access coordinators or hosts for visits (if applicable).
  • Coordination of institutional responses to DiSSCo surveys about user needs and capacities, new DiSSCo functionality or services, expertise, training, and software systems.
  • Second-line support in the DiSSCo helpdesk for data or services provided by the institution through DiSSCo.

The second part of the “Micro-changes” workshop was devoted to explain the use of Wikidata for institution identifiers and go more in depth regarding the harmonization of institutions and collection identifiers in GBIF. Given the length of the workshop and the impossibility to condense it all in this short piece, DiSSCo’s technical team has provided open access to the materials of the workshop, including a full recording of the presentations and discussions as well as the PowerPoint of the presentations. All these materials can be accessed and downloaded here.


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