Archive for the 'Institutional Repositories' Category

Data Curation: A New Frontier in Faculty-Librarian Collaboration

That is the title of a presentation I’m giving next spring for the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, & Letters. Why? Because data curation has tremendous potential to reshape academic librarianship. In particular (I’ll refer to my abstract):

Librarians with data curation skills retain the ability to help researchers better describe, manage, and share their research datasets. By introducing sound data management practices into faculty research, they also promise to facilitate the discovery, access, and dissemination of said research. Such practices include maintaining data quality (digital preservation), adding value (metadata creation), and providing for reuse (data validation). Librarians willing to provide such services invariably allow faculty greater time to focus upon research. And success in this regard will undoubtedly promote faculty-librarian collaboration beyond what is currently conceived.

A very general introduction to be sure (consistent with speech format) but exciting nonetheless. And librarians will be hearing much more about the field. Just last summer, the University of Illinois at Urbana announced data curation as a concentration for their LIS degree. Within the last 2 years, Purdue has created a successful Digital Data Curation Center (D2C2) staffed with librarians to help faculty organize their research (purposely located outside the library). And don’t forget the current impact data librarianship has had upon GIS, the social sciences (UofM’s ICPSR), and bioinformatics.

These developments have tremendous potential to influence how librarianship is perceived among faculty. Institutional respository (IR) managers should also take note– because data curation will likely encourage a desire for data repositories separate from the traditional IR (Andrew Treloar et al. makes the case in this D-lib magazine article).

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Case Study: How to set up an Institutional Repository

In lieu of Friday’s ARLD’s seminar on Institutional Repositories, directors may want to listen to an excellent podcast entitled Content Recruitment and Development: A Proactive Approach to Building an Institutional Repository.
This podcast is found on the EducauseConnect website and describes what steps the Penn Library took to set up a repository for the University of Pennsylvania. Very interesting.

As an added benefit, I’ll throw in my article entitled Format Conversion technologies set to benefit institutional repositories.

–programming researchers seek to seamlessly convert proprietary file formats (think Microsoft Word) into Open Office (an open access format) in order to ensure research will be not be held hostage to proprietary code.

Open Office Logo at OpenOffice.org
John Potter
ITT Technical Institute/Grand Rapids