Highlighted Selections from:

Data curators at work: Focus on projects and experiences

DOI: 10.1002/bult.2013.1720400113

Kouper, I., Akers, K. and Lavin, M. (2013), Data curators at work: Focus on projects and experiences. Bul. Am. Soc. Info. Sci. Tech., 40: 45–46.

p.1: The Council on Library and Information Resources/ Digital Library Federation (CLIR/DLF) postdoctoral fellowships in academic libraries and data curation encourage the development of digital curation as a hybrid profession by hosting fellows with a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, roles and responsibilities. -- Highlighted mar 12, 2014

p.1: Katherine Akers: Coming to the library from a neuroscience laboratory, I embrace the “scholar-librarian” mindset while being service-oriented in my work. Through my engagement in a myriad of library projects, including helping to develop research data management services and assess the use of library collections, I am gradually building a framework for understanding academic librarianship. In particular, I am increasingly struck by how my library projects – seemingly disparate at first – are beginning to inform each other. For instance, when interviewing faculty about their research data management practices, my default is to encourage researchers to preserve and share their datasets (all of them!) because it is difficult to predict their potential value. But when analyzing the usage of library databases, journals and books, I sometimes question the value of collecting resources without knowing whether they are subsequently used. I’m realizing that in both cases, knowledge of how existing resources are used should inform future preservation or collection decisions. The links between conducting research and supporting research, as well as the connections beginning to emerge among my separate library projects, add a whole new dimension to my understanding of how scholarly information is created and disseminated. -- Highlighted mar 12, 2014

p.2: Matthew Lavin: Bibliographers have fastidiously recorded information about books in analog form for hundreds of years, but less has been done to consolidate, share and analyze these data in digital form. Humanists can collectively contribute to data curation when they begin to think about how to articulate data-driven questions, how to create or adapt shareable data and how to leverage this data with renewed rigor. -- Highlighted mar 12, 2014

p.2: Matthew Lavin: Being a hybrid data curator means being open to and flexible about what to curate while maintaining scientific rigor during the curation process. One of the most remarkable aspects of our work is that it makes us open to serendipitous discoveries via the intentional expansion of knowledge bases, cross-fertilization among projects, connections between previous research and current practices, and conceptual thinking about data-research-knowledge ecosystems. Our experiences, over time, are helping to inform CLIR about the roles that subject specialists can play in data management of research data, how postdoctoral expertise complements the work of other academic professionals and the types of training that might benefit students preparing for careers in digital curation. -- Highlighted mar 12, 2014