Data Collection Development and Library Practice

An assertion, a few questions, a provocation (a few more questions), and some background information.

  • Assertion: Libraries and librarians have a role in scholarly data collection development, management and discovery.
  • Question: What does a scholarly data collection development and management role constitute for a university library? How might selection and management skills for scholarly information be translated into the same for scholarly data?  Why would this (scholarly data collection development and management) be an activity that university libraries want to take on? What contribution can be made by university libraries to the RDS Access to Data for Culture & Community Research project?   Where does the national research infrastructure (Trove & Libraries Australia) provided by the National Library of Australia fit into all of this?
  • Provocation: Will university libraries be a place where the long tail of data generated through public and private funding is collected as part of the scholarly record?  Where will data curation as a valued skill set and effort contributing to scholarly knowledge be fostered? Do humanities, arts and social science researchers look to the university library as the repository for all of their research outputs, including data?  Let’s discuss this… the pivotal role that university libraries will play to support data intensive research, at the conference.

Silent SilosBackground information:  The Research Data Storage programme is funded by the National Research Infrastructure for Australia. “The Cultures and Communities capability is required to make both old and new data discoverable and reusable and to extract greater value from existing collections that are as varied as statistical data, manuscripts, documents, artefacts and audio-visual recordings. These materials reside in a diverse array of private and public repositories, many of which are unconnected. This national, collaborative research infrastructure will provide researchers with the resources and access to large data sets that a single institution would be unable to establish and maintain.  The humanities, arts and social sciences research disciplines, which underpin cultures and communities, hold datasets which form important parts of our cultural heritage. There are many such datasets, but they are typically small in size. They are also typically heterogeneous, but capable of being linked or connected.” “Outcomes and Impact

  • Nationwide services supporting coherent modes of access to the fundamental cultural and data types held in the long tail of research;
  • A growing number of communities operating meta collections of such data holdings;
  • Concrete steps toward the development of a specific, Culture and Communities focused, meta collection of those data types;
  • Routine simplification and reduction in overhead costs offered to related Culture and Communities collections through their adoption of these commonly provided services;
  • Improved data services of value to many Australian researchers.

Sustainability—ongoing development and maintenance

The services, once made operational, are expected to be of interest to such a number of researchers that the participating operators expect to maintain and continue the services for the foreseeable future. They will form primary data support services needed as a consequence of holding research data. Their continued operation is expected to fall within the normal course of the business of any general research data service provider.” Image credit: Silent Silos | Indigo Skies Photography | CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0 Hashtag: #D4CCR

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