Meister – Question 2
2In your role, are the main pressures on and needs of data curation the same across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities?
Digital Archivist and Assistant Professor, Mansfield Library – University of Montana
¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 In our university community context, the colleges and departments within the sciences often have established data management practices, including utilizing national discipline-specific data repositories to manage and share data. In contrast, those working in the social sciences and humanities often have limited resources to put towards data curation needs. For these disciplines in particular, the Library has an excellent opportunity to play an important role as a data curation and preservation service provider.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Much of my knowledge and understanding on the data curation needs of different disciplines within my specific institutional setting have come from my role in the development of a library-managed institutional repository service. During this development process my colleagues and I have worked to collect information on the faculty, student, and staff interest in, and specific needs related to, a potential institutional repository service. Through a survey of liaison librarians and a series of meetings with key administrative stakeholders from university colleges and schools, we have collected valuable information on current institutional needs, including specific data curation needs. While informal, this information has provided an initial sense of the needs of our particular university community.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 The initial focus of our institutional repository service will likely be on increasing access to intellectual outputs, but there is strong potential to provide additional assistance and guidance during earlier stages of the research and creative process. Our information gathering highlighted that data curation needs may also be different across faculty, graduate, and undergraduate groups. For example, in our case, there is strong interest in an institutional repository service from a humanities unit, the School of Media Arts, as a platform for showcasing and increasing access to undergraduate student work. During initial conversations, faculty members from this department articulated a desire to maintain access to undergraduate work both for internal teaching needs and to give it more exposure to media-arts industry audiences. The library can help provide ongoing sustainable access by ensuring the long-term preservation of these materials through our institutional repository service. The next steps are to increase the participation of various groups and disciplines in the development of this institutional repository service to ensure that it meets their particular data curation needs.