Munoz – Question 5
5What is the biggest issue facing data curation now: technology, infrastructure, staffing, training, or something else?
Associate Director, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH); Assistant Dean of Digital Humanities Research, University Libraries – University of Maryland
¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 The biggest issues facing data curation now relate to the challenges of managing change. More than specifics of technology, infrastructure, staffing, or training, there is a general problem of how to transition organizations, work roles, and resource allocations from old configurations to new ones. Curating data requires supporting information work alongside other research tasks, from the inception of research projects to the (re)use of research products in the future. Does the model of liaison librarians attached to (often several) departments support the intensive work that this might require? Does the IT staff that colleges currently provide to faculty support this work? These are open questions. With the pressures for change in the technology and funding environments, we must be willing to look for new solutions in the prevailingly conservative atmosphere of the academy. Data curation will have to be addressed in tandem with other challenges, such as open access to research outcomes and a holistic critique of the conditions of labor in academia, exactly because data curation is a social as well as technical endeavor. So, to prepare the way for necessary changes in staffing, training, and infrastructure, the most pressing challenge for data curation is leadership.