If not now, when?

Aug 27 2009 Published by under Tactics

I said awhile ago that we don't know who's going to do data curation yet. I absolutely believe that.

I probably should have added, though, that we can have a pretty good idea who's not going to do it: anybody who isn't right this very minute planning to do it.

Make no mistake, there's money (from funders and institutions) and hard-won relevance to be had in this line of work. Quite a few people and organizations are eyeing it: IT, libraries, scholarly societies, journals, entrepreneurs.

If you want to get into the scrum, if you want a piece of the pie, better get your plan on now. This is no time for analysis paralysis. Research workflows have a lot of built-in inertia, so the first halfway-viable solution is extremely likely to win.

This doesn't mean you have to solve every problem in the universe. It does mean you need to look at the problem space, sort out what chunks of it you can solve, and stake your claim to them. Reports, strategic planning processes, elbow-rubbing in high places, whatever it takes.

I'm biased. I want libraries in on this game. But that means we—academic librarianship, I mean—we have got to get moving, because the data won't wait.

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