For lo, it is an article

Aug 13 2010 Published by under Miscellanea

My latest article, "Retooling Libraries for the Data Challenge," is now online. Ariadne is fully open-access, so read away.

If it sounds familiar, that probably means you were at Access 2009 or a UKOLN meeting in Bath earlier this year, at both of which I gave the talk on which the article is based. (If video is your thing, there's video of both these talks about. Check Vimeo.)

My thanks to Ariadne editor Richard Waller for an exceptional job of turning around this article in a really short time. This sort of thing is time-sensitive—I will be shocked if things haven't changed beyond recognition in a couple of years—so I'm extra-glad to see quick publication; I seem much less of a dork that way.

Anyway. Comments and critiques welcome. Mine is never the last word.

5 responses so far

  • Bruce Wilson says:

    Well put. A thought I would add to amplify the research data section is that a research project is, by definition, a constantly evolving thing. The data structures and data processing tools for a project are often evolving as the researchers are learning what the next steps need to be. In some cases, it's like building a road in a place that's always foggy. You have to build the road in steps, and sometimes you realize that you've just gone someplace that doesn't work and have to retread. And I strongly agree that the 'small data' is every bit as challenging as the big data. We have some span across that spectrum within my group, and it's definitely a matter of changes in challenges across the big to small spectru.

    • Dorothea Salo says:

      Thanks very much -- and you're absolutely right about research being work-in-progress.

  • lynn says:

    You include sections on research data and characteristics of libraries, I might add a third section on characteristics/goals of data curation. While it is hugely important to understand "researchers and their data, as well as our own systems and habits", to me the next step, before 'ways forward,' is to decide what corner of the data curation megascape (Has that word been coined yet? If not, can I take credit?!) an individual library is ready, willing and able to tackle. I think this would then inform decisions about staffing and approaches, what standards are applicable, what data to focus on (and where to start with that backlog), what the demands on your repository and infrastructure will be, what services you can offer, and who you can collaborate with to cover the rest of the data lifecycle with and for your researchers. You aptly bring forward a lot of the tensions in data curation here, I think the way to negotiate all of them is to decide and articulate what relationship your institution-level work will (eventually) have with the broader megascape.

    Overall, a great summary!

    • Dorothea Salo says:

      Well, I agree... but the first step IMO is to keep library administrators from falling all over themselves.

      The same "figure out what you're in the game for" suggestion could be made of IRs, and that (unfortunately) is probably going to be my next article...