How to Re-Tool Librarians for Data Curation

Conference Paper
Authors:Sallans, Andrew, University of Virginia LibraryUniversity of Virginia ORCID icon, Sherry, University of Virginia LibraryUniversity of Virginia ORCID icon

The University of Virginia Library has begun a process of “re-tooling” subject librarians to meet emerging demands of scientific data management. In leading this new initiative, the Scientific Data Consulting Group (SciDaC) focuses on two main activities: 1) “Data Curation Brown Bag” discussions, and 2) data interviews. Through this process, we hope to gradually help traditional subject librarians develop literacy in issues surrounding scientific data management. Each brown bag session focuses on a very specific topic (i.e. the NSF data management plan policy, the NSF Data Net Program, etc.), offers a short presentation and white paper, and then concludes with an informal discussion.

These sessions are expected to help subject librarians become conversant in the issues and to promote the discussion among their departments and faculty. In parallel, the sessions also prepare the subject librarians as partners for the data interviews. Our interview strategy is based upon the recent interview models from JISC, Purdue/UIUC, Oregon and others, with local customizations. We are performing three interviews per month, and each interview consists of two Scientific Data Consultants, one subject librarian, and the researcher. After several months of leading brown bag discussions and conducting data interviews, we have found that this process is very effective in helping our subject librarians “re-tool” for the new responsibilities. We hope that sharing this model will benefit other institutions as they encounter similar training challenges.

Data Curation, Subject Liaison, Librarian Roles, Data Interview
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Source Citation:

Sallans, Andrew, and Sherry Lake. "How to Re-Tool Librarians for Data Curation." 6th International Digital Curation Conference, Chicago, IL. 2010.

University of Virginia
Published Date:
December 7, 2010

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