Gail Steinhart, co-chair of the working group, forwarded me a link to this paper during the summer, and I’m very pleased to have read it. The group, formed in 2006, has been investigating issues, current activities, and opportunities for the Library to get involved in “digital research data curation.” Thus, it serves as a very useful US equivalent to our DISC-UK State of the Art Review, but also hones in on the specific issues within a given institution, which is what I’d like to help the Information Services do within the University of Edinburgh.
The white paper begins with an environmental scan beyond Cornell, before turning to the strengths and potential areas of collaboration within the University. It looks at the actual and potential role of the academic research library, international organisations such as CODATA, activities in the UK including the importance of Liz Lyon’s 2007 report on roles and responsibilities, the EU DRIVER project, The Australian National Data Service and the activities at Monash University (“noteworthy in terms of utilizing institutional repositories for research data”), and developments in the US including the formation of the federal Interagency Working Group on Digital Data and the DataNet initiative funded by the NSF, as well as recent commercial activities by Sun, Google, and Microsoft. Institutions within the US mentioned for moving forward the state of the art include the San Diego Supercomputer Centre (for SRB, iRODS, and Data Central), Purdue University (for its Distributed Data Curation Centre, D2C2), University of Washington and Johns Hopkins University.
Four US universities are named as pursuing educational opportunities in data curation – Indiana University’s School of Informatics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Syracuse University.
A section on data curation issues covers financial sustainability, appraisal and selection, digital preservation, intellectual property, confidentiality and privacy, and participation by data owners. The recommendations made by the group include the need to seek out and cultivate partnerships, and the need to develop new services for Cornell researchers.