Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant will fund implementation of shared staffing model across 7 academic libraries and the Dryad Digital Repository.
The Duke University Libraries will greatly expand data curation services to the Duke community as part of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Data Curation Network (DCN).
Designed to support researchers seeking data curation assistance, the three-year DCN grant will establish a shared network of data curation staff across seven academic libraries and the Dryad Digital Repository that expands the curation capabilities of all the members.
Researchers at Duke will be able to draw on a wide range of data experience with the DCN, extending the data curation staff beyond those in the Duke Libraries as established from the recommendations of the Digital Research Data Services Faculty Working Group. As data curation becomes more discipline-specific, the DCN will allow a much more specialized level of curation than is possible at any one institution.
DCN members include the following partners: University of Minnesota Libraries, Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan Library, University Library at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Cornell University Library, Penn State University Libraries, and the Dryad Digital Repository.
Currently, staff at each of these institutions provide their own data curation services. But because data curation requires a specialized skill set — spanning a wide variety of data types and discipline-specific data formats — institutions cannot reasonably expect to hire an expert in each area.
The intent of the DCN is to serve as a cross-institutional staffing model that seamlessly connects a network of expert data curators to local datasets and to supplement local curation expertise. Data curators bring the disciplinary knowledge and software expertise necessary for reviewing and curating data deposits to ensure that the data are reusable. The project aims to increase local capacity, strengthen collaboration between libraries and disciplinary projects, and ensure that researchers and institutions ethically and appropriately share data.
“The Data Curation Network allows Duke Libraries to expand its deep commitment to research data management through a partnership that will empower Duke researchers to share their data with the wider academic community,” said Joel Herndon, Head of Data and Visualization Services in the Duke Libraries.
Data curation is a relatively new service at universities as funders increasingly require that the raw data from sponsored research be preserved and shared. In addition, many publishers now either require or encourage that data sets accompanying articles be made available through a publicly accessible repository. Finally, many researchers wish to make their data available regardless of funder requirements both to enhance their impact and also to propel the concept of open science.
This project builds on previous work that includes the July 2017 report: “Data Curation Network: A Cross-Institutional Staffing Model for Curating Research Data,” which is available on the project website, datacurationnetwork.org.
For more information about the grant and/or data curation in Duke Libraries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.