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DataQ: A collaborative platform for answering research data questions in academic libraries

DataQ is a collaborative platform for the community to use to ask and answer questions related to research data support in academic libraries. Library staff from any institution may submit questions on research data topics to the DataQ website, where questions are reviewed by an Editorial Team of experts with additional support from an active pool of Project Volunteers. Answers to these questions, from both the community and the Editorial Team, are posted to the DataQ website and include links to resources and tools, best practices, and practical approaches to working with researchers to address specific research data issues. 

ICPSR’s Data Management and Curation Guide

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) website has a new section devoted to Data Management and Curation, which provides a general guide on research data quality, preservation, access, confidentiality, and citation, and also explains how ICPSR, as a social science research data archive, is working hard to address all these issues. There is also a Tools & Services section compiling recommended applications that could help researchers deal with data confidentiality, restricted-use data, data processing, and dissemination.

In January 2014, ACRL/Numeric and Spatial Data Interest Group invited ICPSR’s Director of Curation Services, Jared Lyle, to offer a webinar for data librarians on the subject of social science data management and curation. The slides and recording of the webinar are available for viewing now.

Starting the Conversation: University-wide Research Data Management Policy | Featuring IASSISTers!

Starting the Conversation: University-wide Research Data Management Policy
An OCLC Research Report by: Ricky Erway, OCLC Research

Key highlights:

  • The benefits of funder-required data management planning should apply to all research data 
  • Research and Compliance Offices, IT, Academic units, the Library, and Researchers should be involved in setting policy
  • An entrepreneurial person may need to get things going—why not the library director?

Starting the Conversation: University-wide Research Data Management Policy is a call for action that summarizes the benefits of systemic data management planning and identifies the stakeholders and their concerns. It also suggests that the library proactively initiate a conversation among these stakeholders to get buy-in for a high-level, responsible data planning and management policy that is proactive, rather than reactive, and is also supported and sustainable.

The Stakeholders identified in the report include:

  • The University
  • The Office of Research
  • The Research Compliance Office
  • The Information Technology Department
  • The Researchers
  • The Academic Units
  • The Library

The intended audience for this call for action is library directors, not because they alone can make this happen, but to encourage them to initiate the conversation. The bulk of the document advocates for the library director to initiate a conversation among the stakeholders and addresses the various topics that should be discussed. A checklist of issues is also provided to help the discussion result in a supportable and sustainable policy.

Suggested elements of the conversation include:

  • Who owns the data?
  • What Requirements are Imposed By Others?
  • Which Data Should Be Retained?
  • For How Long Should Data Be Maintained?
  • How Should Digital Data Be Preserved?
  • Are there Ethical Considerations?
  • How are Data Accessed?
  • How Open Should the Data Be?
  • How Will Costs Be Managed?
  • What are the Alternatives to Local Data Management?

Library directors are invested not only because their libraries may be recipients of data in need of curation and of requests for guidance, but more importantly because library staff have significant skills and experience to contribute to the discussion. This is an opportunity for the library director to play an entrepreneurial role in furthering the mission of the larger enterprise.

This report was made possible by the contributions and support of the following members of the OCLC Research Library Partnership Data Curation Policy Working Group whose broad range of experience and perspectives was invaluable:

  • Dan Tsang, chair — University of California, Irvine
  • Anna Clements — University of St. Andrews
  • Joy Davidson — DCC, University of Glasgow
  • Mike Furlough — Pennsylvania State University
  • Amy Nurnberger — Columbia University
  • Sally Rumsey — University of Oxford
  • Anna Shadbolt — University of Melbourne
  • Claire Stewart — Northwestern University
  • Beth Warner — Ohio State University
  • Perry Willett — California Digital Library

This work is an output of our Role of Libraries in Data Curation activity, which falls under our work agenda theme of Advancing the Research Mission.

Irish Qualitative Data Archive: Best Practice in Archiving Qualitative Data

The Irish Qualitative Data Archive: Best Practice in Archiving Qualitative Data (PDF) handbook is intended to introduce the researcher and data curator to the issues they need to consider when developing an archiving strategy appropriate to their qualitative data set. The guidelines apply principally to textual data that have been generated in qualitative research projects.

Penn State University Libraries: Research Data Management Toolkit

The Penn State University Libraries Data Management Toolkit provides resources to help orient teaching and research faculty, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, around the topic of data management planning. While some sections are dedicated specifically to PSU students, faculty and staff, a large majority of the toolkit may be used generally by the public and offers great information on data management, planning, and sharing. The site also provides links to other institutions and organizations that offer resources on similar topics.

Purdue University Libraries: Data Management Plan: Self-Assessment Questionnaire

Developed by the Purdue University Libraries, the Data Management Plan: Self-Assessment Questionnaire (PDF) is designed to assist researchers in constructing a data management plan for their National Science Foundation (NSF) proposals.

University of Virginia (UVA) Library: Scientific Data Consulting

UVA Scientific Data Consulting provides guidance on the concepts behind data planning and a general template for writing National Science Foundation (NSF) data management plans. In addition to planning, the guide includes a section on data citation.

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Research Cyberinfrastructure: Data Management Planning

UCSD Research Cyberinfrastructure: Data Management Planning contains resources, examples, and links to guides on writing a data management plan. Strong National Science Foundation (NSF) focus.

University of Wisconsin: Research Data Services

The University of Wisconsin's Research Data Services has a strong focus on National Science Foundation (NSF) DMP requirements, but also contains general guidelines for data sharing and contents of data management plans.

  • IASSIST Quarterly

    Publications Special issue: A pioneer data librarian
    Welcome to the special volume of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ (37):1-4, 2013). This special issue started as exchange of ideas between Libbie Stephenson and Margaret Adams to collect

    more...

  • Resources

    Resources

    A space for IASSIST members to share professional resources useful to them in their daily work. Also the IASSIST Jobs Repository for an archive of data-related position descriptions. more...

  • community

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    Find out what IASSISTers are doing in the field and explore other avenues of presentation, communication and discussion via social networking and related online social spaces. more...