Library Committee Handbook

Executive Committee



eResearch Services Task Force Final Report

 

 

 

eResearch Services at the University Library—Final Report of the Library eResearch Task Force

 

 

 

Prepared by the Library’s eResearch Task Force for Paula Kaufman, University Librarian

 

 

 

 

Susan Braxton

Harriett Green

Caroline Szylowicz

Tom Habing

Karen Hogenboom

Chris Prom

Mary Schlembach

Sarah Shreeves

Sarah Williams

Beth Sandore Namachchivaya (ch.)

 

eResearch Task Force Committee page:

http://www.library.illinois.edu/committee/eresearch_task_force/eresearch_task_force_charge.html

 

 

16 January 2013


Executive Summary & Recommendations

Libraries are uniquely qualified to by mission to manage, curate, publish, and make discoverable research data, through the use of organizing principles, metadata and provenance information, and the systems and services that support these functions.  Although libraries provide critical support services and consultation with researchers, the process of research data stewardship also depends on the expertise of other professionals who contribute information storage and architecture, high performance computing, data manipulation and visualization, and domain knowledge to the research data curation, preservation, and access enterprise in the academic setting.  Briefly stated, libraries are at the heart of research data stewardship, but they cannot do it successfully on their own.  Illinois’ peers are already significantly advanced in developing and offering eResearch services that help researchers to create, acquire, manage, utilize, preserve, and publish research data.  The Library has begun to develop public-facing programs and services, but it requires internal change, more targeted personnel coverage, better, more effective internal and public-facing communication, and support for training and re-tooling of Library professionals in order to successfully support research data services. 

Just as the Library’s reference services are steered by a core committee and a formal organization for service provision that revolves around the concept of hubs, the eResearch Task Force recommends that eResearch core services be developed and delivered through a single “hub”—the Scholarly Commons—and steered by a core committee. Researchers who need these services ought to be able to find and use them, regardless of the subject domain in which they require support.  Library staff in any location must have access to sufficient Web-based or other readily-available information to provide Library users with sufficient information to obtain Library support for their research data management questions.

The Library’s public-facing eResearch support services cannot advance substantively unless there is both campus-level technical and personnel infrastructure to support data curation and preservation and domain-specific expertise to support research data management, preservation, and sustained access.  The Task Force recommends that the Library collaborate with the OVCR, CITES, NCSA, and the Colleges and research centers on campus to develop a Research Data Services Program as a shared campus service.  It will be critical for the Library’s contributions to the proposed campus–supported Research Data Service to be closely tied to related services and their management (as are IDEALS and Medusa), and to the emerging services and support programs.

 

 

Key recommendations include the following:

The total estimated cost of supporting these efforts in FY2014 is $50,000.  Roughly half of this cost would be start-up and half ongoing.

With the current high momentum on the Urbana campus to establish a campus-wide Research Data Service, the Task Force urges the University Librarian and the Library’s Executive Committee to move forward with support for the recommendations contained in this report.  The members of the eResearch Task Force are committed to making the transition to a permanent program, and they stand ready to function as the initial steering committee to facilitate the Library’s transition to a Library Research Data Service program.

 

I. Charge and Background / Environmental Scan

Charge

In 2011-12, the University of Illinois Urbana campus supported a team from the Library and the OVCR to participate in the ARL eScience program.  That team developed an eScience strategic approach for the Urbana campus as a key deliverable from the ARL eScience Institute’s capstone meeting.  The team recommended that the Library appoint an eResearch Task Force.

The Library eResearch Task Force was established in April 2012 with the charge of recommending (a) the scope of Library-supported eResearch activities, (b) organizational responsibilities for such work, and (c) resource requirements. The Task Force performed a local, as well as a national, environmental scan, identified current services and activities that the Library and the campus are pursuing, and identified gaps and future needs. The group’s charge asked us to perform several tasks, each of which is addressed in this report due by December 31 2012.  These tasks included:

 

Background

As way of background, we would like to note the following operating definition for eResearch:

eResearch refers to the concept of research using digital technology (e.g., computing, networks, digital data) in fields including science, social science, and the humanities. eResearch can be described as collaborative, computing and data intensive, and often interdisciplinary.  Libraries are uniquely qualified to manage, curate, and steward research data.  Research data are the numerical, descriptive, or visual facts, observations or experiences on which an argument, theory or test is based. These may be raw or analyzed, experimental or observational. While archivists and librarians recognize that research data represent a portion of a broader information context, the interests of scholars, funding agencies, and academic institutions have focused on preserving and managing the specific output of the research activities in which scholars engage. Funding agencies, institutions, and researchers have a high interest in ensuring that research data is well-managed and accessible for validation and reuse of research results. Libraries (including archives) because of their accessibility on many levels, and their expertise in the provision of access, information management, and long term preservation are well positioned to support these activities.

Due to the evolving nature of eResearch work on this campus and in the profession, the specific time frames in which the work was carried out by the task force differ from those articulated in the charge. Further, the Task Force points out that its work has been impacted directly by the evolving direction of the campus’ interest in research data stewardship over the course of the past six months since the Task Force began its work.  In particular, the Campus Data Stewardship Committee has begun to focus its work on establishing a visible campus support structure for research data services, management, and curation.  That group, chaired by the University Librarian with representation from the OVCR, GSLIS, CITES, NCSA, and the Graduate College, has also influenced the work of the Task Force to focus on leveraging emerging campus strategic priorities to develop a campus Research Data Service with significant Library involvement.

Environmental Scan

A number of Illinois’ peers or aspirational peers have implemented both the human and the cyberinfrastructure elements of a research data curation and preservation service and its related support services.  The Task Force notes that all of these efforts have involved multiple units within the broader academic organizations.  It is important to note that the library in each of these organizations is deeply engaged in the campus-level research data service program.  Further, in addition to the library’s involvement in campus-level research data support programs, each library has organized internally to provide eResearch support services, including library staff training, instruction for researchers, researcher consultation services, dataset purchase programs, and support for researchers who need to develop research data management plans as part of funder requirements for sponsored research.

 The University of California system has developed a suite of data management and curation services for researchers, and the University of California San Diego campus has developed a research data service headquartered in the Library, in collaboration with the San Diego Supercomputing Center (SDSC) and the Office of Research.[1] The UCSD service, which is focusing on five multi-year research projects as pilot programs, has been supported by the campus since 2009, and anticipates receipt of funding for another three-year period.  Purdue University’s research repository (PURR) provides its campus’ researchers with a data management, publication, and curation service that includes a research data preservation repository system.[2]  Early efforts by Johns Hopkins University with funding from the NSF Datanet program resulted in JHU developing a research data repository infrastructure as well as providing a researcher data curation service.[3]  The Universities of Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois are currently collaborating on the NSF Datanet SEAD project (sustainable environment/actionable data), which is enabling the three institutions to implement and test the JHU repository infrastructure in a shared cyberinfrastructure environment.[4]  On the international front, the United Kingdom has established an ambitious and productive research data curation service, as has Australia with its Australian National Data Service (ANDS); both offer coherent and well-developed support options for researchers.[5]

 

II. Campus Data Stewardship, and the Library’s Role in a Campus Research Data Management, Curation, and Preservation Service

While the Library is already addressing a number of user-facing needs related to data curation (see sections III and IV of this report), on the whole the Urbana campus lacks the basic infrastructure that is required to properly support research data curation services.  In particular, campus researchers need access to expertise and technologies that support the management of active research data and its long-term preservation and access. These services should not only support agency and funder requirements for short-term data management, curation, and preservation, but they should also provide researchers with the ability to deposit research data in appropriate repositories for long term preservation.   Services for which campus researchers currently lack support include (a) a robust, secure storage and network infrastructure that is accessible to all campus units, (b) a local research data repository service, (c) data management and publishing services, and (d) data transformation and migration services. These services are particularly critical because they will serve as an integral element in broader campus initiatives related to research data curation and cyberinfrastructure development.[6]  The University Library is a partner in a proposal to create such a service, developed at the invitation of the Vice Chancellor for Research from the Campus Data Stewardship Committee.  As proposed, the service would incorporate expertise from several areas, including the Library.

The Library’s public-facing eResearch support services (i.e. the activities described in section IV of this report) cannot advance substantively unless there is the campus-level technical and personnel infrastructure to support data management, curation and preservation, sustained access, and specialized research support services.  For this reason, we recommend that the Library collaborate with the OVCR, CITES, NCSA, and the Colleges and research centers on campus to develop a Research Data Services Program as a shared campus service.  This program would initially include the following Library-specific elements:

The nature of the work to be completed by the proposed campus Research Data Service Program is fundamentally different from, yet complementary to, the work completed by Library subject specialists, data services librarians, archivists, and library functional specialists.  The campus service would be positioned to support robust storage, networking, sensitive data-security (e.g., HIPAA-compliant), research data policies and best practices so that these core services could be sustained consistently campus-wide.  Further, a campus service would support a local research data repository on behalf of the Urbana campus researchers, and related services such as a persistent data publication service.  

The required elements of the Research Data Service, that are not currently supported in the Library, or anywhere on campus, or are inconsistently supported, are the following::

 

The staff of the campus Research Data Service would engage actively with campus faculty, IT professionals, domain specialists, and research administrators in all departments, regarding the management of research data that they acquire, consume, or create.  However, the campus-level service would not have sufficient staff to support the broad-based communication, consultation, and instruction/training activities that are provided by Library subject specialists and data services librarians. By virtue of the Library’s center and prominent profile on campus, these professionals are more accessible to interact with campus faculty and researchers.

Library-specific services that will be part of the campus-level program will include metadata support, technology training, repository development, digital preservation/curation, and archival appraisal, accessioning, arrangement, description, and access.  IT professionals from CITES, NCSA, and other research-intensive areas of campus will provide storage, data center, networking, data migration and transformation, and high-performance computing services and management. Professionals with expertise in subject domains and research computing, from research-intensive campus units such as NCSA, will provide services that support data manipulation, visualization, ingest, and analysis.  The services provided by a campus Research Data Service will fail without a supporting infrastructure of professionals and programs in the Library that is complementary to the overarching campus Research Data Service.  The campus service will be expressly focused on building, maintaining, and supporting the process of data curation, preservation, publication, and access/discovery  This will enable Library faculty to focus on direct user engagement and support; the Library Research data activities outlined here by the Task Force are therefore an essential cornerstone of a successful campus-wide Research Data Service. To that end, the Task Force recommends that the Library collaborate with the campus to establish a Research Data Service that provides support to Urbana campus researchers in the use, management, preservation, and access to digital data that researchers create, acquire, or manipulate.

It is clear that a campus-level Research Data Service cannot and will not contain all the research data that is generated by the campus.  Some areas, like genomics, already have established pathways to data curation and preservation, especially for federally-funded research with NCBI.  However, there are many instances where data sets having clear long-term value to researchers or to campus cannot currently be preserved as there is no established repository to hold such information.

It will be critical that the Library’s contributions to the proposed campus-supported Research Data Service be closely tied to related services and their management (as are IDEALS and Medusa), and to the emerging services and support programs in the Library.  The services will work best if they operate seamlessly across campus units; Library subject specialists, data services librarians, archivists, and functional specialists will be engaged to ensure a consistent level of research data services are available to all researchers on the Urbana campus. Libraries are uniquely qualified to manage, curate, and steward research data. While archivists and librarians recognize that research data represent a portion of a broader information context, funding agencies, institutions, and researchers have a high interest in ensuring that research data are well-managed and accessible for validation and reuse of research results.

 

III. Internal Library Recommendations

A. Organizational Changes: Internal Alignment for Cohesive Public-facing eResearch Services, and Interim Oversight of eResearch Activities

The Library is at the point where it needs to articulate a core eResearch and research data support service around which a foundation of discipline-specific and multi-disciplinary expertise can develop.  Researchers must be able to identify one service in the Library that provides support for scholars who have research data needs, regardless of their discipline.  Just as the Library’s reference services are steered by a core committee and a formal organization for service provision that revolves around the concept of hubs, the eResearch Task Force recommends that eResearch core services be developed and delivered through a single “hub”—the Scholarly Commons—and steered by a core committee.  This would enable the network of subject specialists and data services librarians to develop specialized, but coordinated, consultation services and support programs that focus on the faculty and students engaged in using research data within and across subject disciplines.  The Scholarly Commons would serve as a readily identifiable “front door” for research data support services  and would refer researchers to or help to facilitate consultations with specialists (as the Scholarly Commons does already). This will help researchers as well as Library staff, who need the research data support services, the ability to find and use them, regardless of the subject domain in which they require support.  This transition will be facilitated by the establishment of an organizing group—initially the eResearch Implementation Committee and the Library Research Data Services Group.

In order to develop cohesive and rich eResearch support services, the Task Force recommends that the Library support three types of internally-focused activities to (a) establish a visible and cohesive internal organization structure, (b) set up a consistent internal flow of communication about eResearch with those who are responsible for supporting it, and (c) act purposefully to develop research data consultation services and best practices among the Library professionals who are responsible for supporting research data services.  The eResearch Implementation Committee will serve as the primary catalyst for bringing together the Library subject specialists, research data librarians, and functional specialists who can contribute to these activities.  The Scholarly Commons co-Coordinators, working collaboratively with this group, will establish the “hub” of Library eResearch support services.  The Associate University Librarian for Research & Technology will facilitate and support the work of the Committee, the Scholarly Commons, and any groups spun-off to support eResearch and research data services.

 

Recommendation

Responsible

Time Frame/Cost

Internal Organization

Transition the eResearch Task Force into the eResearch Implementation Committee with an initial term of up to two years. 

Appoint the current eResearch Task Force and call for additional interest; appoint a chair for the group from among the membership;
.
This group will be responsible for recommending to the AUL for Research and Technology Library eResearch program directions, and for coordinating the Library’s eResearch activities until the Research Data Service program has been established.  It will provide oversight for the implementation of the Task Force recommendations.

University Librarian, Executive Committee, eResearch Task Force;

January 31,  2013

 

Organize the Library Research Data Services group (similar to that formed by Cornell’s library).[10] 

The purpose of initiating this group is so that the professionals across the Library who are responsible for providing eResearch support services, can develop and implement the framework and the best practices for providing those services across the Library.

eResearch Implementation Committee, Scholarly Commons, and AUL for Research & Technology

Spring Semester, 2013

 

Establish the Scholarly Commons as the “hub” for Library eResearch support, coordinating the development, marketing, and outreach, and providing a cohesive foundation for more in-depth services offered in Library units for researchers on campus, with an initial launch date of August 1, 2013 to the Urbana campus.

Scholarly Commons co-Coordinators, eResearch Implementation Committee, AUL for Research & Technology

Summer, 2013

 

Establish tight coordination between Scholarly Commons and unit-level data management web and other virtual services

SC Co-Coordinators, AUL for Research & Technology, AUL for User Services.

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

Recommendation

Responsible

Time Frame/Cost

Communication

Involve more librarians locally in development of the DMPTool –web-based data management planning wizard, through the addition of local and domain-specific information about researcher data management plans based on their experience working with Urbana campus researchers.

Sarah Shreeves, co-PI on Sloan Fdn. DMPTool project; eResearch Implementation Committee

March, 2013

$2,500 (graduate hourly)

 

Identify support needs (librarian, student and staff) to expand the existing Scholarly Commons research data services (web documentation, data manipulation, instruction, and training)

Scholarly Commons co-Coordinators.

By January 22, 2013

 

 

Working with the OVCR, continue the analysis of NSF and other agency data management plans; Make this activity a part of the Library eResearch data management group’s activities.  Share results of this analysis once a semester, with the Library and the campus.

William Mischo, Mary Schlembach

Ongoing

 

Identify external groups and organizations for eResearch involvement, & recommend individuals to represent, and establish active Library participation (BRDI, CIC, RDAP, DCC, IDCC, etc.)

eResearch Implementation Committee working with AUL for Research & Technology

Initially: February 15, 2013
& ongoing

 

 

Set in place a mechanism and enlist the efforts of Library subject specialists and data services librarians to track Big Data and other eResearch funding Programs and Proposals, and communicate with Library and other campus groups about local opportunities and impact

eResearch Implementation Committee, subject specialists, data services librarians, AUL for Research & Technology.

By November 1, 2013

$2,500 (graduate student support)

 

 

Participate in CIC Data Storage Working Group conversations.

AUL for Research & Technology, eResearch Implementation Cttee.

Ongoing

 

Engage in campus-wide researcher profile service conversations

TBA by OVCR

TBA

 

Expand support for BibApp/Connections researcher profile service on campus

Sarah Shreeves, co-Coordinator, Scholarly Commons & IDEALS Coordinator;  Dan Tracy, Interim LIS and Research Support Services Libn.

By May, 2013

~$5,000 (graduate student support)

 

 

Recommendation

Responsible

Time Frame /Cost

Consultation in & Support of Research Data Use

Establish and cultivate a Library Research Data Services group that grows into a core group of Library subject and functional experts with operational activities that shape and build  Library eResearch programs, and are responsible for the Library’s interaction with the campus Research Data Service

eResearch Implementation Committee; Scholarly Commons; AUL for Research & Technology

By April 1, 2013

 

Develop and sustain a virtual service catalog of research data services available to Urbana campus researchers, on and off-campus

Scholarly Commons could host and eResearch Implementation Committee could organize the input from Library Research Data Services group and ensure that it is kept current.

By January, 2014

$5,000-7,000 (graduate student support)

 

Develop research data consulting service guidelines for Library subject liaisons and data services librarians for Library eResearch support, coordinating the development, marketing, and outreach, and providing a cohesive foundation for more in-depth services offered in Library units for researchers on campus.

Scholarly Commons; eResearch Implementation Committee and Library Research Data Services Group

By December, 2013

 

Expand the Library’s Data Purchase Program to include data sets identified by subject specialists and purchased with subject funds

Karen Hogenboom and Data Services Committee; AUL for Collections & Technical Svcs.

 

2014?

 

Develop and publicize best practices and support resources for data management and curation within and across disciplines, working with experts on discipline-specific needs, funder requirements, and those who specialize in preservation and metadata best practices. 

Scholarly Commons; Library Research Data Services Group and eResearch Implementation Committee

By December 1, 2013

$5,000 (graduate student support for subj. specialists & data svcs. Librarians)

 

Identify specific expertise that researchers need from elsewhere on campus—e.g. IGB, NCSA, Beckman, OVCR, etc.

Scholarly Commons as host with Library Research Data Services Group.

 

Ongoing

B.  Library Staffing to Support User Outreach and Interaction for Research Data Creation, Acquisition, Use, and Curation

At present, data services and eResearch support are distributed in an uneven manner throughout the Library.  The Task Force recognizes and applauds the efforts of the Library to develop, fund new, and re-shape existing roles to support eResearch. At the same time, the Task Force recommends that these efforts to articulate research data services in Library professional roles be viewed more strategically and stepped up considerably.

Several data services positions have recently been appointed. Units and individuals have responded independently to this emerging service need. Data management support has recently been included in the core competencies for subject specialists, and recent public service faculty position announcements include data service needs in the position descriptions.[11] However, the overall hiring activity does not indicate a strong programmatic commitment to this emerging campus-wide need, in which the Library is expected to play a key role. The hiring approach has neither been as focused nor strategic in organizing to address eResearch services and functions as that of peers (e.g., Purdue, University of California San Diego, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, Penn State).

The Library/ATLAS Data Services Committee has been working in related areas for several years, administering the data services offerings in the Scholarly Commons.  The service is staffed by ATLAS (Applied Technologies in the Liberal Arts and Sciences) and library personnel and supports data discovery, acquisition, formatting, and statistical software use by students and faculty on campus.  For the last three years the Data Services Committee has also administered the Data Purchase Program, which provides a mechanism for researchers on campus to obtain access to small data sets that are crucial to their research projects and worked on several projects to make data sets more visible in the library’s finding aids.  While these services are related to the research data services recommended in this report, and the same researchers may use both services at different points in their research process, the missions of Data Services and Research Data Services are distinct.

 

Figure 1: Current eResearch Staffing in the University of Illinois Library, early Fall 2012

While the initial approach to eResearch support was to encourage services to develop at the unit level, both the Library and the campus have come to the point where the Library needs to ensure a consistent baseline of professional expertise in all units with research data support. A highly decentralized approach to any kind of support services that have a common thread ends up floundering if it doesn't have some basic organizational foundation. There are bound to be gaps in service (i.e., researchers who do not know how to get assistance to acquire, manipulate, or develop data management plans in their subject area) in the current arrangement. 

 

 

 

 

Recommendation

Responsible

Time Frame /Cost

Staffing & support

Systematically identify and/or appoint professionals across the subject areas in the Library (subject specialists, data services librarians, functional specialists) who possess or are committed to developing eResearch expertise as a formal and substantive component of their primary responsibilities, across the disciplines by January 2014

eResearch Implementation Committee, Division Coordinators and Unit Heads, the AUL for Research and Technology, the AUL for User Services, the University Librarian, the Executive Committee

By December 1, 2013

 

Allocate a half time graduate assistant or graduate hourly for FY14 that is focused solely on assisting the Scholarly Commons to create and maintain a web presence and communication structure for the Library’s research data services.  This includes public-facing tools and information and tools for library staff whose users approach them with questions about managing their research data.  This graduate student would also help with initial marketing efforts and may also assist librarians in training library staff to answer basic questions about research data management.

Library Budget Group, University Librarian, Scholarly Commons co-Coordinators

By August 1, 2013

$15,000

 

Allocate a graphics development budget of approximately $5000 for a graphic designer to create a professional visual presence for the Library’s eResearch services, similar to and in conjunction with the materials created for the Scholarly Commons website, brochure, banners and handouts.

Library Budget Group, University Librarian, Scholarly Commons co-Coordinators

By March 15, 2013

$5,000

 

 

C.  Professional Development and Training

While support for research data services cannot be confined to one unit, it should have a cohesive base, including professional coordination, and it needs to be distributed throughout subject and important functional areas. Demand increases daily for public-facing programs, internal communication, and one-on-one consultation with campus researchers who are creating and using data, but who do not have access to appropriate services. The Task Force has identified a number of immediate needs for public-facing programs, ongoing monitoring of research data developments across funding agencies and a variety of subject fields, and professional development programs focused on supporting librarians and other Library professionals to obtain training and re-tooling to focus their work on research data support.  The Library should be able to provide both basic and in-depth research data services as needed by the campus. Through the Task Force’s examination of the work of peer institutions across the U. S., Canada, and in the United Kingdom, it is readily apparent that our peers are doing this with greater consistency than Illinois, and they have made significant shifts in resource allocation to support it (see programs at Purdue, UC San Diego, Columbia). The University of Illinois is one of the largest public “research intensive” universities in the U. S., and the Library must make the resource commitments to play an active role in supporting researchers to maintain their competitive edge in this area of strategic importance to the institution.

 

Recommendation

Responsible

Time Frame /Cost

Professional Development & Training

Sponsor external trainer for Research Data Management Workshops/meetings, spring 2013 (already planned with UIC, NUL, UChicago)

 

eResearch Implementation Committee, AUL for Research & Technology, working with Staff Training Coordinator.

February 28, 2013

$1,500-2,000

 

 

Invite Library staff from the University of California San Diego, Purdue University, and up to two additional institutions to visit the Urbana campus and make presentations on their staff training and development activities, as well as their research data service development activities

AUL for Research & Technology and eResearch Implementation Committee, working with Staff Training Coordinator

April and May 2013

$7,000-10,000

 

 

Develop/contract for training for subject specialists and functional specialist on digital scholarship tools, principles of data curation, description of data services infrastructure, and user services for data management; Arrange with the Library’s Staff Training Coordinator for these and more in-depth professional development and training opportunities.

 

Funding:University Librarian; Planning & implementation: eResearch Implementation Committee, AUL for Research & Technology, Staff Training Coordinator.

 

Ongoing

 

Develop “baseline” training sessions/resources for public services staff, including graduate assistants, to develop familiarity with the Library’s tools and services that support Library users with research data management and curation needs (i.e., introduction to centrally-available data management planning web resources; information about Savvy Researcher Workshops that target researchers who are working with data to support their research.)

Scholarly Commons; eResearch Implementation Committee; Staff Training Coordinator; Support/facilitation from AUL’s for User Services, Collections & Technical Services, Research & Technology

 

By July 15, 2013 & Ongoing

$2,500

 

 

 

                      

 


IV.  Public-Facing eResearch Support Services and Programs

Over the course of its work, the Task Force has determined that there is already substantial, yet uneven, effort in the Library to develop user-focused training and educational workshops and consultation services for researchers with questions and needs related to acquiring, managing, and manipulating data for their research.  There are efforts taking place in the Scholarly Commons, Life Sciences, Digital Humanities, Engineering and Physical Sciences, and with numeric and spatial data.  However, the Task Force notes that support for research data services cannot be confined to one unit.  As the Task Force examined the work of peer institutions through the ARL eScience Institute and numerous efforts on campuses across the US, Canada, and in the United Kingdom, it became readily apparent that our peers are incorporating work with research data into their mainstream service programs and the daily work of subject and functional specialists.  Not only are our peers doing this with greater consistency than Illinois, but they have made significant shifts in resource allocation to support it.  Stepping up the Library’s efforts will require increased focus by those Library professionals who provide research data services on offering user-facing consultation services, workshops, and seminars.

 

Recommendation

Responsible

Time Frame /Cost

Public-facing Services

Develop researcher-focused workshops on a variety of topics related to research data management, curation, and use. Coordinate them Library-wide through the Scholarly Commons Savvy Researcher workshop series. Examples: Data Management Instruction; Workshop on Depositing Data into ICPSR; Collaborative Research Data Management Workshops

 

eResearch Implementation Committee working with Library Research Data Services group; Scholarly Commons co-Coordinators

New Workshops by July 15, 2013

Ongoing

$5,000-7,000 (grad. Student support for subject specialists & data svcs. Librarians)

 



[1] California Digital Library data curation services: http://www.cdlib.org/services/uc3/; University of California San Diego data curation service:  http://rci.ucsd.edu/about/index.html.

[2] Purdue University Research Repository (PURR): https://purr.purdue.edu/.

[3] Mayernik, Matthew S.; Choudhury, G. Sayeed; DiLauro, Tim; Metsger, Elliot; Pralle, Barbara; Rippin, Mike; Duerr, Ruth. “The Data Conservancy Instance: Infrastructure and Organizational Services for Research Data Curation.”  D-Lib Magazine, Sep/Oct2012, Vol. 18 Issue 9/10, Special section p1-9, 1p; DOI: 10.1045/september2012-mayernik

[4] SEAD NSF Datanet: http://sead-data.net/.

[5] JISC Programme on Managing Research Data: http://researchdata.jiscinvolve.org/wp/; Australian National Data Service: http://ands.org.au/index.html.

[6]  At the request of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Library, OVCR, CITES, NCSA and GSLIS have prepared a proposal for a campus Research Data Service that will was invited by the Provost and Chancellor. The Campus Data Services committee has suggested that the public face of campus-wide research data support should be in the Library or another mutually-selected, visible service point that is accessible to researchers campus-wide..  It considers the Library’s eResearch services to be a core part of the campus-wide support for research data management and long-term preservation, and we anticipate that funding for Library positions will be included in the proposal.

[7] The Director of the Research Data Service provides vision, leadership, management, and strategic planning for all programmatic, administrative, and operational activities for the University of Illinois Library’s Research Data Services program.   In consultation with other library staff and the AUL for Research and IT, provide leadership in the development and implementation of a new service program; initial emphasis will be on planning; research; identifying program objectives and scope; formulation of program goals, policies, and processes; identifying staffing, operational, and resource needs; and implementation.

[8] The Data Curation Specialist positions will focus on providing tools, metadata, and technical support for campus faculty and staff working with researchers on data management and curation issues.  Specific activities to be pursued include implementation of data publishing and management tools, development of research data workflows and best practices, format and migration support, metadata/schema development, data migration, and preservation services.

[9] The Research Data Service could be modeled after the Library/campus relationships established through the IDEALS Repository and Scholarly Communications Program.  In other words, the quality of the Library’s eResearch support services will depend heavily on the development of campus repository, storage, metadata support and other infrastructure service.

[10]  Cornell University Library’s Research Data Management Services Group: https://confluence.cornell.edu/display/rdmsgweb/Home

[11]  http://www.library.illinois.edu/committee/exec/supplement/s2011-2012/SubjectSpecialistTaskForceReport.html