Research data curation

Back last year, following the Digital Curation Conference in Washington DC, JISC and the Andrew J Mellon Foundation hosted an international workshop to discuss and suggest where the international priorities are for research and development work supporting academic research data curation. It’s taken a while for the notes to become available, for which I apologise, but here they are:
Priorities for research data curation workshop 2007

(I realise this is a PDF file, which won’t please everyone, but shrunk the filesize by over an order of magnitude from MS Word)

The starting point for the workshop was a recognition that, while research data orients largely by (sub)discipline, the way in which infrastructure is developed and funded is often oriented nationally, or even around institutions. Some way is needed to square these two. I have to confess that, on the day, I wasn’t sure we’d made a lot of progress, but in drafting the notes I changed my mind somewhat. Certainly, Peter Murray-Rust seemed to identify the academic department infrastructure as a key point where intervention could serve both that department and the wider goal of data curation and sharing. The photos of flip chart diagrams are perhaps not easy to read or understand, but suggest a distinctive place for libraries and repositories.

Greg Crane’s Perseus project anticipated some of the topics that were covered later – notably how to design an infrastructure that is sustainable and yet adaptive – there are a few ideas in the notes. there are also a few ideas about how the problem space might be broken down so that an international approach can be taken, though this remains difficult. With luck and effort, JISC’s and other UK ‘data’ work will join up with that in the US (eg the NSF Datanet programme), Australia (Australian National Data Service), etc, and these notes will help us do that.

Many thanks to the workshop participants, listed at the end of the notes.

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