Research in science and technology fields today generates large quantities of data. This data not only needs to be processed and analyzed, it needs to be managed.
Funding agencies such as the NSF now require Data Management Plans to be submitted with grant proposals. These plans must explain how the researcher plans to manage the data generated by the research, addressing issues like security, version control, documentation, ownership and access, preservation, and sharing. If long term preservation and sharing is desired, the researcher must choose an appropriate repository to host it.
Why is it important?
Why is well managed data important?
Historically, libraries have served as institutions where information is collected, curated, preserved, described, discovered, and accessed. Putting these traditional library activities into data terms illustrates why academic libraries and librarians should be involved in the management of scholarly information and research data. As libraries we recognize research data as a scholarly asset that should be stored and made available for reuse, just as any publication is. This is particularly important as data has become more widely accessible in its digital form and its use for experimental validation and reuse in extending the boundaries of knowledge has become more practical.
As the majority of research data falls into the “long-tail” that encompasses the many disciplines that do not have dedicatedrepositories1, the role of academic libraries in making sure that these data are findable, accessible, interoperable & reusable becomes more prominent. There are a few reasons why this is a really excellent thing:
These are just a few of the many reasons why academic libraries should be engaged in the challenges of research data stewardship, curation, and management.
Credit: ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit Accessed 2014-09-13