Three stakeholders in one: Steering the evolution of research data management services from many perspectives

2016-09-12T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Ana Van Gulick
Panel Talk given at SciDataCon 2016 in Denver, September 2016.
Panel: Principles, platforms and metrics to improve data management practices throughout the life-cycle
Panel Co-presenters: Amber Budden, Andrew Johnson, Limor Peer, Judy Ruttenberg, Courtney Soderberg, and Dan Valen (organizer)

At Carnegie Mellon University, the university libraries are in the midst of a transition in services and infrastructure to become a more active collaborator across the entire, increasingly digital, research and teaching process on campus. To do this we’ve rethought the research data life cycle from the perspective of the researcher and liaison and tailored our research data management services and resources to each stage of that lifecycle. In the past several years I have been involved in this process from the perspectives of a graduate researcher, library data services, and a research liaison. Each of these roles has given me a different view of the needs of researchers and the best way for the university libraries to support open science.

Over the past three years the Carnegie Mellon University Libraries has begun an initiative to update services and infrastructure to support research data management (RDM) and open access to non-traditional research products. This work is part of a larger strategic plan for the libraries to create a 21st century library that is truly integrated into the research and teaching of the university. This has involved having experts in the libraries who can be research collaborators - I have been lucky to be one of those people over the past two years to work with the libraries and with researchers on these projects. Over the just the past few years I’ve had the valuable experience of seeing the evolution of the data management and open science ecosystem in academia from three different perspectives: graduate researcher in psychology, CLIR data curation postdoctoral fellow in the library, and research liaison librarian to brain sciences.

In this panel I’ll speak from a combination of these perspectives about researcher’s needs for easy-to-implement tools for open science and university support for research data and open science in the form of both services and infrastructure as well as recognition for non-traditional forms of scholarly contribution. I’ll discuss how these changes influence the daily lives of researchers and how as a data specialist and a liaison I’ve worked to be a research collaborator from the libraries and an advocate for open science practices at the university and within disciplines. In order to better integrate library and university resources for RDM and open access into the research workflow the libraries data team rethought how we conceive of the research data life cycle and the needs of researchers at each stage. This model of research data emphasizes the iterative nature of research as well as the importance of documenting and sharing non-traditional research products at many points throughout research. To better encourage collaboration between the library and researchers and provide tools and resources to the research community, we’ve specifically paired services and resources from the university and beyond with each stage of research. This ongoing shift towards open science requires the involvement of many different players including university-level initiatives, homegrown tools and community standards within disciplines, publisher and industry collaborations, funder resources, involvement from libraries and information experts, and of course researchers themselves. By considering many different perspectives of researcher’s needs and the evolution of open science, CMU hopes to continue building a research library to collaborate with 21st century research.