Please note: This experimental research project has concluded.
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Role of Libraries in Data Curation

Academic libraries should be prepared to respond to the need for dataset management, both supporting researchers' data needs during the course of the research and providing ongoing preservation of and access to datasets. This activity will investigate topics related to data curation and libraries.



Data curation has repeatedly come up as an area where OCLC Research Library Partners would like to work collaboratively on a path forward.


Libraries would like to provide distinctive services in their support of their institutions' research missions. While data needs for some of the big sciences are met outside the library, there are other fields in which data curation is badly needed. This project will help to establish meaningful ways in which libraries can help to manage research datasets.


The Research Support listserv (link provides a discussion forum for identifying areas of need. Subgroups then take on a topic and develop something of use to the community. 

Data Curation Funding Working Group

This group is exploring strategies for sustaining data curation services.  It is investigating sources of funding and differences in various national contexts.  Members include:

  • Rachel Bruce, JISC
  • Lucie Burgess, University of Oxford
  • Todd Chavez, University of South Florida
  • Joy Davidson, University of Glasgow
  • Tim DiLauro, Johns Hopkins University
  • Cynthia Hudson-Vitale, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Leo Konstantelos, University of Melbourne
  • Sara Mannheimer, Montana State University
  • Holly Mercer, University of Tennessee
  • Amy Nurnberger, Columbia University
  • Christie Peters, University of Houston
  • Amanda Rinehart, Ohio State University
  • Sally Rumsey, University of Oxford
  • Perry Willett, California Digital Library
  • Fei Yu, University of Queensland

Data Curation Building Blocks Working Group

This group is explicating basic provision of data curation services.  It intends to offer advice about ways to get started in supporting data curation and point to ways to scale up as more resources become available. Members include:

  • Cunera Buys, Northwestern University
  • Ricc Ferrante, Smithsonian Institution
  • Donna Gibson, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Laurence Horton, London School of Economics
  • Ryan Johnson, University of California, San Diego
  • Amy Nurnberger, Columbia University
  • Reid Otsuji, University of California, San Diego
  • Amy Rushing, University of Texas, San Antonio
  • Jenna Ryan, Boston University
  • Stephanie Wright, University of Washington

Data Curation Policy Working Group:

The data curation policy working group identified campus stakeholders and topics for libraries to raise with the other stakeholders on campus (IT, Office of Research, Academic departments, and so on) about the advantages of a campus-wide policy. Members included:

  • 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

The broad range of experience and perspectives that these members contributed to was invaluable, and resulted in the report Starting the Conversation: University-wide Research Data Management Policy.

Related Work


Ricky Erway

Team Members

Ixchel Faniel

Brian Lavoie

Jennifer Schaffner