DIPIR project presentation at iConference in Toronto, Thursday, 9 February 2001, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Morgan Daniels, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan and member of the DIPIR research team, will present "Managing fixity and fluidity in data repositories." The DIPIR (Dissemination Information Packages (DIPS) for Information Reuse) project, is funded by IMLS and supported by OCLC. It is led by OCLC Post-Doctoral Researcher Ixchel Faniel and U. Michigan professor Elizabeth Yakel.

Data repositories walk a fine line between the fixity and fluidity of the data they curate. Change is constant, but too much change affects the integrity of data. This paper examines data transformations in three repositories, serving the zoological, archaeological, and quantitative social science research communities. Based on in-depth analysis of 27 interviews, we identify a typology of changes: adding value; correcting errors; creating consistency; changing representations of data to reflect new knowledge; responding to designated communities; and evolving practices around collecting. Then we discuss the nature of these changes in terms of the data and collections. Our findings indicate that organizational differences and the diverse needs of the repositories’ designated communities play a large role in how they manage change.

Together with partners at The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and Open Context, the DIPIR project examines data reuse in three academic disciplines to identify how contextual information about the data that supports reuse can best be created and preserved. The project focuses on research data produced and used by quantitative social scientists, archaeologists, and zoologists. The intended audiences of this project are researchers who use secondary data and the digital curators, digital repository managers, data center staff, and others who collect, manage, and store digital information. Knowledge gained from the study will help guide current and future international practices for curating and preserving digital research data.

Morgan Daniels was a research assistant on the DIPIR project during the summer of 2011. She is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Information studying data reuse in research communities. Her past work has explored data management in a small laboratory context and user interactions with archival representations.

Ixchel Faniel, Ph.D. is the Principal Investigator for this project. She is a Post Doctoral Researcher at OCLC, Online Computer Library Center, Inc. and a Research Investigator in the School of Information, University of Michigan.

More Information

DIPIR Project (Dissemination Information Packages (DIPS) for Information Reuse)


Ixchel Faniel

For more information:

Ixchel Faniel, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Researcher
OCLC Research

Robert C. Bolander
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research