Building as We Climb: The Data Working Group at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
Objective: To describe the activities of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries’ Data Working Group around the data management and curation needs of the campus community. These efforts include outreach to the campus regarding the recent NSF requirement for Data Management Plans.1
Participants: The Libraries’ Data Working Group is composed of seven members with expertise in project management, systems and web development, scholarly communication, archives and metadata, and science and social science librarianship. The Data Working Group is one of three subgroups of the Digital Strategies Group at the University Libraries.
Description: The University of Massachusetts Amherst claims 82 centers and institutes that are conducting research on some level, bringing in over $140 million in externally sponsored research each year, including 10 federally-funded research centers that “reflect national priorities and provide opportunities for breakthrough research, educational innovation, and technology transfer.” This research environment has earned the campus classification as a Research University with Very High research activity (RU/VH) by the Carnegie Foundation. (http://www.umass.edu/umhome/research.php). As a key partner in teaching, learning, and research, the University of Massachusetts Libraries have begun extending services to include data management support. Specifically, the Libraries established the Data Working Group in early 2010 to explore the issues and on-campus needs around data management and to articulate the role that the Libraries will play in this arena.
Results: The Libraries’ Data Working Group is actively engaged in several parallel activities—such as faculty interviews, focus groups, and a web audit—to build meaningful services for faculty and graduate students with respect to their various data management needs, concerns, and infrastructure support scenarios. In addition, the Data Working Group has assisted the Libraries in communicating this commitment to data management support via a letter outlining services in support of the NSF mandate in December 2010.
1 See for example: http://www.library.umass.edu/services/services-for-faculty/data-management/
Jessica Adamick, MJ Canavan, Steven McGinty, Rebecca C. Reznik-Zellen, Maxine Schmidt, and Robert Stevens. "Building as We Climb: The Data Working Group at the University of Massachusetts Amherst" 2011
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jessica_adamick/1