Developing Meaningful Data Services at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries [poster]
Environmental scanning exercises enable an institution to develop a clear understanding of complex issues before making high-impact process decisions or commitments. At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the path to embracing the current data management trend includes several complementary, exploratory exercises designed to help the Libraries not only understand the nuances of the local research environment but also to evaluate practices at peer institutions that may serve as a model for engaging and supporting faculty. By crafting a vision that prioritizes the needs of the campus community while learning from external solutions, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries are able to articulate meaningful data services for faculty and graduate students.
While Data Curation Profiles are immensely helpful and do figure into these exploratory efforts, the Libraries’ Data Working Group has taken a three-pronged approach to gathering information from the community. Environmental scanning activities include faculty interviews, focus groups, and web audits. The resulting information, which includes input from graduate students as well as faculty and approaches from peer institutions as well as local practice, provide a broader perspective of data management issues. The findings from these activities are the foundation on which services for faculty and graduate students are being developed with respect to their various data management needs, concerns, cross-institutional collaborations, and infrastructure support scenarios.
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 is committed to extending services to include data management support.
Rebecca C. Reznik-Zellen, Maxine Schmidt, Jessica Adamick, MJ Canavan, and Steve McGinty. "Developing Meaningful Data Services at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries [poster]" 2011 LITA National Forum. St. Louis, MO. Oct. 2011.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rebecca_reznik-zellen/15