April 11, 2011, Washington, DC -- The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) $117,567 for research on how to build capacity for data curation within disciplines. The project will be managed by CLIRs Digital Library Federation (DLF).
Most graduate programs in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities are not well prepared to cultivate the data management skills of their students, or sometimes even to teach them why such skills are important to the survival of their fields of study. In every discipline, at least some professionals must come to grasp the complex demands related to the creation, access, reuse, and preservation of digital research data, which have been the purview of the library and information technology professions, and of schools of library, information, and computer science.
Developing and maintaining skills in data curation must become central to the professional identities of specialists in each discipline if our educational institutions are to build robust, efficient, and appropriately integrated online environments for future research, teaching, and learning, said CLIR President Chuck Henry. We are grateful to the Sloan Foundation for the opportunity to deepen our understanding of the landscape that is developing around digital curation practice and education.
The project will consist of three interrelated activities. The first will be an environmental scan of professional development needs, and of education and training opportunities for digital curation in the academy. The second will be an anthropological study of five sites where digital curation activities are under way. The third will be a report that analyzes the results of the two research efforts and includes a proposal, informed by the findings, for amending the curriculum for CLIRs Postdoctoral Fellowship in Academic Libraries program (http://www.clir.org/fellowships/postdoc/postdoc.html ).
Chuck Henry, along with DLF Program Director Rachel Frick and Bryn Mawr College Chief Information Officer and Director of Libraries Elliott Shore, will serve as the projects principal investigators. Shore is also lead instructor for the Postdoctoral Fellowship program and CLIR presidential fellow.
CLIR (http://www.clir.org/ ) is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to expand access to information, however recorded and preserved, as a public good. In partnership with other institutions, CLIR helps create services that expand the concept of "library" and supports the providers and preservers of information. The Digital Library Federation ( http://e2ma.net/go/7026175332/208524962/221510464/9304/goto:http://www.diglib.org/ ) is a consortium of libraries and related agencies that are pioneering the use of electronic-information technologies to extend their collections and services.