The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released SPEC Kit 354, its latest report on research library data curation practices, that: 

explores the infrastructure that ARL member institutions are using for data curation, which data curation services are offered, who may use them, which disciplines demand services most, library staffing levels, policies and workflows, and the challenges of supporting these activities.

It includes examples of data repository web pages, descriptions of services, infrastructure, workflows, metadata schemas, and policies, and job descriptions.

SPEC Kit 354 (May 2017) may be useful for anyone interested in what other major research institutions are doing in regards to research data management and curation. 

There will be a related webcast (click to register here):

Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Time: 1:00–1:45 p.m. eastern daylight time

Cost: Free for all

Register by: Wednesday, June 7, 2017



From UA@Work:

Applications are being accepted for the 2017-18 IT Leadership Academy, which helps campus information technology professionals develop their leadership skills.

Launched in 2015 as a joint effort involving University Information Technology Services and the Division of Human Resources, the academy is aimed at helping current and emerging IT leaders at the UA to expand their impact and leadership expertise.


Applications for the 2017-18 class will be accepted through June 9. Information technology professionals seeking professional growth and expanded leadership skills are encouraged to apply.

Visit to complete the application form. A letter of recommendation and endorsement by a departmental IT leader, department head, dean or vice president also are required. Accepted members must commit to attending monthly half-day sessions from September 2017 through March 2018. Click here to see the topics that were covered during the 2016-17 academy.

"The skills you learn and the relationships you build in this program are invaluable," said Derek Masseth, chief technology officer at UITS. "I'm looking forward to continuing this program for many years to come and recommend that all IT professionals who are interested apply."  


Open Data: The Researcher Perspective  

A year ago, in April 2016, Leiden University’s Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) and Elsevier embarked on a project to investigate open data practices at the workbench in academic research . . .  

How are policy initiatives for open science related to the day-to-day practices of researchers and scholars?

Some of the take-aways:

  • Data-sharing practices depend on the field: there is no general approach
  • Researchers acknowledge the benefits of open data, but data sharing practices are still limited
  • Barriers to sharing slow the uptake of open data practices
  • Analysis of publication in data journals reveals scattered practices
  • Bridging the gap will require both researchers and policymakers

Download the full report here:

Related datasets available on Mendeley:


Endangered Data Week  April 17-21, 2017

  • Raising awareness of threats to publicly available data

  • Exploring the power dynamics of data creation, sharing, and retention

  • Teaching ways to make endangered data more accessible and secure


Political events in the United States have shed new light on the fragility of publicly administered data. In just the first few weeks of the Trump administration and 115th Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency was allegedly ordered to remove climate change information from its website, the USDA removed animal welfare data from its website, and the House passed H.Res.5, specifically excluding changes to the Affordable Care Act from mandatory long-term cost data analysis. The Senate and House of Representatives have both received proposed bills (S.103 and H.R.482) prohibiting funding from being used "to design, build, maintain, utilize, or provide access to a Federal database of geospatial information on community racial disparities or disparities in access to affordable housing." While researchers, archivists, librarians, and watchdog groups work hard to create and preserve open data, there's little guarantee that information under federal control will always survive changes to federal agencies.

Building on past work

Threats to open data aren't new, and archivists, librarians, and researchers have a long history of working to foster and preserve unfettered access to information. Events like Sunshine Week and Open Access Week highlight similar issues to the scholarly community and the press. The End of Term Web Archive project has functioned since 2008 to "capture and save US Government websites at the end of presidential administrations" as a collaboration between the Internet Archive, California Digital Library, University of North Texas Libraries, and Library of Congress, covering sites from all three branches of the federal government. However, since the November election, the urgency to address endangered datasets has been felt more deeply and by a larger community.

The most visible effort (and an Endangered Data Week partner) focuses on environmental data: #DataRescue/DataRefuge, a program spearheaded by the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities Lab, University of Pennsylvania Libraries, and Project_ARCC. Contributors to this project are scrambling to ensure that crucial datasets on climate change and related issues are preserved for researchers now and into the future. Datasets are being added to ICPSR's DataLumos and DataRefuge as a supplement to federal agency servers. Meanwhile, censorship fears are driving the Internet Archive to pursue backup strategies outside the United States of America [...]

More information about DataRefuge:


What is ResBaz 2017

Event Update - Jennifer Nichols, R&L The first Research Bazaar was a success, with 73 attendees over two days. Thank you to: our collaborators at CyVerse, the Office of Research, Discovery and Innovation, and CyVerse for funding, and logistical support of all sorts from the Libraries - including space, marketing, setup and breakdown. Particular gratitude to everyone in the Libraries who helped to make it a success, including Jeff Oliver, Jane Prescott-Smith, Shelly Black, Jesse Blodgett, Hasan Sanli, Carrie Muir, Vicki Lazaro, Maggie Melo, Anthony Sanchez, Niamh Wallace, Ben Hickson, Chris Kollen, Lori Strazza Brown, Lidia Barcelo, and all who attended.  Deepest regrets if I left anyone out.


We invite your participation in Endangered Data Week, a distributed network of events running from April 17th-21st, 2017:  

Endangered Data Week is a new, annual, grassroots effort to:

  • raise awareness of threats to publicly available data of all kinds, across sectors and disciplines
  • provide opportunities to explore the power dynamics of data creation, sharing, privacy, and retention 
  • build community capacity by teaching ways to make #EndangeredData more accessible and secure

Browse for online events and opportunities near you:

Nothing nearby? Please help make this first EDW a success by planning a gathering and adding it to our list and map!

We especially encourage events that promote care for endangered collections by:

  • publicizing the availability of datasets to diverse communities
  • increasing critical engagement with data, including through visualization, analysis, and storytelling
  • encouraging activism and advocacy for open data policies
  • fostering needed skills through workshops on data curation, documentation and discovery, improved access, and preservation.

Finally, we welcome contributions to our small supplementary collection of EDW resources:

Endangered Data Week is facilitated by a dedicated team of volunteers, including Brandon Locke and Jason A. Heppler, supported by the Digital Library Federation and in partnership with a new DLF interest group on Records Transparency/Accountability, led by Rachel Mattson: Additional supporters include DataRefuge and CLIR.

Share this announcement online:  







Join Code for Tucson and the UA Library for Open Data Day Tucson 2017

  • What is Open Data?  "Open data" is data that is published by government agencies, non-profits, and other groups, free of charge, for anyone to use.

  • What is Open Data Day?  It is an annual celebration of open data all over the world. For the fifth time in history, groups from around the world will create local events on the day where they will use open data in their communities. It is an opportunity to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society. 

  • What are "Civic Hackers"? Don't let the term hacker scare you - it's not always a bad thing. "Civic hackers" are groups of people that use the open data out there to create apps, build websites, make tools, and produce other outputs (social media campaigns, reports, articles) that will benefit the local community. You don't have to be a programmer to participate (although comfort with technology is helpful).  If you aren't sure about it, come and check it out! It's a fun way to learn!

  • Code for Tucson will be hosting an event right here in the Old Pueblo to see what a motivated group of civic hackers can achieve with open data in 8 hours. Come join us for food, good company, and data!

Open Data Day Tucson 2017
  • Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data all over the world. For the fifth time in history, groups from around the world will create local events on the day where they will use open data in their communities. It is an opportunity to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society.

    Code for Tucson will be hosting an event right here in the Old Pueblo to see what a motivated group of civic hackers can achieve with open data in 8 hours. Come join us for food, good company, and data!


From the FacetPublishing Blog 2/20/2017:  

Love Your Data Week Roundup

Last week Facet participated in Love Your Data Week, a 5-day international event to help reasearchers take better care of their data. We have gathered all the resources we published during the week below.

During the week, we made several new chapters from our research data management titles available Open Access. All the chapters can be downloaded below.

New Open Access chapters:

Blogposts from Facet authors:


From the University of Michigan University Record website:

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research is establishing an open-access archive, DataLumos, where the public can archive valuable government data resources, ensuring their long-term availability.


ICPSR, a center within U-M's Institute for Social Research, has joined widespread efforts to preserve valuable U.S. government data that may be hard to find or inaccessible in the future.

"We are committed to ensuring that valuable data resources remain accessible and discoverable in the future," said ICPSR Director Margaret Levenstein, who added that members of the research community can help prioritize a list of valued data resources via the ICPSR DataLumos Recommendation Form.

ICPSR has scheduled a webinar [...] to talk about efforts to ensure that data remains available and to answer questions about the DataLumos project.

[Here is a link to the webinar and the slides.]

Data preservation efforts have been mounted at libraries and universities around the United States to keep federal government datasets available to the public. More than 275 volunteers from U-M and around the community gathered at Shapiro Library last month in a local effort to preserve government data. 

Elaine Westbrooks, associate university librarian for research, says the U-M Library is committed to contributing to the National DataRefuge and Data Rescue efforts while also exploring the creation of a collaborative preservation space with other U.S. libraries.

ICPSR is an international consortium of more than 760 academic institutions and research organizations. The world's largest archive of digital social science data, ICPSR maintains more than 500,000 files of research, including specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism and other fields.




Be a Data Superhero! Rescuing Unloved Data

Does your lab have legacy, heritage, or at-risk data? Some questions to ask: Are there lab notebooks teetering in piles? Old hard drives languishing in corners? Former student projects lurking in the lab computer? Unlabeled flash drives rattling in drawers?

Today’s Love Your Data blog argues, “Securing legacy data takes time, resources and expertise but is well worth the effort as old data can enable new research and the loss of data could impede future research.”  The blog suggests next steps, and describes several initiatives to rescue legacy data. You could even win an International Data Rescue Award! 

Your University of Arizona Libraries can advise you about any data that may need rescuing. Start by checking out the Library Data Management page for University resources to assist you.

NOTE: Given recent news events, scientists, librarians, archivists, and data managers are working together to create the datarefuge project to protect climate and environmental data at risk. Consider joining a DataRescue event near you, or start one here at the University of Arizona!

ALSO: ICPSR has established an open-access archive, DataLumos, where the public can archive valuable government data resources, ensuring their long-term availability.  ICPSR, a center within the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, has joined widespread efforts to preserve valuable US government data that may be hard to find or inaccessible in the future.  The project website is found here:

If the Libraries’ Love Your Data Week has been helpful to you, drop us an email to let us know.

Also, participate in the Love Your Data Week raffle using the hashtag #WhyILYD17, and you could win one of several useful resources about research data management! 


The Data Hunter: Finding the Right Data

Sometimes you suspect that the data you need is already out there somewhere—if you could only find it!  How do you find the right data—and how do you determine that the data is good quality and suitable for your purpose? Check out today’s Love Your Data blog for help:

Also, the University of Arizona Libraries provide resources:

The UA Library will be offering two workshops tomorrow in the iSpace that can help you find the right data, and a tool for analyzing and documenting your data.

  • Jupyter Notebook (12-1PM): by Jeff Oliver, AHSC Librarian
  • Finding the Right Data (2-3PM): by Chris Kollen and Mary Bell, UA Libraries



Join us for the free ACRL Presents webcast, “Using Fair Use to Preserve and Share Disappearing Government Information: A Guide for Rogue Librarians” on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, from 1:00 — 2:00 p.m. Central time (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pacific | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Mountain | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Central | 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Convert additional time zones online.)  

[UA Librarians: There will be a group viewing in the UA Vitae Consultation Space (Engineering Library, Room 119)]

Fair use plays a crucial role as copyright’s safety valve for free expression because it permits unauthorized copying in service of the public good. This role, which enables everything from scathing reviews of artwork to wholesale digitization of books for accessibility, is taking on new currency as librarians scramble to preserve contested government information online. From deleted climate data, disappearing government web pages, and ephemeral political tweets, fair use cuts through the legal confusion so we can maintain the historical and scientific record. This webinar will introduce fair use as an equitable doctrine designed to support librarianship and prepare participants to apply fair use in their own communities’ work.

Learning outcomes:

  • Understand the fundamentals of fair use as an equitable doctrine that permits use of copyrighted materials for the public good.
  • Understand the copyright issues surrounding government information and the effects of sharing materials posted on different platforms such as .gov sites and social media platforms like Twitter.
  • Apply fair use in their own practice preserving and sharing digital government documents in their own communities.

Presenters: William M. Cross is the Director of the Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center in the North Carolina State University Libraries. He speaks and writes nationally on copyright, scholarly communication, and open culture. He is also a presenter for the ACRL workshop and a presenter for the ACRL workshop, Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement. Read more about Will in his ACRL member of the week profile.

Lillian Rigling is a North Carolina State University Libraries Fellow, working in the Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center and the User Experience Department. She coordinates outreach, instruction, and engagement around issues of author’s rights, copyright, and open culture at NCSU for students and faculty. Previously, she worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office at the University of Toronto.

How to register: Submit your free registration online by February 17, 2017. Login details will be sent via email the afternoon of February 17. The webcast will be recorded and made available shortly after the live event.



Do Your Future Self a Favor: Make Your Datasets FAIR

As a student, I collected data on the political attitudes of undergraduates in a variety of campus religious groups. A decade later, a mentor urged me to do a follow-up study and publish a paper on changes in those attitudes. I ran into a few problems:

  • My files had disappeared from the university server
  • I had thrown out the original questionnaires
  • I had stored the data in files created by a no-longer-existing software program
  • My backup data files had corrupted over time: the files were unreadable and unrecoverable

While I had a copy of the questionnaire as an appendix to the paper, results tables and analyses in the paper, and a list of the student groups and their demographics, it would be impossible to compare new results to the previous ones with any rigor. If I had taken care to make my data FAIR—Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable—I could have done the analyses, and perhaps my career would have gone in a different direction.

How to make sure your data meet FAIR standards:



Is Your Data Trustworthy? Data Documentation

Thorough documentation of your datasets enables students, colleagues, and journal editors to have confidence in the quality of your research and conclusions. This article from Retraction Watch relates how errors in a dataset (from a poorly documented student project) led to invalid results in two published papers, causing one journal to publish a correction and another journal to retract the article:

“The authors constructed a new database that corrected all of the known errors, removed records from an unpublished […] source, and added a number of new records from the literature. . . On repeating the analyses using the new data, a new conclusion was reached that indicates island extinction patterns are more biased towards larger sizes, rather than intermediate sizes. Given that the main conclusion of the original paper is no longer supported, the editors have decided to retract the article. The new analyses and results will be published elsewhere.”

How can you keep this from happening to you?

  • Read today’s Love Your Data blog entry to learn some practical tricks to improve your data documentation procedures, including techniques for documenting spreadsheets, constructing data dictionaries, employing metadata standards, and best practices for lab notebooks and protocols. There are two suggested activities on the blog that could make a big difference in the quality of your documentation beginning today!
  • Contact Data Curation Librarian, Chris Kollen, or Metadata Librarian, Eric Radio, for more information or workshops about data documentation.


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