From data curators to intellectual entrepreneurs : observations from IFLA

Publié le 19 décembre 2017, par Thérèse Hameau

Earlier this year I [Clair Castle, Librarian, University of Cambridge] was invited by the Office of Scholarly Communication (OSC) at the University of Cambridge to present a paper on Data Curator’s Roles and Responsibilities : International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. This was my first time writing a paper for a conference and presenting it ; it was slightly daunting but exciting too !


Conference focus

Data curation has emerged as a new area of responsibility for researchers, librarians, and information professionals in the digital environment. The huge variety and amount of data that needs to be processed, preserved, and disseminated is creating new roles, responsibilities and challenges for researchers and the library and information professionals who support them. The primary goal of the conference was to engage the international scholarly community in a conversation that led to a better understanding of these challenges, and to discuss the main trends in data curation and Research Data Management (RDM) practices and education.

To ‘curate’ means to ‘take care of’. What resonated with me the most from the conference was the fact that while we are curating data we are curating people as well. We are doing this by changing research culture, evolving the profession, changing research (and research support) practices, doing outreach and advocacy work, and liaising with related university support services. The conference presentations returned to this theme again and again.

I won’t discuss every presentation here, instead I will collate and relate the ideas that I found most thought-provoking.