Tactics

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Again in no particular order, some thoughts and ideas that came to mind during Science Online 2010: I did quite a bit of library advocacy during the conference, and not just during the session dedicated to it! I noticed that I had the best luck when I could define a library service in terms of…

I had the following exchange several times during the opening day of Science Online 2010: Interlocutor: “So what do you do?” Me: “I’m a librarian.” Interlocutor: *lengthy pause* So? what are you doing here exactly? Er, what? A conference about science communication? How on earth can that not be imagined to intrigue a librarian? This,…

Either/or?

Chris Rusbridge retweeted my tweet last night announcing my previous post. His prefatory comment gave me pause: “Curation by researcher or librarian?” Er, both? Plus IT? I’ve never thought anything different, and if I’ve given the impression that I want to grab the entire pie for librarianship, I hereby apologize profusely. Acknowledging right now that…

If you’re not reading the comments here, you’re missing the best part of the blog. Case in point, this comment from the incomparable Chris Rusbridge, which I reproduce as a post so that those who are missing the best part of the blog don’t miss it: Several things I wanted to respond to. You say…

Magical thinking in data curation

Peter Keane has a lengthy and worthwhile piece about the need for a “killer app” in data management. It’s too meaty to relegate to a tidbits post; go read it and see what you think, then come back. My reaction to the piece is complex, and I’m still rereading it to work through my own…

Top-down or bottom-up?

As I watch the environment around me for signs of data curation inside institutions, particularly in libraries, I seem to see two general classes of approach to the problem. One starts institution-wide, generally with a grand planning process. Another starts at the level of the individual researcher, lab, department or (at most) school; it may…

This is the question I was asking myself while reading this fairly straightforward paper on open access in high-energy physics (hat tip to Garret McMahon). It’s impossible to be in my particular professional specialty and not know about the trajectory of self-archiving in high-energy physics, but I learned a smallish detail from that paper that…

Service sustainability

When Steve Hitchcock says that “sustainability must precede preservation for institutional repositories,” what does he mean? Not to put words in Steve’s mouth (Steve has plenty of words, all well-chosen), but here’s my one-sentence take on it: A service is sustainable as long as it has a constituency both willing to fight to keep it…

Some people watch football over Thanksgiving weekend; I get into discussions of disciplinary data regimes with fellow SciBling Christina and others on FriendFeed. Judge me if you must! Another common truism in both the repository and data-management fields is that disciplinary affiliation accounts for a lot of the variation in observed researcher behavior. For once,…

… and then what?

It can be difficult to convince present-focused researchers to give a long-term perspective, such as that of a librarian or archivist, the time of day. (So to speak.) Here’s my favorite way to do it: the “? and then what?” game. You have digital data. You think it’s important. We’ll start from there. Your grant…