RDAP: Can you provide a short summary of who you are and why your organization decided to support and attend the 2017 summit?
Purdue: Purdue University Libraries (PUL), recipient of the 2015 Award for Excellence in University Libraries from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), strives to be at the forefront of academic librarianship and help to redefine the role of the academic research library in learning, discovery, and engagement. Libraries faculty and staff are deeply involved in information literacy instruction and instructional design, redefining of learning spaces, scholarly communication, data management, and global outreach. We recognize the breadth and depth of librarians working in areas related to research data and preservation. We see sponsoring RDAP as our way of recognizing and appreciating the work, networking, and collaborations that goes on at the Summit.
RDAP: Which communities does your organization primarily serve and/or represent?
Purdue: Purdue Libraries primarily serves the undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty of an R01 research university which is known for its STEM focus (around here we say STEAM, and the A stands for Agriculture). We serve a campus of 30,000 undergrad and 9,500 graduate students from 128 countries, as well as a faculty and staff population of almost 17,000. The Libraries is also an active member of state, regional, national, and international associations and consortia, including the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), SPARC, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), the Digital Library Federation (DLF), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries (IATUL), and the Research Data Alliance (RDA). Purdue Libraries is a founding member of both HathiTrust and DataCite.
RDAP: Can you tell us how your organization supports/advances best practices for research data?
Purdue: We have a two-pronged, multi-fold approach. We have a Research Data unit, comprised of eight members who provide support for the Purdue University Research Repository; support liaisons who engage disciplinary researchers in data; and provide consultation, collaboration, and instruction to multiple stakeholders, as well as to supplement liaisons. Many of the liaisons also provide consultation, collaboration, and instruction. Best practices for research data management and curation are advanced by working directly with researchers and the labs to integrate standards and skills into workflows and projects. Additionally, collaborations with the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships (EVPRP) and Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), as well as others, are critical to collaborating across campus.
RDAP: What are some of the new challenges facing research data professionals in 2017?
Purdue: There are several, e.g., moving from static two-page DMPs to active DMPs that implement management into workflows; promoting and implementing (still) standards—from identifiers to citation to discovery metadata; and teaching—general data literacy to undergraduate students and practical and applied data management to graduate students.
RDAP: The RDAP Summit is strives to provide a venue for reaching across disciplines and institutions to work on common solutions to issues surrounding research data management. Do you have insights on how RDAP differs or compares to other conferences you’ve attended?
Purdue: RDAP has a more practical/practitioner focus than some research-oriented conferences, and has an “un-conference” feel to it, designed to encourage and even provoke conversation and work together to solve challenges we all face.
RDAP: What is the one thing you want other summit attendees to walk away knowing about your organization?
Purdue: Purdue Libraries faculty and staff have enjoyed working with individuals, groups, and libraries—nationally and internationally—around practices, services, and tools related to data management and curation. We would like to continue partnering and building relationships. We’re all in this together, and in many ways these are still early times.