Authors: Lisa R Johnston, Jacob Carlson, Cynthia Hudson-Vitale, Heidi Imker, Wendy Kozlowski, Robert Olendorf, Claire Stewart
Data curation may be an emerging service for academic libraries, but researchers actively “curate” their data in a number of ways—even if terminology may not always align. Building on past userneeds assessments performed via survey and focus groups, the authors sought direct input from researchers on the importance and utilization of specific data curation activities.
Between October 21, 2016, and November 18, 2016, the study team held focus groups with 91 participants at six different academic institutions to determine which data curation activities were most important to researchers, which activities were currently underway for their data, and how satisfied they were with the results.
Researchers are actively engaged in a variety of data curation activities, and while they considered most data curation activities to be highly important, a majority of the sample reported dissatisfaction with the current state of data curation at their institution.
Our findings demonstrate specific gaps and opportunities for academic libraries to focus their data curation services to more effectively meet researcher needs.
Research libraries stand to benefit their users by emphasizing, investing in, and/or heavily promoting the highly valued services that may not currently be in use by many researchers.