Full-Length Paper

Opportunities and Barriers for Librarians in Exploring Data: Observations from the Data Curation Profile Workshops



Setting and Objective: The Purdue University Libraries offered a series of professional development workshops in 2011-2012 to provide librarians with a broad understanding of issues in data curation and to train them in the use of the Data Curation Profiles Toolkit (DCP Toolkit). An additional goal of the workshop was to develop a better understanding of the experiences, attitudes, and needs of librarians as they explore new roles.

Design and Methods: Workshop participants were asked to complete three surveys: one before the workshop, one right afterwards, and one delivered three months after they had attended the workshop. Participants’ responses to the survey questions that pertained to demographic information, confidence levels, and levels of engagement before and after the workshop were reviewed and analyzed.

Results: The results of the survey indicated that participants’ confidence levels in multiple areas increased after the workshop, but that their levels of engagement remained relatively stagnant. An analysis of the free text comments made in the survey revealed multiple issues in librarians’ efforts to increase their engagement in working with data including time, staffing, and organizational support from their library.

Conclusions: The challenges encountered by librarians seeking to engage in data management and curation issues are found at the individual level (acquiring skills and confidence) and at the organizational level (creating a supportive environment). Both levels will need to be addressed by libraries seeking to develop data services.

Keywords: Data Services, Libraries, Data Curation Profiles

How to Cite: Carlson, J. R. (2013) “Opportunities and Barriers for Librarians in Exploring Data: Observations from the Data Curation Profile Workshops”, Journal of eScience Librarianship. 2(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2013.1042