Collaborating to Facilitate Data Literacy in Agricultural Experiment Stations

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Collaboration has always been an important strategy for libraries, and this is especially true in the area of data literacy. Our project describes the collaboration between librarians, both subject and data specialists, and the North Central Regional Association (NCRA) of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors. NCRA is one of five regional associations of Experiment Station Directors across the United States and covers twelve states in the Midwest and Plains regions. The NCRA Directors were aware of federal funding mandates requiring changes in the way data generated from sponsored research would need to be shared but were unsure of what they needed to know to support their researchers. To better understand the issues, they reached out to librarians, who in turn had to consider two important factors about their partners in collaboration. First, though all are Directors of Experiment Stations they occupy a variety of roles within their universities, from administrators in their Ag College to active researchers, and they come from a range of agricultural disciplines. Therefore, their experience and perceived needs for data literacy ranged widely. Secondly, and more importantly, as administrators they wanted information quickly and succinctly. A sub-group of the librarians have begun to create a series of short videos that describe the recent history of data mandates, an overview of available data tools (e.g., repositories, DMPTool), and ways that librarians on their campuses can help their researchers. To create the videos, the librarians develop a slide deck and script and work with an E-Learning Librarian to record and refine the videos. This collaboration has begun to expand the relationships between the librarians and their Agricultural Experiment Station Directors. It will also create resources that can be broadly shared with other regional experiment stations and re-purposed for other data instruction.

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USAIN 2016 conference presentation, on Collaboration in Agricultural Librarianship (sponsored by AgNIC IG)


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Conference; Libraries; Data Literacy; USAIN


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