Convergence: Integrating diverse perspectives to provide a single point of service

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In response to an increased awareness of the data management needs of researchers, Cornell’s Research Data Management Service Group (RDMSG) was created with the goal of making it as simple as possible for researchers to obtain the data management services they require. As more libraries get involved in data management, there are several different service models emerging, with some institutions establishing dedicated staff whose main responsibility it is to work with researchers on research data management and others using existing library staff. An example of another possible model, the RDMSG is a cross-disciplinary virtual group that relies on representatives from various service groups on campus to do the work of consulting with researchers on data management planning. With representatives from Cornell University Libraries (CUL), Cornell Information Technologies (CIT), the Center for Advanced Computing (CAC), and Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER), the RDMSG consultant pool includes staff from both business and mission driven departments, as well as having very different backgrounds and areas of expertise. The diverse perspectives of the consultants is both a strength and a challenge for the group. In order to provide consistent high quality consultations, the group developed a set of operating principles to guide all consultants in their interactions with researchers. Developing best practices allowed the group to reach consensus on what kinds of interactions were desirable, and to focus their efforts on providing that level of research data management service. We will discuss our experience working as a cross-disciplinary group, including the advantages and disadvantages both expected and unexpected that we’ve encountered. We will also summarize our activities to date and offer some best practices for providing research data management services.

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Poster presented at Research Data Access and Preservation Summit, 22-24 March 2012, New Orleans, LA.


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RDMSG; data managment


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