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Penn State University Libraries


Patricia Hswe | Publishing & Curation Services

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DMP Consultation Tips

What typically should  happen when responding to a data management plan consultation request  is the following:

- Copy the relative subject specialist on the response (stating in the email that you would like to invite them to the meeting), or forward the message to the subject specialist with an invitation to the meeting.
- Ask the PI for the deadline of the proposal
- Ask the PI if there's a link to the solicitation, to read it before the consultation
- Ask if it is possible to see a draft of the proposal, which will also help to understand the data
- Ask for available times to meet
- Give the link to the toolkit or suggest that if they haven't already consulted it. They might want to look at it.

Follow up:

There's some follow-up after that (confirming the time and place, perhaps pointing them to the local guidance we've created for Penn State researchers). Prior to the meeting, try to find out as much as possible about the data, the faculty member's specialty, and whether there's a possibility for an existing repository to take that data. Also confer with the subject specialist, since he/she will be attending the session.

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Who we are

The RDMST Charge

Advise on and/or assist in the creation, management, access to or disposition of digital data sets needed for research and teaching at Penn State.  Initial focus on outreach around the NSF Data Management policy, but this team could help to develop or outline front-line consulting base for advanced research services in a variety of fields and interdisciplinary research.  This team is not intended to substitute for subject liaisons, but to supplement their existing expertise.


For the purpose of this group, "data" can mean any information that takes digital format:  numerical datasets, observational information, map, texts, images, time-dependent media, etc. (The National Science Foundation has also used this definition:  “data are any and all complex data entities from observations, experiments, simulations, models, and higher order assemblies, along with the associated documentation needed to describe and interpret the data.” (See in particular chapter 4 of “Cyberinfrastructure Vision for 21st Century Discovery” at The group will need to focus on data created by researchers and/or data that researchers need to create or obtain.  



Marcy Bidney, co-chair

Patricia Hswe, co-chair

    Ann Holt - Graduate Assistant, Scholarly Communications, 2010-2012

Nic Cecchino

Kevin Clair

Mike Giarlo

Nancy Henry

Dan Mack

Stephen Woods


Mike Furlough

Mairead Martin

Gary White

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What we do



  • Review, vet, and compose material for website on federal requirements on data management and public access.  
  • Meet with researchers to assist them in developing plans for research data creation/management.
  • Plan and conduct workshops or other public presentations on these issues (for both internal and external audiences).
  • Identify service gaps in supporting researcher's need for data creation/management and develop or recommend possible solutions.  (How can service requests and other work be prioritized? What role for collections and collection development policies?) 
  • Take part in one or more pilot projects to help develop data curation/repository services in partnership with Penn State researchers. 
  • Communicate openly with the community about these efforts. 


The work of this team may inform or be informed by:

  • Penn State Data Curation Services Working Group (In development, sponsorship from Dean, CIO, VP Research)
  • Curation Architecture Prototype Services project
  • Review of future Science libraries services and plans (cf Core Council).


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What we discuss

Meeting agendas and action items


Meeting Notes

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Articles & Issues

Digital Scholarship has released the Research Data Curation Bibliography. It includes over 100 selected English-language articles and technical reports that are useful in understanding the curation of digital research data in academic and other research institutions. See:

Gabridge, T. (2009). The last mile: liaison roles in curating science and engineering research data. Research Library Issues: A Bimonthly Report from ARL, CNI, and SPARC, no. 265, 15-21.

Perry. O. & Mauthner, M. (2009). Whose data are they anyway? Practice, legal and ethical issues in archiving qualitative research data. Sociology (36) 1, 139-152. Abstract is available. Retrieved from

Piwowar, H. & Chapman, W. (2010). Public sharing of research datasets: A pilot study of associations. Journal of Infometrics (4) 2, 148-156.

Science special issue, "Dealing with Data." Retrieved from (Note: this issue is available to read for free online, but you must register for such access.)

Zimmerman, A. (2007). Not by metadata alone: the use of diverse forms of knowledge to locate data for reuse. (gated) International Journal on Digital Libraries (7) 1-2, 5-16. 


Book of Trogol (D. Salo, E. Brown, S. Shreeves)

Digital Curation Blog (Digital Curation Centre, U.K.)

Neal Beagrie's Blog >> Digital Curation

Research Remix (H. Piwowar)

Data Files

NSF Awards to Penn State (1970s to 2010) - generated at the NSF Award Search site

Guidelines for Preparation of Data (e.g., metadata schemes, examples for subject-specific data, etc.)

Data Description Tools List DCC

Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) - metadata specification for the social and behavioral sciences

DataStar (Cornell)

Depositing data to DRYAD (this is a good example of some guidelines for data deposit in a repository)

ICPSR Guide on Data Preparation

"Key points for archiving with ELAR" (Endangered Languages Archive)

UK Data Archive: Preparing your Data

Papers, Posters, Presentations

Hedstrom, M. & Niu, J. (2008). Incentives for data producers to create “archive-ready” data: implications for archives and records management. Society of American Archivists, San Francisco, CA. Retrieved from

McNeill, K. (2010, November). Data management plans. [Powerpoint slides] (attached to the wiki)

Piwowar, H. (2010). A semi-automated method to track data set reuse in biomedicine. Presented at ASIS&T 2010, Pittsburgh, PA. Retrieved from

Sallans, A. (2011, January). NSF data management plan: implications for librarians. [Powerpoint slides]. Presented at ALA Midwinter Meeting, San Diego, CA. Retrieved from

Salo, D. & R. Schryver. (2010, August). Escaping datageddon. [Powerpoint slides]. Retrieved from

Survey Literature (on Services, Storage, etc.) and Tools

Data Asset Framework -

Feijen, M. (2011). What researchers want. P. Gretton and K. Russell (Eds.). Utrecht: SURF Foundation. 

Scaramozzino, J.M., Ramirez, M. & McGaughey, K. (2010). "Managing the data deluge: understanding scientists' need for data curation services. [Poster]. Presented at the California Academic and Research Libraries' Association, Sacramento, CA. Retrieved from

Westra, B. (2010). "Data services for the sciences: a needs assessment." Ariadne 64. Retrieved from


Scientific Data Sharing Project

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Research Data Management: An Introduction

November 9th, 10h30 - 11h30 in 302 Paterno ---- Managing your Digital Assets: Tips for Grad scholars

You already have a sense of how to organize your stuff so that you can find it. Right? However, sometimes when your stuff isn’t necessarily visible (as in the case of electronic files) organization can be challenging. Losing hours, days, months, and sometimes years of hard work can be horrifying. Learn how to manage your data, files, and scholarly documents in order to avoid mishaps and make research and learning efficient. Sponsored by Library Learning Services, this workshop is designed for graduate students to give tips for best practices in data management and organization.




April 21st:  "Coming to a Discipline Near You”  

Last Spring, the National Science Foundation made an announcement changing the way research proposals are awarded.  By fall, they set a date.  As of January 18th, 2011 all NSF proposals must include a two page data management plan that outlines the nature and standards of the proposed research data, as well as how access, sharing, archiving, and maintenance of the data will function.  As a result, researchers, academic libraries, as well as university organizations and institutes for research are pulling together in response to this call, asking questions about what this means for research across disciplines, how it will impact libraries and archives, and how new forms of collection, storage and access will be performed. Find out what this means for you on April 21st at a presentation offered by the Research Data Management Team!



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