liaison can make other similar data sets available and known to local researchers for reuse and new discoveries. This role builds naturally on the collection building and searching experience librarians already have with traditional information resources. Standards for data preservation: Behind the scenes, liaisons can work with domain experts to create preservation models for data and can document data needs to help work towards metadata and data standards. Given the current state of liaison roles and responsibilities it might seem that these roles are too big a stretch for librarians to develop, but they do build upon a rich tradition of current practices that can ensure the success of liaisons in extending their reach into engineering and science data curation: Liaisons know their disciplinary communities, their information practices, and understand a community’s data needs and can help shape the services that will meet them. Liaisons are experienced in negotiating and coordinating between many organizations, internal and external to the libraries, to coordinate delivery of excellent services to users. Liaisons have a long track record of building bridges with others in similar roles at other institutions in order to bring best practices into local practice. Liaisons are experienced in selection and appraisal for collection building and can extend that knowledge to helping researchers ask the right questions for possible long-term reuse of their data. Liaisons are experienced in helping researchers find difficult-to-locate materials. Many liaisons have domain-specific advanced degrees and experience and can readily add knowledge of data management practices unique to their discipline. Despite a rich tradition of practices and the outstanding opportunities that lie ahead, it is clear that incorporating engineering and science data services into a library’s service portfolio requires certain skills in individuals who want to fulfill the role of a “data liaison.” Engineering and science data is often heterogeneous: data sets are created to fulfill a unique need. The highly self- motivated liaisons who want to work in this realm will need to have very strong analytical, project management, and problem solving skills, as well as RLI 265 18 The Last Mile: Liaison Roles in Curating Science and Engineering Research Data ( C O N T I N U E D ) AUGUST 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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