37 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 296 2018 Barriers to Collaboration: Lessons Learned from the Data Curation Network Lisa R. Johnston, Research Data Management/Curation Lead and Co- Director of the University Digital Conservancy, University of Minnesota Libraries, and Principal Investigator of the Data Curation Network Project There are many barriers that prevent us from actively and equitably collaborating in meaningful ways. When we launched the cross- institutional Data Curation Network (DCN) project,1 our team took conscious steps toward seeking out those barriers and working to find ways to overcome them. I will present those barriers here and note some ways that we are attempting to overcome our obstacles. First, a bit of background on our project. Our vision for the Data Curation Network is to ensure that researchers, when faced with a growing number of requirements to ethically share their research data, are preparing and archiving their data in ways that make it findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR). Data curation activities—such as quality assurance, metadata/documentation creation, code review, and file transformations—support FAIR data publishing and sharing activities. But data curation can be costly, requiring advanced curation practices, specific technical competencies, and relevant subject expertise. For multidisciplinary institutions and nonprofit data repositories, the sheer range of data curation expertise required to perform these services well is an enormous challenge. The DCN takes a collective approach to data curation. By sharing our expert data curation staff across DCN partner institutions, we enable ourselves to collectively, and more effectively, curate a wider variety of data types (for example, discipline, file format, The Data Curation Network project brings together the perspectives of research data librarians, academic library administrators, and domain subject experts from academic libraries and general-purpose or disciplinary data repositories.
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