[ESIP-all] Data Information Literacy project

Brian Westra bdwestra at gmail.com
Mon Feb 27 13:51:06 EST 2012

In partnership with librarians at the University of Minnesota, the
University of Oregon, and Cornell University, the Purdue University
Libraries received nearly $250,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library
Services to develop training programs for the next generation of
scientists, to enable them to find, organize, use, and share data
efficiently and effectively.

The program is intended for graduate students in engineering and science
disciplines who are working their way toward careers as research scientists.

Technology has made it easier to share research data beyond the lab in
which it was originally created.  The current issue is that in many cases
data are not being administered in ways that enable them to be easily
discovered, understood, or re-purposed for use by other researchers.

This training will be vital to scientists as they look to secure research
funding. In 2007, the National Science Foundation issued a report on the
need to build public collections of research data and since 2011 has
required scientists to include data management plans in their grant

The Data Information Literacy effort will be carried out over a two-year
period by five project teams. Two of the teams, consisting of a data
librarian, a subject librarian and a disciplinary faculty researcher, are
based at Purdue, with one team each at the other institutions.

The teams are constructed to represent a variety of subject areas, from
electrical and computer engineering to landscape architecture so that
commonalities and differences in data curation needs across disciplines can
be explored.  Each team will conduct an assessment of data needs of their
discipline, including interviewing and observing researchers.  The teams
will then develop and implement targeted instruction and assess the impact
of that instruction in developing the data information literacy skills of
graduate students.

The results of this first ever effort at articulating and addressing data
information literacy skills will help future scientists and engineers
contribute to and take full advantage of the potentials that
cyberinfrastructure and information technologies provide.

In many disciplines, the standards and practices needed for managing and
sharing data are still developing, or are not well understood, and
therefore are not applied.  This collaboration between librarians and
faculty will identify the educational needs of future scientists in
organizing, describing, disseminating and preserving their data and teach
them these skills in ways that can be applied in their day-to-day research

More information on the data information literacy project is available at

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Jake Carlson (PI) or any of
the other team members: http://wiki.lib.purdue.edu/display/ste/partners

Brian Westra
Brian Westra  |  Lorry I. Lokey Science Data Services Librarian
University of Oregon Libraries
541-346-2654  |  bwestra at uoregon.edu
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