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Cyberinfrastructure-based research has infinitely increased the amount of data being collected and analyzed. Growing demands, both social and political, are driving the importance of sharing the information. But who should have access to it, how long should its shelf life be, and how will other researchers access it? Those questions can be addressed through two services offered by Purdue University: a research data hub and data curation profiles.

Research Data Hub

The newly created Purdue University Research Repository (PURR), located at http://research.hub.purdue.org, provides a platform for managing and disseminating information while also offering updated information on data management plan creation. Developed through a collaboration of Libraries, ITaP (Information Technology at Purdue) and the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), the HubZe­ro-powered site helps researchers comply with new National Science Foundation requirements for data management plans in proposals.

A Data Management Plan tool developed by the Libraries serves as a do-it-yourself kit for creating data management plans. Other resources on the hub help researchers navigate the process of making their data available (in essence, “publishing” it) in ways that suit their research objectives.

“Libraries faculty can work through the DMP tool with investiga­tors to help them identify and understand data management needs, regardless of whether someone needs a data management plan or just wants to expand discovery and dissemination of research out­puts,” says Scott Brandt, associate dean for research and professor of library science with Purdue University Libraries.

Data Curation Profiles

Long before NSF requirements, Purdue Libraries were fine-tuning an instrument called the Data Curation Profile, which assesses needs related to the discovery and dissemination of research data. Completed profiles identify how data will be managed, archived and preserved so that it is accessible to a wide group of people and over a long period of time.

“The profiles can benefit faculty who are at a point in their re­search where they are looking at options for making data available,” says Brandt. “On the other hand, the DMP Tool is for researchers who are initiating new projects, especially where data management plans are required as part of the proposal.”

Libraries faculty can collaborate with researchers to work through the profile and, as appropriate, use their expertise to con­nect researchers with resources that can help enhance manage­ment, discovery and dissemination of data.

“By walking through the profile process, a researcher can see issues related to data workflow that will likely affect making data available later on,” says Jake Carlson, associate professor in the Li­braries who developed both the Data Curation Profile and the Data Management Plan Tool.

Libraries faculty can assist researchers in creating a Data Curation Profile. For a list of librarian contacts along subject lines, visit www. lib.purdue.edu/rguides/instructionalservices/librarians.html.

Dimensions of Discovery, September 2011 (Issue 1)