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Data Conservancy


The Data Conservancy is a $20 million initiative led by Sayeed Choudhury at the Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries. The five-year award, one of the first two in the NSF's DataNet program, is building infrastructure for the management of the ever-increasing amounts of digital research data. The CIRSS team will receive approximately $2.9 million for their contributions to multiple aspects of the project. The Data Practices team (Palmer, Cragin, MacMullen, & Chao) is investigating expectations and requirements across the scientific communities served by Data Conservancy, establishing criteria for deposition, sharing, and quality control of data sets. The focus is on the 'long tail of small science', and how to support collecting and sharing of the highly variable types of data produced by individual scientists and small research groups. The Data Concepts team (Renear, Dubin, & Sacchi) is developing formal terminology and identity conditions for fundamental data concepts. This work will provide the foundation for standardizing how Data Conservancy datasets are identified, described, related, and organized. The CIRSS research activities and other Data Conservancy efforts are feeding directly into two professional training programs at GSLIS: the Data Curation specialization in the Master's of Library and Information Science and the Biological Information Specialists master's in the campus-wide bioinformatics program, as well as professional development in data curation principles, processes, and technologies.

Read more at the project site.

Project PI(s)

PI: Sayeed Choudhury (Johns Hopkins University); Co-PI: Carole Palmer
Project Contact: Carole L. Palmer
Funded by: National Science Foundation
Grant number: 2000819591

Research Area(s)

Given the ever growing universe of information resources, informatics tools, and scholarly communication options that need to be understood, assessed, and coordinated, the e-Science initiatives at CIR…

Project Team

Carole L. Palmer (Co-PI)
David Dubin (Researcher)
Virgil E. Varvel Jr. (Researcher)
Tiffany Chao (Graduate Assistant)
Simone Sacchi (Graduate Assistant)
Nic Weber (Graduate Assistant)
Karen Wickett (Graduate Assistant)


Varvel, V. E. Jr., & Shen, Y. (2013). Data management consulting at the Johns Hopkins University. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 19(2), 224-245. doi:10.1080/13614533.2013.768277
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Choudhury, S., Palmer, C., Baker, K., & DiLauro, T. (2013, January). Levels of services and curation for high-functioning data. Poster presented at the 8th International Digital Curation Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
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Weber, N., Baker, K., Thomer, A., Chao, T., & Palmer, C. (2012, October). Value and Context in Data Use: Domain Analysis Revisited. Paper presented at the ASIST 2012 Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD. Retrieved from
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Wickett, K., Sacchi, S., Dubin, D., & Renear, A. (2012, October). Identifying Content and Levels of Representation in Scientific Data. Paper presented at the ASIST 2012 Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD. Retrieved from
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All publications


June 28, 2011
Chao, Weber, and Sacchi Present at Joint Conference on Digital Libraries
  CIRSS graduate students Tiffany Chao, Nicholas Weber, and Simone Sacchi presented posters at the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries this month, which took place in Ottawa, Canada, from June 13-June 17. The theme for this year's …

May 24, 2011
CIRSS hosts the 2011 Summer Institute on Data Curation at GSLIS
  The Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) will host the 2011 Summer Institute on Data Curation at GSLIS, from Monday, June 6, through Thursday, June 9. Twenty-six applicants were accepted to this year’s Summer Ins…

February 11, 2011
Simone Sacchi wins Best Poster award at iConference 2011
  GSLIS student and CIRSS RA Simone Sacchi received the “Best Poster” award at the 2011 iSchools Conference for his poster entitled “Annotation evolution: how Web 2.0 technologies are enabling a change in annotation practices.” Sachhi …

Past Events

December 9, 2011

Are Collections Sets?

The concept of a collection plays key roles in library, museum, and archival practice, and is arguably fundamental to information organization systems in general. Locating collections concepts in a re…

March 2, 2011

Disciplinary Culture and Interoperability, An Incompatible Mix?

interoperability: A key enabler of cyberinfrastructure development is the ability to discover and deploy functionality that leverages commonalities amongst the practices of scientists in diverse field…