Indiana State University Library through its membership in the MetaArchive Cooperative digital preservation network is a research partner for a newly awarded IMLS Leadership Grant: “Preservation & Curation of ETD Research Data & Complex Digital Objects.” Kayla Siddell in her capacity as data curation librarian will represent Cunningham Memorial Library in this important work.
From the grant narrative:
The Educopia Institute, in partnership with University of North Texas, and in concert with the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), HBCU Alliance, bepress, ProQuest, and the libraries of Virginia Tech, University of Tennessee, Purdue, Carnegie Mellon, Oregon State, Penn State, Morehouse, University of Louisville, and Indiana State propose a two-year project to improve ETD policies and practices around research data and complex digital object management nationally. The project will answer the question: How will institutions ensure the longevity and availability of ETD research data and complex digital objects (e.g., software, multimedia files) that comprise an integral component of student theses and dissertations?
This project will coalesce, refine, and shift the knowledge accumulation out of its campus or regional contexts and build upon it to create more generalized yet adaptable guidance documentation, shared curation technologies, and corresponding training materials that can be adopted broadly by ETD/IR stakeholders. To document needs and practices across all tiers of higher education, including smaller, less-endowed institutions, the project will conduct descriptive studies (surveys, interviews, and focus groups) and technical analyses (environmental scan, inventory, gap analysis and functional requirements).
The project includes structural and strategic evaluation and outcome measurement activities. These include engaging an Evaluator to advise on data gathering methods and design implementation evaluations; input from the Project Steering Committee and Project Advisory Group; and Partner Site Evaluations followed by a four month Public Review period to gather qualitative and qualitative data on fit-to-purpose, effectiveness, and areas requiring improvement. Feedback will guide refinements in the deliverables.