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Libraries' Love Your Data Week Raises Awareness among Research Universities

Social media campaign #lyd16 asks: What will you do to care for your data?

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With so much emphasis on data these days—obtaining it, analyzing it, making it publicly available unless sensitive or otherwise restricted — Love Your Data Week contends that it’s time for everyone to give their data the care and attention it deserves.Photo credit: Janet McKnight via FlickrUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — During the week of Feb. 8, university research libraries across the United States, including Penn State’s University Libraries—@psulibs on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram—are participating in a grassroots social media campaign to spread awareness about the importance of documenting, sharing, preserving, and making available research data.

Love Your Data Week—hashtag #lyd16—is about recognizing the ways in which individuals can start caring for data now, adopting consistent practices, modeling, and implementing them for generations to come. Managing data in a conscionable way, with attention as well to affordances for reuse, is both a responsibility to the scholarly record and an important public good.

Related article: Scientific Data Lost at Alarming Rate

University students, in particular, are learning and researching in an era of increasing compliance with federal funding agencies’ requirements for public access to research results, including data. The themes of Love Your Data Week prompt faculty and staff to ask: How do we teach students to be responsible stewards of their scholarly outputs? How do we instill in them an awareness of potential future users of their work—a perspective that affects how data gets shared or not, is made accessible or not?

Each day during Love Your Data Week has a different theme:

  • Monday, Feb. 8: “Data: Keep It Safe”
  • Tuesday, Feb. 9: “It’s the 21st Century—Do You Know Where Your Data Is?”
  • Wednesday, Feb. 10: “What Did I Mean Here?”
  • Thursday, Feb. 11: “Give/Get Credit for Data”
  • Friday, Feb. 12: “Think Big: Transforming, Extending, Reusing Data.”

While Penn State librarians will be participating in the campaign via social media throughout the week, they will be focusing especially on the theme for Day Two, on organizing data. Rob Olendorf, science data librarian, will blog about file-naming conventions, a key descriptive, documentary practice for data, as well as for content organization in general. Nathan Piekielek, geospatial data services librarian, and Patricia Hswe, co-department head of the Libraries’ Publishing and Curation Services, also will blog their summary evaluations of tools one can use to rename files in bulk, encrypt files, and compress files for archiving purposes. All blog posts may be found at Penn State’s “Digital Stewardship” blog, http://stewardship.psu.edu.

Related article: Launching a Big Data Project

Penn State’s partner on this theme is the University of Washington Libraries, where librarians will be sharing content about data organization on social media as well.

Love Your Data Week was created by Heather Coates, digital scholarship and data librarian at the University Library at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, one of seven Big Ten/CIC universities participating in the event starting Monday, Feb. 8.

For more information about research data management, including the University Libraries' Data Management Toolkit and additional data management resources, such as ScholarSphere, visit the Libraries' Publishing and Curation Services website. For Love Your Data Week tips and updates, follow the hashtag #lyd16 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Categories: News