Introduction and Background
The Data Curation Profile (DCP) is a tool by which librarians can interview researchers to determine their willingness to share research data, who they would be willing to share it with, when they would be willing to share it, and what needs they have with regards to sharing the data. The DCP can be used by researchers to determine their data needs. It can also be used by institutions to inform the planning on data curation services. Last, it can be used to broadly compare the data practices of a discipline or compare between disciplines.
Why did I chose to prepare a DCP?
In my Foundations of Data Curation class, the Data Curation Toolkit was required reading for one of the classes. I read through the document and remember initially thinking it would be time consuming, but would be beneficial to complete one for my own education. I soon forgot about it in the business of classes and assignments. Later that semester, while discussing the Data Curation Profile with a colleague, she suggested I create one. I contacted a librarian at UT and asked for a referral to a researcher who might be willing to do it. I was referred to an architectural history professor.
What Did I Learn While Preparing the DCP?
The process of preparing for and executing the Data Curation Profile interview tool and later write-up was an educational experience. I learned first of all how to prepare for an interview. I obtained some documents the professor wrote concerning the research project we would talk about. I also prepared by reviewing and rehearsing the interview questions so I was comfortable with the questions and order. The interview itself was a bit awkward at first, but soon got easier as I got more relaxed. Lastly, as I was preparing the actual document, I had to transcribe the recorded interviews, which were two 1.5-hour interviews. That was time consuming, but absolutely necessary to capture all the had been said. I learned how to assimilate alot of interview material and write a summary of different parts of it.
What Would I do Differently Next Time?
I felt that I could have been better prepared about the type of research the professor was doing. Although I understood the project fairly well, I was not as familiar with the larger field of the project, epigraphy. Had I learned more about the history and practice of epigraphy, I would have been able to ask more probing questions during the interview.
How Will I Use These Lessons in my Future Career?
I will use the lessons I learned on this project to inform my future interviews with faculty. As a data curation librarian, I will have to interview faculty in the consulting and information gathering parts of the job. Conducting this DCP interview was educational. It helped that I used an industry standard interview tool to conduct my first interview, as it was very well developed and did not require any adapting for my situation. I hope to have the time to complete some more DCPs at my institution in the future.