Joint Introduction | Summary and Q&A

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August 17, 2015
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Harvard University
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Joint Introduction

TL;DR

Harvard and Purdue collaborate to address data management challenges in libraries and research institutions.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What prompted the dean of Harvard to review the university's data management efforts?

The dean received an email from a colleague who had read an article about big data challenges and wondered what Harvard was doing about it.

Q: What were some of the challenges and areas for improvement in Harvard's data management efforts?

The dean found that while substantial work had been done, many initiatives were on hold or moving forward unevenly. Additionally, the university had other pressing concerns, such as the expansion of their depository and managing physical collections.

Q: How did the collaboration between Harvard and Purdue come about?

While attending a conference, the dean of Harvard sat next to the dean of libraries at Purdue, who had heard about the symposium Harvard held on print repositories and proposed a similar collaboration on data management. The dean of Harvard immediately agreed.

Q: What role did librarians play in the symposium and data management efforts?

Librarians, including the university archivist and data specialists, played a significant role in planning and organizing the symposium. They also worked with researchers and departments to develop strategies for data preservation, management, and sharing.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The dean at Harvard reviewed the university's data management efforts and found that while significant work had been done, there were still challenges and areas that needed improvement.

  • The dean attended a symposium where she met the dean of libraries at Purdue, who had extensive experience in data management and a successful program at his institution.

  • Inspired by Purdue's work, the dean of Harvard proposed a partnership to address data management challenges and improve resource allocation, preservation, and collaboration in the academic community.

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