Doctoral candidate Cheryl Thompson successfully defended her dissertation, "Data Expertise and Service Development in Geoscience Data Centers and Academic Libraries," on May 8.
Her committee included Carole Palmer (chair; professor and associate dean for research, University of Washington Information School), Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld (professor, The Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University), Matthew Mayernik (project scientist and research data services specialist, National Center for Atmospheric Research), and Professor Linda C. Smith.
From the abstract: eScience brings the promise of advancements in scientific knowledge as well as new demands for staff that can manage large and complex data, design user services, and enable open access. As scientists grapple with these new demands, one ramification is that research institutions are extending their services to address data management concerns. As more organizations extend their operations to research data, an understanding of how to develop and support research data expertise and services is needed . . . The study contributions include two models for building research data expertise with a set of salient elements plus insights into data communities of practices. The project contributes an understanding of current research data staffing trends like boundary spanning positions, roles, and expertise, and of learning strategies for building data expertise into an organization. The results have direct implications for organizations supporting science and educators planning data management and science curriculum.