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Primary Contact

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Suzie Allard
Associate Professor and Assistant Director
University of Tennessee
School of Information Sciences
453 Communications Building
1345 Circle Park Dr
Knoxville, TN 37996-0341
Phone: 865.974.1369

Project Description: 

The SciData project is funded through a grant provided through the IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Library Program. The SciData project will recruit and select eight students that will work with faculty mentors, scientific organizations and earn a master’s degree in Information Science. During this two-year program, each student will be immersed in teaching and training that relates to digital scientific data curatorship.

Grant or Funding Agency: 

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

Project Abstract:

Scientific data is growing in scale and complexity across all scientific disciplines, leading to an increased need for professionals who specialize in scientific data curation education and research. Additionally, researchers are being asked to create and adhere to data management plans, which would be facilitated by trained scientific data curators. Yet professionals specifically trained in the management and curation of scientific data are in scarce supply. In response to this need, SciData will recruit eight students with strong science backgrounds or interests, and work closely with them in a two-year master’s program to build specialties in digital data curation with an emphasis on scientific data publishing.

The University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences team is uniquely positioned to meet the demand for digital science data curation professions through their close relationships with nearby science agencies such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Information International Associates, Inc. (IIA), USGS/National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII), the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), and the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), their participation in the NSF-funded DataONE project, and their previous IMLS-funded projects in science librarianship.

Mentoring and practical work experience with science agencies, libraries, and publishers will be a strong focus of SciData.  The SciData curriculum will provide a focus in science data and information, plus SciData students will participate in the e-publishing summer course in England. SciData will link the areas of domain, education, and practice to provide the knowledge and experience needed to build competent information professionals with a solid foundation in science data.

The principal investigator for SciData will be Suzie Allard, with Carol Tenopir and Peiling Wang serving as co-principal investigator.  All have considerable experience with recruiting, education, and mentoring science information professionals, most recently in the ScienceLinks and ScienceLinks2 programs. The recruitment phase of this program began in August 2011, and the program will be completed in July 2014.

SciData will advance the field of digital scientific data curation in many ways. It will:

•  Produce a core group of master’s graduates with a thorough understanding of digital data curation and scientific publishing;

•  Build a model for scientific curation that other programs may adopt;

•  Continue previous recruiting relationships with minority- rich schools to attract an increasing number of diverse  students to the field.

SciData will contribute new perspectives and fresh findings to this emerging field, by focusing on scientists, science agencies, and science publishing.  The results will be widely disseminated in order to advance the progression of science librarianship in the 21st century.

Project Website:

Secondary Contacts:

Co-Principal Investigators:

Dr. Carol Tenopir 
Chancellor’s Professor, Director of Research,and Director of CICS
University of Tennessee
College of Communication and Information
423 Communications Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-0341
Phone: 865.974.6651

Dr. Peiling Wang
University of Tennessee
School of Information Science 
443 Communications Building 
Knoxville, TN 37996-0341
Phone: 865.974.3700