Weekly response post – Eugene Rutigliano

Heidorn lays out the mandate for libraries to preserve data from federally funded research by adapting the logic behind the concept of the library as a public good. It makes sense that grant-seekers should have a plan to manage not just their reports and analysis but the data that led to their findings. Academic libraries are singularly equipped to assist in this kind of strategy and their involvement in the preservation of important, non-replicable data is better than that same data being misused or lost. I would like to see an examination some of the economic factors that might come into play as complicated data stewardship becomes the de facto responsibility of academic libraries. Heidorn mentions release restrictions on data, and the NIH has specifically targeted the counter-productive embargoes placed on research published in exorbitantly expensive science journals. Host universities for academic libraries already get bit twice in the current publication model: once as sites for research being conducted and again as subscribers to the publications in which the research gets initially published (which they are strongly encouraged to make available). I expect that the data management plans required by government funding agencies are reviewed with a requisite understanding of the additional funding required to enact them. But it also seems as though academic libraries have some leverage to ask scientific journals to account for some of the cost.

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