Wild data: collaborative e-research and university libraries

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The literature speaks of a 'deluge' of scientific and research data and the importance of capturing and managing it for use beyond its original creating community, purpose and time. Data value increases as it is interconnected, networked, shared, used and re-used. This paper extends the conversation about data sharing to 'wild data', that is data generated and held outside of 'academic' or 'professional' science, as in the case of environmental voluntary groups (EVGs). Currently important data generated by these groups are likely to be inaccessible to the academic community, or any community or body outside those often-small EVGs. Although large quantities of data are often generated by EVGs, management of these data may be poor or non-existent; and quality control of data may be haphazard and spasmodic. This article reports on a pilot project which explored the data sought, generated, stored and shared by members of EVGs. The project also investigated members' views about data management and sharing for the future. Finally, as Australian university libraries are at the forefront of research and practice to promote the better management of data created by research, the paper also explores whether there might be a collaborative role for university libraries in the management of wild data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-79
Number of pages24
JournalAustralian Academic and Research Libraries
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


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