Oya Y. Rieger
In conjunction with their research and teaching activities, scholars create and assemble complex personal collections of information. These collections vary widely depending on the discipline and take many forms, including digitized archival materials, numeric data sets from experiments, audio recordings of interviews, field notes from research sites, and visual materials. Supporting these activities may fall under the purview of data management plans and data sharing requirements, as mandated by funders. However, the findings of the Ithaka S+R research into the research practices of scholars during the last 15 years indicate that research institutions often fail to provide holistic support for scholars as they collect data and other forms of information over the course of their careers, from various funding sources and institutional locales. Many academic institutions wish to take a more proactive strategic approach to supporting and leveraging research data and other collections of scholars. In this session, we will share research on the integrated nature of scholarly collecting activities and the strategic rationale for why universities should realign their research support services around scholarly work habits and flows. These findings will enable a participatory discussion on the benefits, trade-offs, and other key questions that must be taken into account when considering different models for supporting scholarly collecting. We will also consider what’s at stake for academic institutions if they do not take a more proactive strategic approach to supporting and leveraging scholars’ collections. In doing so, the session will highlight why “research support” should be reframed in a more holistic way in order to ensure that academic institutions are strategically positioned in a research support landscape increasingly centered on scholarly workflows.