Data Services Librarian
University of Kansas
Despite the attention they have received due to developing federal policy and emerging funding agency mandates, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) researchers are not the only data generators at your institution and so-called big data are not your only storage problem. Faculty and graduate student researchers, including social scientists, generate and manipulate small- to medium-sized datasets, many of a confidential or sensitive nature. Where are your institution’s researchers storing these data? Do they know about the data storage services you offer? Literature and current experience suggest that many researchers have trouble meeting their confidential data storage needs and resort to their own storage and backup methods in the (perhaps perceived) absence of solutions from their institutions. This approach is particularly troubling in the social sciences, in which data about people trigger both privacy and security concerns. This issue-oriented project briefing will argue that provisioning and marketing institutional storage resources for small- and medium-sized confidential data are vital actions, not least because the exposure of confidential research data threatens the research subject, the researcher, and the institution. Attendees will be encouraged to discuss the scope of the problem, storage options at their own institutions, and whether gaps in existing storage solutions can and should be filled by the external marketplace.