This post is part of our Curators’ Corner series. Every so often we’ll feature a different DCN Curator. The series grew out of a community-building activity wherein curators at our partner organizations interview each other “chain-letter style” in order to get to know each other and their work outside of the DCN better. We hope you enjoy these posts!

Seth Erickson is the Software Curation Librarian and CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow at Pennsylvania State University. Seth was interviewed by Chen Chiu in May of 2019.

How did you come to your current position?

I did my PhD in Information Studies at UCLA. I studied researcher software development practices. I’d been interested in this area for a long time and the CLIR program seemed like a natural fit. Penn State had an opening so I applied.

What do you do?

Currently, I’m working on developing policies for data and software curation and I help out with the development of our institutional repository. I also participate in the Software Curation Network, do my own research around software development, and am working on publishing my dissertation which is about sharing code for plasma physics research.

How much of your job involves data curation?

About thirty percent of my job involves actual data curation and higher-level policy discussions. Even though my title is Software Curation Librarian I deal with a lot of data curation.

Why is data curation important to you?

Data is a scholarly product that is increasingly important, and curation is important maintenance work, and both are often overlooked.

Why is the Data Curation Network important?

Data curation tends to be very individual and isolated work. It’s good to create a social network so people can collaborate. I’m also learning by seeing how other people approach curation work. For data in unfamiliar fields, when I send that data to the DCN I can learn how to curate that type of data. It’s a good way to share expertise.

If you weren’t doing data curation, what would you be doing?

I would work in the area of digital scholarship. Build a platform or system – like a data repository. I’d like to collaborate more with researchers on projects. I’m also interested in data collection and software curation practices.

To learn more about Seth, and some of the datasets he’s curated for the DCN see his curator page!

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