When the DCN started as an idea back in 2016, we knew that this project had the potential to quickly grow and attract interest from a wide range of stakeholders. And today, thanks to the ongoing support of the Alfred P Sloan foundation, we have been successful so far in planning and implementing a pilot test of the Data Curation Network where partner institutions share curator staff and expertise to collectively approach data curation services.

Going forward, we still face many challenges. Namely, how will the project scale, grow, and sustain beyond a grant-funded effort?

To help our team answer these big questions, we turned to Lyrasis. Their experience in growing and building community-led programs was a great fit for our needs (see, for example, their excellent “It Takes a Village” guidebook written for developing open source software communities). Specifically, our team worked with Laurie Arp, Tom Clareson, & Carissa Egan at Lyrasis to explore the sustainable pathways that would fit our project’s needs.

Today, I’m pleased to share the output from this project. The Data Curation Network Sustainability Plan, Final Report (Arp, Clareson, & Egan, 2020) details three phases of work that Lyrasis and our team participated in over a 6-month period in 2019. The report includes:

  1. Market Research: Summary outputs from focus groups and in-person interviews with potential stakeholders and future DCN partners.
  2. Sustainability Pathways: While no one model is recommended, the report details three potential avenues forward for the team to consider.
  3. Testing Workflows: A testing framework to evaluate the models presented in the previous phase in order to build on them.

Next, the DCN will apply these findings to determine a path that works for current members as well incorporates the excellent feedback and input from our peers and supporters. We share this work in the hope that others in similar positions may benefit!

Download the DCN Sustainability Report

Please cite as: Laurie Arp, Tom Clareson, & Carissa Egan. Data Curation Network Sustainability Plan, Final Report by Lyrasis. February 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/11299/211865.

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