This post was authored by intern Liliana Gonzalez (, as part of DCN’s partnership with the National Center for Data Services (NCDS). Each intern has been invited to author a blog post on the annual All Hands Meeting held in June 2022. These internships are funded with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).*

As a DCN intern, I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to attend the annual All Hands Meeting. I was not entirely sure what to expect going into this multi-day large group setting, though I definitely thought there would be mostly presentations with little to no conversation between the curators – many of whom do not necessarily work with one another regularly. While the DCN is a network of curators working from places all over the country, there is no doubt that they feel a sense of connection and responsibility through their curation work.

One of the first things that Mikala Narlock, Director of the Data Curation Network, asked of the DCN community was which projects people thought the DCN should focus on for the next year. The top two answers were building out educational efforts (primers, workshops, etc.) and peer comparison efforts. I think these answers showed that A) the DCN actively wants to help those outside of their network learn the tools needed for effective curation and B) that DCN members also have a desire to learn from one another. They are not looking to gatekeep the best curation methods, and they are certainly not trying to stay in their own university bubbles.

In smaller groups, members were asked about when they felt most engaged with the DCN and what they felt is the biggest value of the DCN. The first prompt led to answers like peer compares, in-person meetings, committee work, and generally just having conversations; the common factor in each of these answers was, once again, that connection that members want to foster with one another. For the latter question regarding DCN’s value, the responses that most struck me were community/support (meaning they did not feel isolated) and advancing the field alongside a network of professionals. DCN members consistently recognize and celebrate the value of their community. 

The DCN’s values include being trusted, collaborative, open, inclusive, and empowering; I think the transparent and wonderful feedback from the DCN members themselves shows that the DCN is actively upholding and nurturing these values. The annual All Hands Meeting was a fantastic way to get to know the DCN community a little better, and I’m fortunate to have been able to witness this work in action.

To cite this blog post, please use: Gonzalez, Liliana. (2022). DCN and the Chamber of Community. Data Curation Network. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,

*This project has been funded with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), under cooperative agreement number UG4LM01234 with the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, Lamar Soutter Library. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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