Edit: The report is now available open access through Michigan Publishing Services.

Our retrospective report will be published this Friday (March 24) through Michigan Publishing Services. It has been the result of many hours and many hands. We are incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity and space to reflect on our work in growing the DCN. We would also like to take a moment to acknowledge the grant funding that made this work possible, including support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, especially program director Josh Greenberg, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

For our final teaser, Jake Carlson, Director of Deep Blue Repositories and Research Data Services, shares his favorite sections below. In case you missed the first two teasers, don’t forget to check out our posts on trust-based structures of collaboration, and the press release, which includes a snippet on radical interdependence.

What I really appreciate about the DCN is its strong sense of community. We are all information professionals who share a common set of responsibilities at our home institutions. The DCN brings us together in ways that help us accomplish more than we ever could alone, but at its heart the DCN is about our members and what we bring to the table as unique individuals. And so, my favorite parts of the retrospective are the ones that address the need for humanity and balance in our work.  

“The labor of building and sustaining an active community is an artform that requires humility, intuition, and vulnerability. In reflecting on the work and success of the DCN, a key theme that emerged was the DCN’s ability to center humanity: in our curators, in our workflows, and in our leadership, particularly acknowledging and leaning into our feelings of vulnerability. Being vulnerable with each other and admitting when we need support has allowed us to further advance a sense of shared ownership, responsibility and community. The continued viability of the DCN depends on each individual member feeling comfortable enough to bring their most authentic self to the network.”

– from the “Executive Summary”, p. vi

“Balancing our community interests with available resources and time is increasingly difficult. As the DCN keeps growing there is a risk that the number of initiatives that it develops and supports will outweigh the amount of time and resources available. Even staying informed about the work of the DCN becomes more challenging as it continues to expand and take on new work. Managing the capacity of community members to avoid burnout while remaining actively involved in the wider research data community has been, and will continue to remain, a delicate balance.”

– from the “Future Challenges” section, p37 

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