We are excited to share that our open access retrospective report is now accessible through the University of Michigan Press! You can read “The Art, Science, and Magic of the Data Curation Network: A Retrospective on Cross-Institutional Collaboration” now. The open access version is available to use now. Physical copies will be made available for purchase later this spring.

In this report, we provide insight into the formation of the DCN. In particular, we provide additional context into how the DCN was envisioned and launched, in particular the key areas of focus for planning the work of the network. After briefly describing the foundation of our shared work, we define Radical Interdependence and how it is instrumental in the sustaining of the DCN.

From there, we list some of the key successes we identified. We listed them as individual successes, but it is important to note that many relate to one another and build on each other. 

The next key section is on structures that enabled our success. We took the time to really unpack the factors, tools, and resources behind our successes, and group these into three key categories: tool-based structures, administrative structures, and trust-based structures. For each category, we provide examples of the tool and how it was used in our community. We hope that this section, in particular, will be of value to communities interested in establishing or sustaining cross-institutional work.

We also took this opportunity to reflect on the ways in which we have not achieved our goals– the areas in which we have come up short. We list our challenges, past and current, and describe how we hope to overcome them in the future. We know that we cannot do this work alone or in isolation.

We conclude by reflecting on potential future collaborative efforts. We have focused on potential collaborations focused in research data management, but acknowledge that many other shared challenges in libraries and archives could benefit from a collaborative approach. 

We are incredibly grateful for the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Service for the resources to focus our efforts. Thanks also to the University of Michigan Press, especially Joan Kwaske and Marisa Mercurio, for supporting us in publishing this report.