This post was authored by DCN Director, Mikala Narlock.

The 2023 All Hands — our first at Princeton University, and our first in-person since 2019 — was an absolute whirlwind, filled with brilliant people, intense discussion, and lots of laughter. For many, it was the first DCN in-person experience – and Princeton University certainly delivered! Unfortunately, travel was interrupted for many of our colleagues, but we are grateful for the local planning committee and our participants for creating a hybrid option at the last minute. Before I share a brief recap of my personal favorite session, I’d like to take a moment to share that next year, our 2024 All Hands Meeting will take place the week of May 13 at Duke University! See you in Durham, North Carolina!

One aspect of the DCN that I treasure is our community’s desire to continue learning and improving. We strive to know a little more today than we did yesterday, to make our processes and procedures clearer and more efficient. One of the ways we accomplish this is by learning from each other and being fully transparent about the challenges we’ve faced and the successes we’ve achieved. We’ve defined this as our radical interdependence, and we do our best to keep this at the center of our work. 

While there were many sessions at All Hands that echo this notion, one that stands out to me is the chance for each institution to draw out their curation workflows. This was an activity that had been crucial for DCN members at an early stage of our work together – so we thought, with so many new institutions and members, that this was a perfect time to repeat the exercise! 

Each institution was invited to consider: What are the different ways a researcher might submit a dataset? When does a curation assignment cross departmental boundaries? When is a dataset submitted to the DCN? How do different technologies and tools impact or influence the workflow? We sketched these out on whiteboards in the collaboration studio, or on jamboards for our virtual attendees, and then rotated through the room. This gave attendees the chance to ask for additional information, identify similarities between workflows, or inspirations for their own institution. This additional insight can also be invaluable in our cross-institutional curation workflow. Having a better sense of when an institution assigns a DOI, or updates a README, can impact the suggestions a curator outside of the institution might provide. 

In my past role, workflows were my *jam.* I spent a lot of time working with colleagues to map out different workflows for digitizing collections, which involved asking a lot of similar questions to ensure that we were all on the same page. This opportunity to bring my past experiences and expertise to the DCN was special. I’d also like to send a special thanks to Joel Herndon (Duke University) for agreeing to lead this session, and pivoting with our community to facilitate the virtual session.

Similar Posts