A new OCLC report “Building Research Data Management Capacity: Case Studies in Strategic Library Collaboration” explores how multi-institutional collaborations expand services for data sharing. Authors Rebecca Bryant, Brian Lavoie, and Amanda K. Rinehart conducted in-depth interviews with participants in three collaborative research data management efforts: the Texas Data Repository, Portage (now within the Digital Research Alliance of Canada), and the Data Curation Network. Each case study is structured to provide information on the origin story of the collaboration, factors that impacted the decision to collaborate, lessons learned, and looking ahead.

Overall, OCLC noticed several themes that we also identified in our retrospective report, including:

  • Recognizing and valuing the intangible benefits of collaboration 
  • Building on existing relationships 
  • Being ambitious and planning for success — while taking care to cultivate wins for your community
  • Creating a community that all can benefit from, even when benefits and contributions may be asymmetrical.

While the report is filled with sage advice and powerful quotes from collaborators in these networks, a particularly resonant note from our perspective is that “effective library collaboration is art as much as science.” (Preface) Our retrospective report reflects the same message– and is available as an in-depth case study to build on this work.

Congratulations to the authors on this thorough and insightful report!

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