This post is part of our Curators’ Corner series. Every so often we’ll feature a different DCN Curator. The series grew out of a community-building activity wherein curators at our partner organizations interview each other “chain-letter style” in order to get to know each other and their work outside of the DCN better. We hope you enjoy these posts!

Brandie Pullen, Virginia Tech

Brandie Pullen is the Resident Librarian working in Data Curation at Virginia Tech Library. Brandie was interviewed by Sherry Lake in March 2024.

How did you come to your current position?

Coming out of college I knew I wanted to work in Libraries, something “behind the scenes.” I started working in metadata and cataloging, doing database entry work. I then saw this position at Virginia Tech Library advertised, and I thought that would be a better fit.

So what do you do in your day-to-day job?

I am a Resident Librarian part of the ARL Residency program and in year 1 and half of a three year program. I am learning lots, but I mostly do data things such as working with researchers on data management plans, curating data, and helping researchers publish their data. I am also working on a few personal projects in the field – a data accessibility checklist and a data reuse survey.

How much of your job involves data curation?

A large portion of my job is data curation related, especially while I am helping researchers publish their data. I also talk to researchers about sharing when they are at the beginning of their project.

One of my personal projects is creating a data accessibility checklist to go with the Data Curation Network’s Accessibility Data Primer, working with Rachel Woodbrook.

Why is data curation important to you?

There are a lot of barriers to sharing data and data curators are there to help. Data curators can help with technology, investment barriers, accessibility, ethics and legal concerns, and help make sure research data is FAIR.

I have given specific advice about what not to include in data sharing. Researchers need to learn how to use repositories to share their data; data curators help with that.

Why is the Data Curation Network important?

Where do I start! Having a network of professionals is extremely helpful especially if you don’t know where to start. I love the connections I have made through the DCN and the opportunities to work on cool projects. I love the network where we help each other curate datasets.

If you weren’t doing data curation, what would you be doing? 

I have done a few projects with WikiData and I am passionate about Linked Data. So if I wasn’t doing Data Curation, I would be working in metadata with an emphasis with Linked Data.

What is your favorite cuisine?

The Korean food dish TTeokBeoKKi (sounds like tuk·bow·kee) or Tteok-bokki spicy rice cake. Where I used to live, there wasn’t a place that had this dish, so I learned how to make it myself. But I am so happy that there is a Korean food place where I live now that has it on the menu!

What do you like to do outside of work?

I play lots of video games and watch a lot of anime. I am currently playing Final Fantasy 7: The Remake and watching “One Piece.” I also have two cats (Megumi & Rune) that take up a lot of my time.

What is your favorite city?

Richmond, Virginia. It is a big foodie and tattoo artist hotspot. It has lots of stuff I like there and it’s not too far from where I live now. I like the historic parts, the river…it’s just a nice city.

Where would you most like to travel to next?

I’m not the biggest fan of travel. I like staying put. But my next trip will be to New Orleans.

To learn more about Brandie, and the datasets they have curated for the DCN, see their curator page!

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