More Bits and Bigger Pieces: Now Including Digital Research Data

Computer punch card detail

Computer punch card detail [1]. Photo by Neil Hester via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

We here at Bits and Pieces are very excited to announce that we are expanding the blog to include discussions about digital research data! We think this will be a good fit and hope our readers will enjoy broadening the scope. We will still be talking about digital preservation, and have forthcoming posts about risk assessment for external digital media, digital forensic tools applied to the library setting, digital preservation education, and a barely restrained rant about the costs of digital storage.

Research data encompasses a wide range of topics such as data management, discovery and access, organization, metadata and documentation, sharing and publication, visualization, and more. As academic library collections continue to include more digital resources such as data, the goal of ensuring that collections continue to be accessible over time remains vitally important. Digital preservation underlies the facets of research data by helping researchers take proper action to sustain the scholarly value of their data over time.  

We think one of the most exciting aspects of our discussion will happen at the crossroads of these two topics. Preservation of data-centric digital formats, engaging data creators early in the research lifecycle, and demand-driven preservation are all areas we hope to delve into as we go forward.

To kick off this new focus, next week we will be participating in Love Your Data Week, an event coordinated by data librarians working in academic libraries across the country. Each day we will post about a topic related to research data and what we are doing in those areas at U-M Library. Stay tuned for more data love!


Amy Neeser is the Research Data Curation Librarian and Lance Stuchell is the Digital Preservation Librarian at the University of Michigan Library.