Text and slides from a talk delivered by Trevor Muñoz, Assistant Dean for Digital Humanities Research at the University of Maryland Libraries, at the CIC Center for Library Initiatives conference. Muñoz presents an intriguing synthesis of a couple of growing trends in libraries – data curation and publishing. Data curation here is defined as “information work that integrates closely with the disciplinary work practices and needs of researchers in order to ‘maintain digital information that is produced in the course of research in a manner that preserves its meaning and usefulness as a potential input for further research.'” Muñoz argues that “data curation work would also be ‘publishing’ in the sense of ensuring quality and disseminating outputs to interested communities…By recognizing data curation work as a publishing activity, libraries would have a ‘market opportunity’ to address unmet needs in the digital humanities community.” More broadly,
Data curation as a “publishing” activity is increasingly relevant to the working lives of digital humanities scholars. Moreover, articulating connections between “publishing” and data curation is important in the context of strategic decision libraries might make and, in fact, are making about how to participate in “publishing.” Data curation as publishing is publishing work that draws directly on the unique skills of librarians and aligns directly with library missions and values in ways that other kinds of publishing endeavors may not.