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Data managers' perspectives on OAIS designated communities and the FAIR principles: mediation, tools and conceptual models

Devan Ray Donaldson (Department of Information and Library Science, Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana, USA)
Ewa Zegler-Poleska (Department of Information and Library Science, Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana, USA)
Lynn Yarmey (City of Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 3 June 2020

Issue publication date: 11 February 2020

Abstract

Purpose

This paper presents results of a study on data managers' perspectives on the evolution of Designated Communities and the FAIR Principles using an example of a geological repository.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed 10 semi-structured interviews with data managers at a state geological survey and qualitative analysis of the interview transcripts.

Findings

The Designated Community for a collection in this data repository has evolved from petroleum industry users to include academic researchers and the public. This change was accompanied by significant user interaction changes from in-person, reference interview-style conversations to anonymous digital, automated interactions. The main factors driving these changes were developments in technology which allowed the data managers to shift data discovery and access into the online environment. The online data portal has seen increasing non-expert use, driving the data team to develop additional services for these new communities. Repository data team participants varied in their familiarity with the FAIR Principles and their perceptions of the FAIRness of the data in the repository.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to one organization in the United States. However, the results are applicable to other data environments working through the tensions between high-level global frameworks such as FAIR, and continuing to serve the day-to-day needs of their designated communities. Continued work on how to assess success in this complex space is needed.

Originality/value

This paper lies at the nexus of two digital preservation frameworks and contributes to a limited extant literature providing guidance on implementing the concept of a Designated Community in practice.

Keywords

Citation

Donaldson, D.R., Zegler-Poleska, E. and Yarmey, L. (2020), "Data managers' perspectives on OAIS designated communities and the FAIR principles: mediation, tools and conceptual models", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 76 No. 6, pp. 1261-1277. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-10-2019-0204

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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