The March 2014 ASIS&T Research Data Access and Preservation Summit (RDAP14) held in San Diego, California, featured keynote talks, panel discussions, poster sessions and post-conference workshops geared to curating research data. Speakers addressed education about data management, putting together data management plans and policy development, with the challenge of defining roles in collaboration woven through presentations. Keynote speakers detailed specific collaborative efforts to promote preservation of and access to research outputs and to facilitate their discovery and reuse. Panels addressed hurdles such as limited resources and coordinating efforts within and beyond institutions, and speakers shared updates on the National Science Foundation's DataNet and the public access requirements of the White House Office of Science and Technology. Followup workshops provided expanded opportunities to learn about instructional practices and assessing data management maturity.

data curation
access to resources
digital object preservation
strategic planning

Bulletin, August/September 2014

RDAP14 Summit: Introduction

by Andrew Johnson

The 2014 ASIS&T Research Data Access & Preservation Summit (RDAP14) was held March 26-28, in San Diego, California. In this special section of the Bulletin, for which Jennifer Doty, Lizzie Rolando and I served as guest editors, RDAP14 session leaders and presenters reflect and expand on their experiences at the Summit and the research data issues that were explored in their respective sessions. Special thanks to all of the presenters, session leaders and planning committee members as well as to our sponsors:

  • ASIS&T SIG/DL (Special Interest Group/Digital Libraries) for sponsoring and providing refreshments for the poster session.
  • ASIS&T SIG/MET (Special Interest Group/Metrics) for sponsoring a keynote presentation and a coffee break for attendees.
  • Cray, Inc. for sponsoring a coffee break for attendees.

This year’s Summit focused primarily on practitioners working with research data (and often the researchers who produce that data) at various types of institutions, including university libraries, data centers and repositories, and research funding agencies. We heard from individuals operating in a number of roles ranging from teaching courses on data management to assisting with the creation of complex data management plans to developing policies for research data. Many of the discussions and themes that emerged from the Summit revolved around defining these roles (and who should play them) along with the need for collaboration between and within institutions.

In her opening keynote, MacKenzie Smith provided a perfect example of the complex collaboration needed to solve major research data challenges through her discussion of the SHARE project ( Similarly, Maryann Martone kicked off the second day of the Summit with a keynote that covered a disciplinary collaborative effort aimed at enabling discovery of and access to research data: the Neuroscience Information Framework (

In addition to the two keynote presentations, RDAP14 featured a number of panels on topics of great interest to those of us working with research data, including how to begin to build services with few resources, how to develop policies for research data and how to collaborate both with other institutions and with other units within our own institutions. We also heard updates on important national efforts like the NSF DataNet program and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s requirements for public access to federally funded research data.

The lightning talk and poster sessions provided additional opportunities to hear about the full range of work underway at universities, data centers, disciplinary repositories and other institutions. For the first time ever at RDAP, two post-conference workshops gave attendees the chance to develop skills that they could bring back to their institutions. The discussions at the Summit were lively, and feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. We hope to continue these conversations next year at RDAP15!

For additional information on the RDAP14 Summit and for plans for the 2015 Summit, please refer to the following resources: 

Join the RDAP community’s on-going conversation and stay updated on RDAP15 event information by signing up for our email listserv at

Andrew Johnson is research data librarian at the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries and served as program chair for RDAP14. He can be reached at andrew.m.johnson<at>