Ecoinformatics Conference Service, Environmental Information Management 2008

Information Infrastructure: Emergent Roles, Responsibilities and Practices

Lynn R. Yarmey, Karen S. Baker

Last modified: 2008-08-21


Human activities together with technical elements and collective practices are core elements for growing local infrastructure as well as for bridging with other communities and networks. Site information management activities create a shared data curation experience where data curation refers to managing the capture, use and preservation of the data. Identifying and elaborating upon local data activities opens up the complex set of arrangements that comprise site information management, including the variety of roles emerging to address mediation and collaboration. Any one activity may be carried out in practice by different participants at each site. That is, what one site considers an information management role may be carried out by a researcher, technician, analyst, or education coordinator at another site. The diverse distributions of responsibilities at each site are a result of meeting local scientific needs with a mix of local participants and practices. Comparing and contrasting different site infrastructure arrangements prompts discussion that deepens our understanding of data and data curation. Insight into data activities and their associated roles and responsibilities may be seen as a preparatory step for conscientiously designing an effective data network.