University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences and partners
receive IMLS grant to improve Data Curation


The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded
$988,543 to fund the program, Data Curation Education in Research
Centers (DCERC), which will be developed by a partnership of the
University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences (SIS), the
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Graduate School of
Library and Information Science and the National Center for Atmospheric
Research (NCAR). 


Suzie Allard, associate professor and assistant director of SIS, is one
of three principal investigators on the project with Carole Palmer
(UIUC) and Mary Marlino (NCAR). Carol Tenopir, UT Chancellor's
Professor, director of research and director of the Center for
Information and Communication Studies (CICS); and Tanya Arnold, SIS
coordinator of student services, will also work on UT's portion of the
project, which amounts to approximately one third of the funding.


The DCERC project will develop a model, including field experience in a
data-intensive scientific environment, for educating LIS masters and
doctoral students in data curation. It will implement a graduate
research and education program to address the need for professionals
with scientific expertise who can manage and curate large digital data
collections. The masters students will be based at UT and the doctoral
students will be based at UIUC; there will be many activities
coordinated between the two cohorts. 


"There is an urgent need to develop a workforce that can support
scientists and scientific inquiry that is increasingly becoming more
data intensive in order to address the important scientific challenges
facing society," said Suzie Allard. "IMLS' funding has provided the
means to design the curriculum and establish the experiences that will
help fill this critical need for information professionals. We are proud
of how our DCERC partnership mirrors the cooperative actions that are
needed to accomplish this." 


"The faculty in our program has so much to offer LIS students and
educators in terms of developing new models and standards of
scholarship," said Dr. Cortez, director and professor at UT SIS.
"Keeping up with technological developments and establishing innovative
models for data curation is critical for sustaining and improving
scientific communication. Our faculty continues to demonstrate in very
tangible projects like these that they understand and are addressing
substantive, real-world needs."


Cortez also noted the tremendous support provided by the college's
Center for Information and Communication Studies, which is headed by SIS
faculty member, Carol Tenopir.


Ongoing IMLS Grants at UT SIS


In fall 2009, three SIS faculty members-Drs. Suzie Allard, Bharat Mehra,
and Vandana Singh-received IMLS awards totaling over $2.6 million for
the next four years. These Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program
awards support projects that are designed to recruit and educate the
next generation of librarians and faculty members, to compare and
improve the technology tools that librarians use daily, and to shore up
technological expertise of regional library leaders.


Suzie Allard is the principal investigator of the ScienceLinks2 grant,
which was awarded $711,727 to build curriculum, provide mentoring, and
support the research agendas of six doctoral students who will become
educators of the next generation of science data and information


SIS Associate Professor Bharat Mehra, along with co-PIs and SIS
assistant professors Kimberly Black and Vandana Singh, received an IMLS
grant that targets lagging information technology literacy in
Tennessee's rural Southern and Central Appalachians. "Rural Library
Professionals as Change Agents in the 21st Century: Integrating
Information Technology Competencies in Southern and Central Appalachian
Region" is a $567,660 grant that has gifted full scholarships to 16
rural librarians. 


SIS Assistant Professor Vandana Singh is the principal investigator on
an IMLS grant for $321,178. "Technical Support for Integrated Library
Systems' Comparison of Open Source and Proprietary Software" will
compare the level of technical support required by open-source
integrated library systems (the computer systems used to acquire,
manage, and circulate library materials) and the off-the-shelf,
proprietary versions of these systems. 


And finally, Professor Carol Tenopir was awarded a $1 million IMLS grant
to address academic librarians' growing needs to demonstrate the return
on investment and value of the library to their respective institutions.
The project, entitled "Value, Outcomes, and Return on Investment of
Academic Libraries," will help guide library management in the
redirection of library funds to important products and services for the
future. For more information, contact Dr. Suzie Allard at
[log in to unmask] or (865) 974-1369.


The School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee is an
innovative leader among library and information programs nationally, and
one of four schools that make up the College of Communication and
Information. School faculty instruct some 250 graduate students, are
engaged in leading-edge research, and partner with organizations
throughout the world to help people flourish in our dynamic information
society. UT SIS is the only master's degree program in Tennessee to be
fully accredited by the American Library Association. 



Joel Southern
Communications Specialist
School of Information Sciences
College of Communication and Information
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
1345 Circle Park Drive, Suite 451
Knoxville, TN 37996-0341
(865) 974-6727
jsouthern at utk dot edu <>