Texas Digital Library Conference System, 2016 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries

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The Data Archivist: the archivist’s role in data management and preservation
Sarah Allain

Last modified: 2016-03-28


Sarah Allain, Systems Archivist

Sarah Romkey, Archivematica Program Manager

Research data management is undoubtedly a hot topic in digital librarianship today. Increasingly, academic institutions are relying on services within the library to help researchers build data management plans (DMPs) and manage their data for the long term. Data repositories, like institutional repositories, are often managed by the library.  While the role of the librarian in research data management is becoming increasingly clear, the role of the archivist is still emerging. Research data, like all digital assets, has digital preservation needs and challenges, but digital preservation has been described by some as a “gap” in current data management practices. Exacerbating the gap is that research data is sometimes created by domain-specific tools and in proprietary formats.


In order to fill this gap, some librarians and archivists have been looking to digital preservation systems such as Archivematica to integrate with their data management platforms.  This presentation will report on three approaches in the Archivematica user community to preserve research data:


  1. An integration between Archivematica and the data management platform Dataverse, which is being tested by the Ontario Council of University Libraries.

  2. Secondly, archivists at the Universities of Hull and York in the United Kingdom have been developing Archivematica features to better integrate with new and existing research data management systems.

  3. Finally, Compute Canada has piloted Archivematica as an integrated service with its Globus Portal, a data transfer service.


Research Data Management; Digital preservation; Archivematica

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