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Sara Gonzales is Data Librarian for New DevSci Data Index

Data is an integral part of today’s research landscape, with increasing pressure on researchers to engage in best practices around research data management, preservation, discovery, and reuse — often while working in a virtual, collaborative team setting. While new data-driven demands can create challenges for researchers and campuses alike, they can also inspire great opportunities for collaboration and innovation, as demonstrated with a new data indexing initiative at Northwestern University to create an information metadata model and new software to broadly support data discovery on campus and beyond.

Sara Gonzales is a new Data Librarian at the Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center and leads development of the metadata model for the project. Gonzales brings extensive domain experience to this role through her MLIS with an archives concentration from UW-Milwaukee and expertise in museum collections, database projects, and metadata. The data modeling is a cross-campus collaboration through the Developmental Sciences Institute, Northwestern University Libraries, and Galter Library to benefit Northwestern’s Chicago and Evanston campus research communities. By leveraging internationally recognized standards, researchers can ensure that their records will be well-described, discoverable for future use, and interoperable for sharing with meta-repositories.

The software for the new data index and repository is being developed under the auspices of the National Center for Data to Health (CD2H) grant from NCATS at NIH. The CD2H is charged with coalescing and coordinating informatics activities to provide collaborative research infrastructure and create an ecosystem for discovery and sharing of software, data, and other research resources.

Sara will collaborate with the Northwestern research community in support of data in exciting ways, including training and other support and engagement. Over the coming months Sara will reach out to the members of DevSci to find out your needs and feature requests for the data index. Opportunities to participate in focus groups to examine wireframes, mock-ups, and beta versions of the data index will be available soon. Please contact Sara at 312-503-1209 or sara.gonzales2@northwestern.edu for more information.

This work is supported in part by the Institute for Innovations in Developmental Sciences, the National Center for Data to Health (NCATS U24TR002306), and Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NCATS UL1TR001422).