Data management is rapidly becoming a hot topic in libraries, especially with the announcement of the Big Data Research and Development Initiative in 2012. What many of us don’t realize is that the foundation for this initiative was laid in 2003 with the publication of a report by the National Institute of Health on the sharing of research data. In the years since there has been an explosion of data and federal agencies have been developing data management plans as well as sharing requirements to expand access to it. Even with these advances we still struggle to preserve and make accessible the results of federally-funded research.
The Library of Congress’ blog The Signal has recently published a two-part series that delves into the history of the federal government’s data management practices and looks into the resulting tools and services that have been developed to meet federal requirements. While we're moving in the right direction, this is really only the tip of the iceberg.