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Presented at The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections June 17- 22, 2013, Rapid City, South Dakota.
Great effort has gone into digitizing and aggregating natural history collections, but what data from the collections are being reused and by whom? This panel presentation draws from interviews with 27 zoologists who reuse data from specimens other people collect. The zoologists were interviewed about their recent data reuse experiences, including their research questions and data discovery and selection processes. Findings from the interviews will be presented, including a discussion about the data’s contextual information that zoologists needed during reuse. This study is part of the Dissemination Information Packages for Information Reuse (DIPIR) project. DIPIR is three year Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded project that is examining data reuse in three academic disciplines – quantitative social science, zoology, and archaeology. One of the project’s major objectives is to understand how the context of data production that supports data reuse can best be curated and preserved.