ASIS&T 2013 Annual Meeting 
Montréal, Québec, Canada | November 1-5, 2013

Environmental Voluntary Groups: Towards Curating Data for Sharing, Access and Preservation

Mary Anne Kennan, Charles Sturt University
Kirsty Williamson, Charles Sturt University
Graeme Johanson, Monash University

Monday, 8:00am


This paper reports a recent study which investigated what data were collected by members of an environmental voluntary group (EVG) and how these data were collected, stored, managed and shared. A significant aim was to understand how data management and approaches to data sharing could be improved in order to enhance the contributions of EVGs to research and science more broadly while also continuing to meet individual and group needs. Interviews were conducted with members of the Australian Plants Society Victoria (ASPV) using a broadly ethnographic approach. Findings indicate that APSV members have a strong interest in conservation biodiversity, and in increasing their own, and society’s knowledge and understanding, passions often shared with professional scientists. Yet their data are often poorly managed, creating significant impediments to sharing. The paper explores the major issues of data management and sharing and the resulting impediments to data sharing and information communication. Options for improvement are explored, especially ways to inspire and empower APSV members with skills and technology to contribute to major data repositories so that their valuable data may be preserved and made accessible beyond their immediate Society co-members.