It seems that libraries may have a critical role to play in supporting researchers in the management of their data. I am aware of some of the work taking place in the UK via JISC, but what other examples are there?
I know of two main classes of examples:
Less directly, librarians have been helping with the push to make data citation a norm, which we hope will both get researchers to formally publish their data (and not just the results), and try to get tenure & promotion committees to give value to data publication. Also, both librarians and LIS folks have been involved with the NSF DataNet projects, to deal with the aspects of curation, long-term preservation, information modeling and vocabulary reconciliation.
I have some notes from the 2011 Research Data Access and Preservation Summit, but I still need to get the videos from the 2012 meeting edited & posted online. I believe the next (June/July 2012) issue of the ASIS&T Bulletin will be primarily focused on research data. (at least, my deadline was a month ago ... so if not this one, the one after)
Update: The June/July 2012 ASIS&T Bulletin has been posted, and there's an article 'The RDAP12 Summit: Challenges and Opportunities for Data Management' (pdf) (html). (although, they attribute a few things to Mark Martins, which was filler as Mark couldn't make it.) And the long term location for this issue if typical won't work until the next one's published.
Joe just gave an excellent overview, so I'll take the "depth" approach and answer with a 'how we done it good/bad' tale. Let me know in the comments if this is helpful.
About two years ago we joined the bandwagon of libraries putting together web guides for data management. I took a "lifecycle" approach to our guide, and you can check it out here.
I met with some colleagues and we felt this was a really "reactive" approach. We formed a small interest group called DIG (yes, "Data Interest Group"), and out of that group we decided to take the issue to our library colleagues via a presentation and discussion which you can find here.
The discussion was especially fruitful, and we decided to meet again. We invited some library colleagues to our meeting and held discussion of more proactive models for engaging our faculty. The primary outcome was the formation of our Research Data Management Guidance team. This group has been instrumental in many spinoff projects including:
We felt this was a good step, but again--nothing novel. We continued our DIG meetings and tried to drum up a way to have a broader impact--outside of the library. We were aware of an administrative level task force that was looking at some of the larger issues that would challenge the university, but there was little activity on the ground level. We also knew that there were other "worker bee" people like us siloed away in other departments and units, so we decided to reach out to all of the research service providers across campus to invite them to a kind of Meet N' Greet where we could eat bagels and swap stories. It turned out that all of these people were interested in learning about ways to improve the research data services they offered and also advocating for the services of others (e.g. statistical consulting, high performance computing, departmental storage...).
So, out of that meeting came two outcomes: the first was to continue our conversation by regularly meeting (quarterly) and to develop a referral network based around the concept of a 'service catalog.' These two outcomes are currently in the works.
Anyway, I guess I should say what I learned from this process:
As others have pointed out, I think a big component to digital preservation is education and social processes around the activity. The Signal is a blog that folks in the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program office at the Library of Congress curate. They pull and create stories about projects in the field. I think they've been surprised at how much the content is of interest to not just practitioners but to the increasing number of people who generate and collect digital content, and want to manage it. Efforts such as Personal Archiving help document emerging best practices for people who have photograph collections, email, etc that they want to keep, and perhaps one day donate to an archive.