Section 3: What is my Role as a DLI Contact

  1. DLI Contacts
  2. DLI Alternates
  3. The DLI Graphic Identifier
  4. Training and Professional Development

DLI Contacts

When an institution joins the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI), a DLI Contact is identified within the new member institution. This person's contact information is made available through the DLI's Participating Institutions and their contacts web page.

DLI Contacts are designated individuals at member institution who have as responsibility:

  • to ensure that the conditions of use of the DLI licence agreement are being abide by at their institutions;
  • to promote a culture of data stewardship in Canadian post-secondary education institutions; and
  • to facilitate access to Canadian public data in support of teaching and academic research.

The DLI acknowledges each institutions' unique requirements and available resources and that the level of data services provided by a DLI contact will vary from institution to institution. Some institutions have a dedicated Data Librarians whose responsibilities encompass being the primary DLI Contact at their institution. Other institutions have taken on a collaborative service model in delivering data services and share the responsibilities of the DLI Contact. For administrative purposes, we ask that institutions identify a primary DLI Contact and, if needed, Alternates.


DLI Alternates

Many DLI Contacts work in a team environment in their Data Centre or library. Some DLI Contacts appoint Alternates (backups) to assist them and replace them during holidays. These alternates would be granted their own access credentials to access the DLI EFT and be subscribed to the DLI listserv for research support.

If a DLI Contact has identified an Alternate, this should be communicated in writing to the DLI unit at Statistics Canada. This allows the administrative unit to monitor requests for passwords and ensure that all authorized persons are aware of important changes.


The DLI Graphic Identifier

About the DLI graphic identifier

The DLI graphic identifier is a sigma sign which represents the Initiative as the sum of all its partners working together. Numbers from one through nine throughout the graphic identifier symbolize data used across Canada, with the focus being placed on North America itself.

Using the DLI graphic identifier

DLI Contacts are encouraged to use the DLI graphic identifier where appropriate (e.g., presentations). Use of the graphic identifier is not mandatory and is at the discretion of the contact. A downloadable version can be found in the Reports folder of the EFT.


Training and Professional Development

DLI Contacts support research and teaching at their respective institutions and, in turn, are supported by the program in this objective. DLI Contacts are invited to participate in various training opportunities, including national and regional DLI training workshops and webinar sessions. The regional workshops are organized by the Professional Development Committee and focus on the development of basic skills and competencies of a data professional and will offer more advance skill sessions as required. The sessions are also an opportunity to bring in subject matter experts and knowledgeable DLI Contacts to present on emerging trends in research. The peer-to-peer model for training and inspiring DLI Contacts is beyond compare. DLI Contacts, new and experienced, are encouraged to participate as presenters, moderator or even organizer.

To support the professional development needs of its members, DLI continuously strives to foster the development of capacity and expertise for new and emerging roles through training initiatives relating to the broad range of data services, including but not limited to data visualization, data curation, reference services, and data literacy instruction.

Data Service Skills

The Professional Development Committee's Training Principles document outlines the basic level of data service skills for DLI Contacts.

Providing access to data
Knowledge, expertise and/or awareness of Relevant experience and knowledge gained
Data manipulation and analysis techniques and tools
  • Survival Guide
  • Training Workshops
  • Materials available through the Training Repository
Data Visualization techniques
  • Training Workshops
  • Materials available through the Training Repository
  • Nesstar user guide
  • WDS user guide
Identifying datasets, discovery tools
  • Nesstar
  • WDS
  • EFT
Data centers, Repositories, and data collection
  • DLI Collection
  • Survival Guide
Data organization and structures within collections
  • DLI EFT
  • Survival Guide
Data licensing and intellectual property issues
  • DLI Licence Agreement
  • Survival Guide
Data Literacy
Knowledge of Relevant experience and knowledge gained
Data and statistical concepts
  • Survival Guide
  • Training Workshops
  • Materials available through the Training Repository
Data citation and referencing practices
  • Survival Guide
Managing Data Collection
Knowledge of Relevant experience and knowledge gained
Metadata standards and schemas, data formats, identifiers
  • Training Workshops
  • Materials available through the Training Repository
Data curation and preservation
  • Training Workshops
  • Materials available through the Training Repository

Emerging Trends

It is important to keep up to date with the current trends in libraries. In this way, we are able to ensure that our Contacts are aware of the top trends and we are able to provide training for them to keep them on point. Ensuring that DLI Contacts are not only aware of changes in the data world but also how that may impact their roles and responsibilities, especially as many Contacts and supporting 'multiple hats', is of utmost importance to the DLI.

Data literacy is as important as information literacy and DLI Contacts are often called upon to support and provide training in this area. With research data management becoming even more important since the announcement of the Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management, Contacts are being called upon to teach it to the different stakeholders in their university community. This includes not only undergraduate and graduate students, but also professors, researchers and administrators.

For more information:

Portage: A national, library-based research data management network, launched by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), which coalesces initiatives in research data management to build capacity and to coordinate activities better.

The Joint Task Force on Librarians' Competencies in Support of E-Research and Scholarly Communication, recently published two competency profiles with the objective to help build capacity in libraries for supporting roles in the area of research data management and scholarly communication.

The Joint Task Force is a collaborative effort by: the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER), and Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR).

The New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum (NECDMC) is an instructional tool for teaching data management best practices to various target groups, including students and researchers.