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This commentary describes the thoughts and perceptions of a first-time attendee to the Research Data Access and Preservation (RDAP) Summit in March 2018. The author describes her initial hesitations to attend this conference as a data librarian from a medium-sized institution. But after attending, she is convinced that the RDAP Summit is for anyone interested in data, including librarians that work at medium- and small-sized institutions.

After describing the format of the Summit, the highlights of attending are described, including gathering ideas related to all aspects of research data management, access, and preservation; hearing data management perspectives from outside of academic libraries; networking opportunities for the extrovert and introvert; and opportunities to connect with librarians at similar universities and with similar interests.


professional development, conferences, research data services, data management, librarians


The author would like to acknowledge Emily Spunaugle and Meryl Brodsky for their insightful comments on a draft of this article.

Corresponding Author

Joanna Thielen, Kresge Library, Oakland University, 100 Library Drive, Rochester, MI 48309; jthielen@oakland.edu

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Copyright Thielen © 2018

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.