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UC San Diego Library Launches New Art of Science Contest

Program aims to celebrate the beauty that can emerge during scientific exploration and raise awareness of the Library’s data curation services

Data curators at the UC San Diego Library have the privilege of working with researchers from a wide range of scientific disciplines as they prepare data for the Library’s Research Data Collections repository. The visually stunning nature of some of these research data sets has inspired the Library’s Research Data Curation Program (RDCP) to host its inaugural Art of Science contest, which aims to celebrate the beauty that can emerge during scientific exploration and raise awareness of the Library’s data curation services.  

Beginning February 22, UC San Diego students, postdoctoral and faculty researchers, and research affiliates, are invited to submit images or graphics related to their research, along with a caption that explains their work in an engaging and accessible way. Submissions will be accepted through March 21, with judging beginning soon thereafter and the winners announced on May 3. 

“UC San Diego’s brilliant researchers are recognized for their intellectual outputs in many ways, and this contest provides another exciting opportunity to recognize their work in what might be its purest form—as an object of wonder,” said David Minor, program director for the Research Data Curation Program. “In this way, it’s bringing their work closer to us all, as humans, in our intellectual and emotional responses.”

The Library’s Research Data Collections repository hosts more than 28 terabytes of data from a range of scientific disciplines, including archeology, chemistry, climate science, structural engineering and ocean science. These data are preserved in Chronopolis, a preservation network that replicates the data among three geographically dispersed partner sites adding to the security and integrity of the content.

“Our Research Data Curation Program supports a core piece of the Library’s strategic plan: engaging with campus partners to make digital scholarly work and data openly discoverable and accessible,” said Roger Smith, associate university librarian, scholarly resources and services. “The Library collaborates with faculty, researchers, students and other partners to ensure the long-term accessibility of scholarly works in all formats. We hope this contest brings further awareness to this service and encourages more UC San Diego affiliates and partners to leverage the talents of our expert team.”  

RDCP is available to assist all UC San Diego and affiliate researchers with their creation of a data management plan; training on data management best practices; guidance on depositing data in a repository; help creating a digital object identifier (DOI) for research outputs; or instruction on research computing skills. 

The inaugural Art of Science contest is supported by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, which merges science and art to create a unique research environment for the benefit of humanity.

For more information about the contest, please contact the Research Data Curation team at research-data-curation@ucsd.edu or visit lib.ucsd.edu/rdcp.

About the UC San Diego Library

The UC San Diego Library, ranked among the nation’s top 25 public academic libraries, plays a critical role in advancing and supporting the university’s research, teaching, patient care, and public service missions. The world-renowned research for which UC San Diego is known starts at the UC San Diego Library, which provides the foundation of knowledge needed to advance cutting-edge discoveries in a wide range of disciplines, from healthcare and science to public policy and the arts.


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