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Libraries as Distributors of Geospatial Data: Data Management Policies as Tools for Managing Partnerships
Abstract

Libraries can bring substantial expertise to bear on the collection, curation, and distribution of digital geospatial information, making them trusted and competent partners for organizations that wish to distribute geospatial data. By developing a well-thought-out data management and distribution policy, libraries can define the parameters of a data distribution partnership and reinforce a data provider's confidence in the library's role as a data custodian and distributor. In developing a policy, data distributors are advised to consider such issues as intellectual property rights, liability issues, distribution methods and services, data and metadata management practices, security risks posed by geospatial data, and user limitations. This article describes the most common elements of data sharing and distribution agreements and describes the development of a data management policy for the Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository (CUGIR).