DataCite’s Distinguished Service Award: Recognizing Joan Starr’s Many Contributions

Joan Starr, EZID Service Manager, California Digital Library has been an important part of DataCite’s success from the beginning. Joan has made a difference with her guidance, passion, voice, knowledge — all of which has helped so many in the DataCite community. DataCite awarded Joan the Distinguished Service Award at the spring General Assembly in Berlin 2018. Her contributions are immense.

Joan Starr receiving DataCite’s Distinguished Service Award

In 2009, the DataCite was founded, with CDL as one of its first members. Shortly thereafter, CDL formed a new EZID team formed to build an identifier service, and Joan became the service/product manager (and chief evangelist). Through her efforts, and over the years, EZID grew into an internationally recognizable brand with over 180 clients on 4 continents, including representatives from academia, government, the nonprofit, and commercial sectors. These activities were key in building the DataCite community.

Last August, the EZID program began to transition its DOI services to DataCite. Since then Joan has worked closely with the DataCite team and has been instrumental in supporting EZID clients through this transition, providing guides, webinars, and personal introductions and support. I personally thank Joan for all of her work on this — it has been a pleasure. As one client wrote, “We really appreciate all the work you’ve [Joan has] done to get us to the point where DataCite transition is straightforward and easy! You’ve been right there with us every step of the way!”

Simultaneously with DataCite’s founding, Joan jumped in and led the Metadata Working Group and together with her colleagues provided DataCite’s metadata schema with the goals of

  1. establishing easier access to scientific research data on the Internet,
  2. increasing acceptance of research data as legitimate, citable contributions to the scientific record, and
  3. supporting data archiving that will permit results to be verified and re-purposed for future study.

Joan’s stellar contributions helped form the foundation of DataCite’s data sharing activities and produced a metadata schema that many simply say, “is the best.” Joan’s leadership helped produce multiple versions of the metadata schema that has kept pace with the requirements of the DataCite community. Joan also participated in the development of the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles and worked to promote the implementation of the principles — Joan’s efforts put the Metadata Working Group ideas into practice and moved the ball forward.

Joan will be retiring on June 28, 2018. To say she will be missed is an understatement. There are no words to truly reflect how much we will miss working with her. She has made such a difference with her constant optimism, enthusiasm and willingness to speak up. I know I speak for the DataCite community that we’ll all really miss her. Thank you for everything you’ve done and enjoy yourself!