CARL Honours Charles Humphrey with Award of Merit

Chuck Humphrey and Martha Whitehead

REGINA, May 1, 2018. – The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) is pleased to have presented Mr. Charles (Chuck) Humphrey with the CARL Award of Merit during its spring membership meeting on April 30, 2018. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to Canadian research librarianship by individuals who are not employed by CARL member libraries. Mr. Humphrey was long employed at the University of Alberta Libraries, but has recently retired. He joins eight previous recipients of this award, which was introduced in 2001.

Mr. Humphrey receives the Award of Merit for his outstanding work while seconded to CARL as the initial Director of the Portage research data management network from September 2015 until the fall of 2017. During that time, he provided incredible leadership and worked to build a shared vision in challenging circumstances, tending to the needs of a wide range of stakeholders with varying interests spread across the country. He delivered on that vision in key ways that cemented the credibility of research libraries in the digital research infrastructure landscape.

However, Mr. Humphrey’s contributions to the successful launch of Portage began well before he took on the role of Director, and he was a key participant in the CARL initiative that drew together research data stakeholders in December of 2013. He then served on CARL’s Project ARC Working Group from early 2014 to the spring of 2015, where he spearheaded two key initiatives that served as proof of concept for both the network of expertise and infrastructure aspects of Portage. First, he navigated a complex set of relationships to pilot the data repository workflow that led to the Federated Research Data Repository, which he shepherded into service as Portage Director. Second, he brought together a group of experts across the country to develop and implement the DMPAssistant.

“It was largely thanks to Chuck’s expertise, enthusiasm and personable approach that the pre-Portage planning was successful. Chuck brought to the table a wealth of collaborative experience,” said Queen’s University Vice-Provost (Digital Planning) and University Librarian, Martha Whitehead. “When we appointed Chuck to the role of Portage Director, we said that one of the goals of that first phase was to create a foundation of expertise. By that measure, and every other, Chuck’s contribution to research librarianship in Canada has been truly outstanding.”

Prior to this Mr. Humphrey had supported data services at the University of Alberta since 1992, and had worked on numerous regional, national and international initiatives to increase access to data for teaching and research purposes. These earlier contributions to data librarianship were recognized by CARL in 2000 with the CARL Award for Distinguished Service to Research Librarianship. Mr. Humphrey was also involved in OECD Global Science Forums on Data and Research Infrastructure for the Social Sciences in 2010-2011 and on Ethics and Big Data in 2014-15. He was the lead investigator on a University of Alberta Libraries’ successful application for a data centre in the Canadian International Polar Year (IPY) Data Assembly Centres Network. He was instrumental in the formation of Research Data Canada and served on its Steering Committee, and he was a Board member of the Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administrative Information.

Mr. Humphrey has always been extremely generous in his mentoring and support for colleagues, and the fact that Portage has continued successfully since his departure is a tribute to his leadership.



CARL members include Canada’s twenty-nine largest university libraries as well as two national libraries. Enhancing research and higher education are at the heart of its mission. CARL develops the capacity to support this mission, promotes effective and sustainable scholarly communication, and public policy that enables broad access to scholarly information.

For more information:
Susan Haigh, Executive Director
613.482.9344 ext. 101