I first became aware of research data management as a frontier area of expertise for libraries and librarians almost 10 years ago. Tony Hey was one of the first to popularize the term ‘e-science’ and the idea that librarians had a role to play in managing research data. This call might have stirred little interest at another time. But at least two things were happening around then that might have caused this to stand out and catch interest: 1) libraries were in the midst of redefining their roles and place in the digital scholarly communication ecosystem; and, 2) the ‘data deluge’ made possible by the ubiquity and power of computation and networks was beginning to overwhelm traditional methods of data storage and management. It was becoming alarmingly clear that a new approach was needed to grapple with the burgeoning need.