As big data takes the limelight, it is critical that the value of research data is appreciated and the field of information science garners respect for its contributions. Despite being a logical leader in data management and curation, information science competes with other disciplines in handling research data and often fails to demonstrate its own expertise. Two developments presented through the annual Research Data Access & Preservation (RDAP) Summits hold promise for promoting the field and demonstrating its relevance to data management topics. First, the use of formal and systematic planning for data management is expanding, driven by requirements of many funding agencies. Second, research is offering insights into how researchers appraise, share and reuse data, with identification of data quality indicators related to satisfaction. As the effective use of research data becomes more pressing, the field of information science should lead in demonstrating the value derived from professional data curation, and the RDAP community must define and articulate its own research agenda.