Managing research data: new roles for librarians
by Julia Gross, Librarian at Edith Cowan University on May 08, 2012
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In the era of the data deluge librarians are staking their claim to be involved in research data support and curation, and new roles are emerging. In 2011 Edith Cowan University Library completed a Seeding the Commons project funded by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) that sought to identify and describe a selection of data sets produced by researchers at the university. A goal of the project was the collection and description of twelve data sets that could be shared. We were very successful in that ours was the first ANDS project to be completed in Western Australia, with a total of sixteen data sets collected. As part of the project, the librarians involved learned new skills, including conducting data interviews, describing data using the RIF-CS schema, and understanding the many issues surrounding the management of research data.
As a result of the project, researchers' data management requirements were identified, and gaps in the services and infrastructure available to meet these needs started to become clear. Librarians' skills in assisting researchers with data management have also become obvious, and library services to support researchers are now being developed, as a secondary outcome of this project
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