Research Data Management Services: Role of Academic Libraries

Research Data Management Services: Role of Academic Libraries

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Libraries are great sources for knowledge creation and are considered ideal centers for research data services. Data management services are key tools of professional librarians and they are well aware of their potential role in handling this information carefully. However, still, different libraries are not in the same phase, mostly related to curation and data management at institutional levels. Librarians face many challenges such as professional training, collaborations with other institutions, capacity buildings, equipment, tools, and broader institutional support.

Research and Academic Libraries Image © The Radical Outlook

By Abid Hussein

©The Radical Outlook

According to Cambridge Dictionary, “the data is facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis”. The Data is the new oil said by Data Clive Humby. Organizing and managing the data is one of the hectic and challenging jobs for data analysts, organizers, and all data curators.

Over the past few decades, the importance of research data management has been emphasized in academic libraries as scientific advancements are increasing in collaborative, data-intensive, and computational research. In these situations, many scholars lack sufficient time to handle the requirement of data management.

The management of research data has become a controversial issue in modern library services. The aim of research data management services in academic libraries is to make research more efficient, accessible, and reliable for result-oriented innovative ideas. It increases the impact of research in planning and preserving data in a repository throughout its life cycle. It involves several stakeholders, both within and outside the university community. Research Data Management is a scientific process that helps librarians manage and share data in organized order that is easily accessible and reliable for discovering new ideas.

Many libraries around the globe are practicing Research data management services. Academic Libraries are great sources for Research and data management practices because they have a long history of working with and training research and curating and preserving information. Librarians are key players in research data management because they acquired, preserve and disseminate information in organized manners. Academic libraries are important because it occupies the unique position to abreast researchers with organized data.

Over the past few decades, the importance of research data management has been emphasized in academic libraries as scientific advancements are increasing in collaborative, data-intensive, and computational research. In these situations, many scholars lack sufficient time to handle the requirement of data management. They also have concerned about data management issues. In such circumstances, academic libraries have actively been involved in research data services in full data life-cycle. Librarians in academic libraries are involved in the data management process to overcome selection, preservation, maintenance, and archiving the digital curation for research in an academic environment. Libraries are great sources for knowledge creation and are considered ideal centers for research data services.

Leading libraries have recommended different tools to overcome these challenges, but lack of funding and professional training are key areas that need more development. Research and data management services in academic libraries are timely significant in the current landscape for librarians. For many librarians working in academic libraries, providing data management services has been difficult, but new skills enabled them to handle the flow of information in the arena of ICT.

Data management services are key tools of professional librarians and they are well aware of their potential role in handling this information carefully. However, still, different libraries are not in the same phase, mostly related to curation and data management at institutional levels. Librarians face many challenges such as professional training, collaborations with other institutions, capacity buildings, equipment, tools, and broader institutional support. If appropriate training for research data management services were granted to the librarians in academic libraries, we are optimistic that academic libraries will flourish their services more sophisticatedly.

Taking into consideration the benefit of research data management services, academic libraries can situate themselves in the RDM landscape so that they can make strategic decisions, support RDM development and work with those parties outside of the library to address emerging research needs. Librarians are masters in research data management services.

Stakeholders and policymakers might exploit the role of academic librarians more collaboratively if support in funding, training, and tools were granted to the librarians working in academic libraries. Leading libraries have recommended different tools to overcome these challenges, but lack of funding and professional training are key areas that need more development. Research and data management services in academic libraries are timely significant in the current landscape for librarians. For many librarians working in academic libraries, providing data management services has been difficult, but new skills enabled them to handle the flow of information in the arena of ICT.

Several academic librarians have argued that their institutions had not trained them in data management services, but still, they are performing their job wholeheartedly. According to Donato Diorio, Founder/principal of DataZ, has rightly said that “Without a systematic way to start and keep data clean, bad data will happen”.Taking into consideration the benefit of research data management services, academic libraries can situate themselves in the RDM landscape so that they can make strategic decisions, support RDM development and work with those parties outside of the library to address emerging research needs. Librarians are masters in research data management services. Let them assure what are to be organized in which ways. Research and Data Management services are key factors in academic libraries; stakeholders should think about it. Academic Libraries and data centers are key players of Research Data Management services worldwide to support their researchers in funding projects and grant them access to open research data.

The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect our Editorial Policy


Author

Abid Hussein is a library officer at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, a Think-Tank based in Islamabad.


Republishing is allowed with a copyright credit to © The Radical Outlook

About Post Author

The Radical Outlook

The Radical Outlook is an online news web Portal designed for in-depth news analysis from the Eurasian region and beyond. It is Founded by a geopolitical analyst Shahzada Rahim.
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