Who are information specialists and data librarians?
Librarians, archivists, curators, repository managers and records managers all play key roles in the context of eResearch.
Data librarians are professional library staff engaged in managing research data, using research data as a resource, or supporting researchers in these activities. The Research Data and Librarians (PDF, 0.55 MB) pamphlet provides a simple starter kit for Librarians wishing to engage more with research data.
What do information specialists do?
The role may include supporting researchers or institutional initiatives in the following areas:
- Data management
- data management plans
- issues such as copyright, intellectual property, licensing of data, embargoes, ethics and reuse, privacy etc.
- storing and managing data during and after the research project (curation)
- depositing data in archives at the end of the project, determining retention and disposal periods
- open access and publishing of data and/or metadata records
- research organisation policies affecting data
- Metadata management
- creating and maintaining metadata
- developing and applying metadata standards
- Using data (data as a resource)
- finding or obtaining data for reuse
- citing data
- data analysis tools and support services
- data literacy (an extension of information literacy to include the ability to access, assess, manipulate, summarize and present data.
- Developing, delivering or arranging:
- resources such as data management check lists
- training sessions on data management planning, data literacy, use of statistical and analytical tools
- awareness sessions or materials
- referral to sources of information and advice, either within or external to the organisation
Data management positions
There is a range of data management-related positions. Note: for information only, these are not current vacancies
- Generic data librarian job description (PDF, 0.07 MB)
- eResearch Access Coordinator (PDF, 0.1 MB)
- Harvard Business Review - Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century
- My Future - Emerging Occupations: Data Miner
Changing libraries and library roles
- Mary Anne Kennan (2016) Data Management: Knowledge and skills required in research, scientific and technical organisations
- Mary Auckland (2012) Re-skilling for Research
- Martin Borchert & Paula A. Callan (2011) Preparing library staff for research support services at QUT
- Amanda Nixon (2012) Metadata stores at Flinders University - video (3.25 mins)
Skills for data roles
There are many ways to gain skills - formal university courses, online courses and training programs. eg 23 (resarch data) Things covers most areas an information professional would need to know about.
What's my pitch?
This document is a simple way to think about key messages and possible responses that can be used to quickly and succinctly pitch research data management to researchers. The responses can be contextualised to suit what is available at your organisation. Download as: