The role of the librarian in supporting researchers is ever changing and expanding. One of the most significant trends is for Libraries to work in conjunction with other units in their institutions – e.g. IT and the Research Office - to support Research Data Management. This is a complex area covering topics that librarians did not deal with traditionally, and were largely left in the hands of the researcher to manage themselves, such as: data description and storage, data curation, data preservation, licensing and open access.
The three South Australian Universities have responded to this differently:
University of South Australia Library staff are working closely with Research and Innovation Services (RIS) and Information Strategy and Technology Services (ISTS) to develop a customised Data Management Planning System which ingests project metadata from other internal systems such as Research Master, HR and Finance systems. Researchers can use the system to create a Data Management plan at different phases of the project lifecycle - including for a grant application. The Library plays a key role in enriching metadata, supporting and promoting the system and providing education in research data management practices.
Flinders University Library created a new service in 2012, named eResearch@Flinders. This incorporates data management support service and outreach to Flinders researchers about eResearch tools and services, as well as acting as a point of operational contact for eResearch service providers, supporting eResearch strategic decision making, providing open repository services and offering statistical training, consulting and support. Three years on, the service has developed to also include a copyright advisory service and delivery of open access theses.
The University of Adelaide created an eResearch Librarian position, jointly funded by University Libraries and the Deputy Vice Chancellor- Research. This role works closely with Technical Services and DVC-R from within the Library to further University policy and practice relating to RDM. Research Librarians are increasing their expertise in RDM, to allow them to provide advice and education about RDM through the five Faculties.
This panel session focuses on how the three South Australian academic institutions reacted to this change - including: how they provide support (workshops, webpages, library guides, appointments), what tools / software packages are used, what additional skills library staff required to provide support, what the outcomes were - what worked, and what didn't, and future plans.
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