How are we Measuring Up? Evaluating Research Data Services in Academic Libraries

Authors : Heather L. Coates, Jake Carlson, Ryan Clement, Margaret Henderson, Lisa R Johnston, Yasmeen Shorish

INTRODUCTION

In the years since the emergence of federal funding agency data management and sharing requirements (http://datasharing.sparcopen.org/data), research data services (RDS) have expanded to dozens of academic libraries in the United States.

As these services have matured, service providers have begun to assess them. Given a lack of practical guidance in the literature, we seek to begin the discussion with several case studies and an exploration of four approaches suitable to assessing these emerging services.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

This article examines five case studies that vary by staffing, drivers, and institutional context in order to begin a practice-oriented conversation about how to evaluate and assess research data services in academic libraries.

The case studies highlight some commonly discussed challenges, including insufficient training and resources, competing demands for evaluation efforts, and the tension between evidence that can be easily gathered and that which addresses our most important questions.

We explore reflective practice, formative evaluation, developmental evaluation, and evidence-based library and information practice for ideas to advance practice.

NEXT STEPS

Data specialists engaged in providing research data services need strategies and tools with which to make decisions about their services. These range from identifying stakeholder needs to refining existing services to determining when to extend and discontinue declining services.

While the landscape of research data services is broad and diverse, there are common needs that we can address as a community. To that end, we have created a community-owned space to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and existing resources.

URL : How are we Measuring Up? Evaluating Research Data Services in Academic Libraries

DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2226

How Important is Data Curation? Gaps and Opportunities for Academic Libraries

Authors: Lisa R Johnston, Jacob Carlson, Cynthia Hudson-Vitale, Heidi Imker, Wendy Kozlowski, Robert Olendorf, Claire Stewart

INTRODUCTION

Data curation may be an emerging service for academic libraries, but researchers actively “curate” their data in a number of ways—even if terminology may not always align. Building on past userneeds assessments performed via survey and focus groups, the authors sought direct input from researchers on the importance and utilization of specific data curation activities.

METHODS

Between October 21, 2016, and November 18, 2016, the study team held focus groups with 91 participants at six different academic institutions to determine which data curation activities were most important to researchers, which activities were currently underway for their data, and how satisfied they were with the results.

RESULTS

Researchers are actively engaged in a variety of data curation activities, and while they considered most data curation activities to be highly important, a majority of the sample reported dissatisfaction with the current state of data curation at their institution.

DISCUSSION

Our findings demonstrate specific gaps and opportunities for academic libraries to focus their data curation services to more effectively meet researcher needs.

CONCLUSION

Research libraries stand to benefit their users by emphasizing, investing in, and/or heavily promoting the highly valued services that may not currently be in use by many researchers.

URL : How Important is Data Curation? Gaps and Opportunities for Academic Libraries

DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2198