Why You Need Soft and Non-Technical Skills for Successful Data Librarianship

Author : Margaret Henderson

There are many courses available to teach research data management to librarians and researchers. While these courses can help with technical skills, like programming or statistics, and practical knowledge of data life cycles or data sharing policies, there are “soft skills” and non-technical skills that are needed to successfully start and run data services.

While there are many important characteristics of a good data librarian, reference skills, relationship building, collaboration, listening, and facilitation are some of the most important. Giving consideration to these skills will help any data librarian with their multifaceted job.

URL : Skills for Data Librarianship

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2020.1183

The role of a data librarian in academic and research libraries

Authors : Isaac K. Ohaji, Brenda Chawner, Pak Yoong


This paper presents a data librarian role blueprint (the blueprint) in order to facilitate an understanding of the academic and research librarian’s role in research data management and e-research.


The study employed a qualitative ase research approach to investigate the dimensions of the role of a data librarian in New Zealand research organizations, using semi-structured interviews as the main data collection instrument.


A data analysis spiral was used to analyse the interview data, with the addition of a job analysis framework to organize the role performance components of a data librarian.


The influencing factors, performance components and training needs for a data librarian role form the basis of the blueprint.


The findings which are reflected in the blueprint provide a conceptual understanding of the data librarian role which may be used to inform and enhance practice, or to develop relevant education and training programmes.

URL : http://informationr.net/ir/24-4/paper844.html

Health Sciences Libraries Advancing Collaborative Clinical Research Data Management in Universities

Authors : Tania P. Bardyn, Emily F. Patridge, Michael T. Moore, Jane J. Koh


Medical libraries need to actively review their service models and explore partnerships with other campus entities to provide better-coordinated clinical research management services to faculty and researchers. TRAIL (Translational Research and Information Lab), a five-partner initiative at the University of Washington (UW), explores how best to leverage existing expertise and space to deliver clinical research data management (CRDM) services and emerging technology support to clinical researchers at UW and collaborating institutions in the Pacific Northwest.


The initiative offers 14 services and a technology-enhanced innovation lab located in the Health Sciences Library (HSL) to support the University of Washington clinical and research enterprise.

Sharing of staff and resources merges library and non-library workflows, better coordinating data and innovation services to clinical researchers. Librarians have adopted new roles in CRDM, such as providing user support and training for UW’s Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) instance.


TRAIL staff are quickly adapting to changing workflows and shared services, including teaching classes on tools used to manage clinical research data. Researcher interest in TRAIL has sparked new collaborative initiatives and service offerings. Marketing and promotion will be important for raising researchers’ awareness of available services.


Medical librarians are developing new skills by supporting and teaching CRDM. Clinical and data librarians better understand the information needs of clinical and translational researchers by being involved in the earlier stages of the research cycle and identifying technologies that can improve healthcare outcomes.

At health sciences libraries, leveraging existing resources and bringing services together is central to how university medical librarians will operate in the future.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2018.1130