Data services at the academic library: a natural history of horses and unicorns

Authors : Jeffrey Oliver, Fernando Rios, Kiriann Carin, Chun Ly


Increases in data-intensive research at colleges and universities is driving demand for data services provided by academic libraries. The current work investigates the distribution of library data services, how such services are offered, and the effect of resourcing on the amount of services offered by a library.


We used a web-based inventory of 25 academic libraries at U.S. Research 1 (R1) Carnegie institutions to assess the state of data services at university libraries. We categorized and quantified services, and tested for an effect of library resourcing on the size of library data service portfolios.


Support for data management and geospatial services was relatively widespread, with increasing support in areas of data analyses and data visualization. There was significant variation among services in the modality in which they were offered (web, consult, instruction) and library resourcing had a significant effect on the number of data services a library offered.


While a core subset of these data services are offered at most academic libraries, more specialized topics are restricted to well-resourced libraries. In light of the influence of resource scarcity on the number of services a library can offer, intra- and inter-campus partnerships will be critical to ensure campus support for data service needs.

URL : Data services at the academic library: a natural history of horses and unicorns


Enquête sur l’organisation des services à la recherche en bibliothèque

Auteur.ices/Authors : Karine Bacher-Eyroi, Vincent de Lavenne, Renaud Delemontez-Sage, Madeleine Géroudet, Anthony

L’enquête sur l’organisation des services à la recherche dans les bibliothèques de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche, menée à grande échelle pour la première fois en 2021 par l’ADBU, a été renouvelée selon une méthodologie constante en 2023. Elle livre de premières tendances éclairantes, détaillées dans ce rapport, sur l’évolution de ces services, leurs périmètres et leurs moyens.

URL : Enquête sur l’organisation des services à la recherche en bibliothèque


Emerging roles and responsibilities of libraries in support of reproducible research

Authors : Birgit Schmidt, Andrea Chiarelli, Lucia Loffreda, Jeroen Sondervan

Ensuring the reproducibility of research is a multi-stakeholder effort that comes with challenges and opportunities for individual researchers and research communities, librarians, publishers, funders and service providers. These emerge at various steps of the research process, and, in particular, at the publication stage.

Previous work by Knowledge Exchange highlighted that, while there is growing awareness among researchers, reproducible publication practices have been slow to change. Importantly, research reproducibility has not yet reached institutional agendas: this work seeks to highlight the rationale for libraries to initiate and/or step up their engagement with this topic, which we argue is well aligned with their core values and strategic priorities.

We draw on secondary analysis of data gathered by Knowledge Exchange, focusing on the literature identified as well as interviews held with librarians. We extend this through further investigation of the literature and by integrating the findings of discussions held at the 2022 LIBER conference, to provide an updated picture of how libraries engage with research reproducibility.

Libraries have a significant role in promoting responsible research practices, including transparency and reproducibility, by leveraging their connections to academic communities and collaborating with stakeholders like research funders and publishers. Our recommendations for libraries include: i) partnering with researchers to promote a research culture that values transparency and reproducibility, ii) enhancing existing research infrastructure and support; and iii) investing in raising awareness and developing skills and capacities related to these principles.

URL : Emerging roles and responsibilities of libraries in support of reproducible research


The Role of Academic Libraries in Scientific Production Evaluation – the Experience of University of Zagreb, Croatia

Authors : Branka Marijanović, Tatijana Petrić, Zrinka Udiljak Bugarinovski, Višnja Novosel

Since internationally visible scientific productivity is a criterion for state evaluation of Croatian academic and scientific institutions and their scientists, Croatian academic libraries have a key role in quantitative evaluation of scientific productivity using methods such as bibliometrics, scientometrics and the like.

The aim of this case study is to identify and illustrate the current situation of library services for evaluating scientific production at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and to make recommendations for the further development of such services, which could serve as a framework for the systematic implementation of this type of service in all libraries at the University of Zagreb and beyond.

More specifically, the purpose of this paper was to identify the existence of the bibliometric services in the libraries of the University of Zagreb (UNIZG), examine the status and involvement of university librarians in the academic advancement procedures and to identify the required competences for bibliometric experts in Croatia.

The research was conducted using the content analysis method, the survey method, and the focus group method. The research results show that although UNIZG libraries are integrated into the system of academic promotion and the role of UNIZG libraries is enshrined in Croatian regulations, the bibliometric service is not standardised at the University level.

The results also indicate that the service needs to be strengthened in terms of training of professional staff and greater investment in staff capacity and infrastructure.

The fact that the study was conducted at a single Croatian university is a possible limitation that could relate to the application of guidelines for further actions and the development of bibliometric services at national level. It would therefore be desirable to conduct future research to identify the situation at other Croatian universities as well.

It would also be necessary to determine the open science and open access policies at UNIZG through further research and, in this context, to establish guidelines for possible improvements in the processes of evaluating scientific productivity.

The results of this study make an important contribution to the possible future positioning of university libraries and UNIZG librarians in the process of evaluating scientific productivity. In addition, some practical advice is given so that this case study may be a good introductory overview for the wider academic community in relation to this topic.

URL : The Role of Academic Libraries in Scientific Production Evaluation – the Experience of University of Zagreb, Croatia


Open access movement in the scholarly world: Pathways for libraries in developing countries

Authors : Arslan Sheikh, Joanna Richardson

Open access is a scholarly publishing model that has emerged as an alternative to traditional subscription-based journal publishing. This study explores the adoption of the open access movement worldwide and the role that libraries can play in addressing those factors which are slowing its progress within developing countries.

The study has drawn upon both qualitative data from a focused literature review and quantitative data from major open access platforms. The results indicate that while the open access movement is steadily gaining acceptance worldwide, the progress in developing countries within geographical areas such as Africa, Asia and Oceania is quite a bit slower.

Two significant factors are the cost of publishing fees and the lack of institutional open access mandates and policies to encourage uptake. The study provides suggested strategies for academic libraries to help overcome current challenges.


Developing Data Services Skills in Academic Libraries

Author : Justin Fuhr

Research data services are increasingly offered by academic libraries. As a result, librarians may need to upskill to provide data services and build capacity. This study measures the current level of data services skills of academic librarians and explores preferred methods of continuing education.

An online survey was circulated asking respondents to self-assess data skills in four categories. The results capture a baseline of self-assessed data skills and show statistical significance between the percentage of time a librarian provides data services and higher levels of technical skill sets.

The findings support the hiring of data librarians in academic libraries offering data services and providing training for librarians who provide any level of data services.

URL : Developing Data Services Skills in Academic Libraries


How are academic libraries in Spanish-speaking Latin America responding to new models of scholarly communication and predatory publishing?

Author : Jairo Buitrago Ciro

The topic of predatory publishing and ways to combat it is garnering considerable attention in many parts of the developed world, where academic librarians are emerging as leaders in this regard. However, less is known about how this phenomenon is playing out in developing regions, including Spanish-speaking Latin America.

This study presents the results of a survey of 104 academic librarians in this region, along with follow-up interviews with seven respondents. The findings reveal that scholarly publishing literacy in general, and predatory publishing in particular, currently has low visibility in this part of the world, although there is growing recognition of and increasing concern about the issue.

Although there is some debate about whether scholarly publishing literacy should be the sole responsibility of the library, many participants agree that the library has a role to play. Moreover, while most of the librarians who participated perceive that they have a solid knowledge of open access, they are less confident in their understanding of predatory practices and are seeking to increase their skills and knowledge in this regard to better support researchers at their institutions.

To address this shortcoming, academic librarians in the region have expressed an interest in receiving training and in participating in international collaborations with other libraries that have already developed resources or programming in this area.

URL : How are academic libraries in Spanish-speaking Latin America responding to new models of scholarly communication and predatory publishing?