NASIG Core Competencies for Scholarly Communication Librarians

Approved and adopted by the NASIG Executive Board, August 11, 2017

Publié le 22 août 2017, par Thérèse Hameau


The following Core Competencies for Scholarly Communication Librarians were developed out of research and discussion conducted by the NASIG Scholarly Communication Core Competencies Task Force. Scholarly communication is defined by ACRL as “the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use.


Keeping the extensive and amorphous nature of competencies in mind, along with the variety of areas of emphasis found within the scholarly communication space, the task force proposes the following as a tool box. Our tool box consists of four themes that are found in all SCLs [Scholarly Communication Librarians] and five areas of emphasis that are commonly, though not always, associated with the SCL and core competencies within these six areas. In this framework, the hiring library is largely responsible for establishing the appropriate “tool for the job” by focusing job ads and position descriptions on one or more areas of emphasis as determined by its current staffing, organizational goals, and the institutional culture in which it is embedded.


Potential Areas of Emphasis


4. Data Management Services

Largely as a result of federal mandates, the provision of data management services is of increasing importance to all academic librarians. These mandates, in conjunction with the continued and dramatic shifts in the nature of the scholarly record itself, are particularly well-aligned with the duties of the SCL. As a result, the SCL will often play some role in the provision of data management services, and related outreach and educational efforts, and may provide these as an area of emphasis.

Core competencies in this area of emphasis will encompass a subset of the following in addition to the common themes identified earlier.

  • Data description and storage : The SCL may collaborate with researchers, technical services librarians, and central computing to develop and apply metadata schemata to researcher-generated data sets and collaborate on the development of technical solutions to preserve and share data sets.
  • Data management planning : The SCL may work with institutional research offices and faculty researchers to advise on the data management planning portions of grant applications. This will involve familiarity with training and tools such as the University of California DMPTool (data management planning tool), and RDMRose.
  • Knowledge of and ability to apply funder mandates related to data storage, access, and retention : The data management landscape is rapidly developing. Fulfillment of this competency requires active engagement in the profession and legislative environment while building internal teams to educate the campus community and meet emerging research data management needs.
  • Knowledge of and experience with open source and hosted data repository solutions : A broad understanding of data repository solutions is necessary, but the depth of that knowledge will be determined by the existing institutional infrastructure. The SCL should be aware of the capabilities of current institutional repositories for supporting data management (e.g. DSpace, Digital Commons, Fedora) as well as general data-specific repositories (e.g. Figshare, Dryad) and be able to identify appropriate subject-specific data repositories.
  • Collection development, organization of, and access to third party data sets : In addition to managing research data produced at the SCL’s campus, the SCL may be involved in the purchasing, organization of, and access to third party data sets for use in research and education.
  • Optional : knowledge of text and data mining (TDM) within the context of local research and awareness of the licensing requirements for local TDM needs as well as the application of copyright law, specifically fair use analyses, in TDM, when possible.


Librarians’ Competencies Profile for Research Data Management | juin 2016