Libraries could play key role in managing research data

Research Information - December 2014/January 2015

Publié le 14 janvier 2015, par Thérèse Hameau

David Stuart explores the potential role of the research library in the data age

Sharing and long-term preservation of research data are increasingly important to the research process, strengthening the process of science and maximising a funder’s return on research investment. While some fields have embraced the sharing of data more fully than others, the sharing of research data is of growing interest across all scientific disciplines.

However, we are still transitioning from a document-centric view of science to a data-centric view, and the infrastructure is not yet in place for the seamless sharing and reuse of scientific data. A growing number of increasingly sophisticated instruments and sensors mean that the scientific data available for sharing is growing rapidly, but there is a lot of work involved in extracting that data from researchers’ hard drives and ensuring that it is accessible in the long term.

The rise of electronic publishing has disrupted traditional information roles, and the position that the library will hold in an increasingly data-centric science is not yet clear. There are undoubtedly opportunities, but if libraries move too slowly they may find other organisations fulfilling these roles.