Librarians, data and JoRD

So far this blog had commented on what researchers think and what publishers and journals are currently doing. The final part of the stakeholder consultation comprises  interviews that were held with academic librarians which explored their thoughts on open access research data; the role of librarians in working with open data and a JoRD policy bank service. The librarians agreed with views of the other stakeholders that wider access to research data is beneficial. However, they showed a deeper understanding of the infrastructure required to store and access data and considered the problem of selecting which data should be preserved. In their experience, institutional practice is not advancing in line with policies, and, as information specialists, librarians considered that they have the skills necessary to improve the situation.

Librarians anticipated that their expertise could be used for the following roles:

  •   Meta-data management and structure of data
  •   Data licensing
  •   Inclusion of data in institutional repositories
  •   Data management advice and training
  •   Co-ordination with other university support departments, for example, IT, record management and research office.
  •   Enabling compliance

Librarians were also positive about the concept of a JoRD Policy Bank service, but considered that it would be a useful addition to some existing services, for example RoMEO or JISC Collections Knowledge Base+; therefore creating a single point of reference for broad advice on data management and publication. As with the views of other stakeholders, librarians considered that one function of a JoRD service would be to compare journal policies with funders requirements, but also suggested that some co-funded projects would need guidance should the funder’s policies be different. They also suggested that JoRD should rate journal policies on aspects such as usability and access of data.

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