Honing the edge: an integrated model for supporting eResearch

ALIA Library

McAlpine, Katrina; McIntosh, Lisa

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
Like many academic libraries, the University of Wollongong Library became involved in eResearch with the opportunity of Government funding through Australian National Data Service (ANDS). Contributing to the ANDS Seeding the Commons projects provided the University with the opportunity to resource formative infrastructure development of eResearch services, however, without a resourced institution-wide framework in place, the UOW Library’s involvement in these initial activities failed to achieve the traction needed to enable these services to grow.
As libraries and information professionals look to secure their place in emerging research-focused industries, it is becoming increasingly important to identify our relevant strengths and unique skills when defining the role we will play. With motivators such as the emergence of citation information for research data, and changes to funding body requirements, research data is gaining traction as its own marker of research impact and success. The push for making data open, reusable, and accountable is increasing, with libraries, including those in the non-academic sector, now faced with opportunities to demonstrate the relevance and flexibility of their traditional skills in this space.
There has been much discussion on the re-skilling or redefining the roles of librarians, inevitably leading to the emergence of new Library roles and teams to support eResearch. Working within an academic environment in which research data has not yet achieved the same standing as scholarly publications; UOW Library took a pragmatic approach, integrating support for eResearch within established roles and skillsets. Leveraging existing experience with managing publications, authority control, application of metadata, persistent identifiers, copyright advice, repository management, training, academic outreach, and stakeholder relationships has allowed for the emergence of a sustainable support model that can be adapted by other libraries for their own context and assists with defining scale and service provision for both the organisation and staff.

Deakin, ACT: Australian Library and Information Association
University of Wollongong