The purpose of this article is to explain the nature of the “e‐Science’ revolution in twenty‐first century scientific research and its consequences for the library community.
The concepts of e‐Science are illustrated by a discussion of the CombeChem, eBank and SmartTea projects. The issue of open access is then discussed with reference to arXiv, PubMed Central and EPrints. The challenges these trends present to the library community are discussed in the context of the TARDis project and the University of Southampton Research Repository.
Increasingly academics will need to collaborate in multidisciplinary teams distributed across several sites in order to address the next generation of scientific problems. In addition, new high‐throughput devices, high‐resolution surveys and sensor networks will result in an increase in scientific data collected by several orders of magnitude. To analyze, federate and mine this data will require collaboration between scientists and computer scientists; to organize, curate and preserve this data will require collaboration between scientists and librarians. A vital part of the developing research infrastructure will be digital repositories containing both publications and data.
The paper provides a synthesis of e‐Science concepts, the question of open access to the results of scientific research, and a changing attitude towards academic publishing and communication. The paper offers a new perspective on coming demands on the library and is of special interest to librarians with strategic tasks.
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