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The landscape of research data management services in Malaysian academic libraries: librarians’ practices and roles

Siti Wahida Amanullah (Perpustakaan Tun Seri Lanang, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia)
A. Abrizah (Department of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 18 January 2023

Issue publication date: 2 February 2023




The debate about academic librarians’ roles in research data management (RDM) services is currently relevant, especially in the context of making research data findable, accessible, interoperable and reproducible. This study aims to explore the RDM services offered by Malaysian academic libraries and the implementation progress based on the librarians’ practices and roles.


This descriptive study involves three sequential forms of data collection: a website analysis of 20 academic libraries relating to RDM services, training and policy; an online survey of the academic libraries’ RDM implementation progress; and semi-structured interviews with three academic librarians to gauge their practices and roles in RDM services.


Malaysian academic libraries provide RDM services based on their related or basic skills which are bibliographic management tools, institutional repository and openness of research data rather than impacted services to support RDM, such as data analysis, data citation, data mining or data visualisation services. Although the librarians were aware of RDM and their roles in research data services, the progress of practicing and implementation of the RDM services still has not been fully delivered to support the main RDM elements.

Practical implications

This study illustrates the RDM roadmap on the current landscape of areas and types of services that the libraries are doing well. The list of services can be used and implemented as the best practices or strategies to be applied within Malaysian academic libraries.


This study highlights the gaps of RDM services in Malaysian academic libraries. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, as this is the first study in Malaysia that articulates the case of RDM services in academic libraries, it has paved the way for further research.



This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for profit sectors. The authors thank the reviewers for their helpful suggestions to improve this paper.


Amanullah, S.W. and Abrizah, A. (2023), "The landscape of research data management services in Malaysian academic libraries: librarians’ practices and roles", The Electronic Library, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 63-86.



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