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Investigation and analysis of research data services in university libraries

Li Si (Center for the Studies of Information Resources, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Wenming Xing (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Xiaozhe Zhuang (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Xiaoqin Hua (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Limei Zhou (South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Science, Guangzhou, China)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 June 2015

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2595

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to find the current situation of research data services by academic libraries and summarize some strategies for university libraries to reference. Recent years have seen an increasing number of university libraries extended their traditional roles and provided research data services.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper selected 87 libraries of the top 100 universities listed in the World’s Best Universities released by the USA News in October 2012 as samples and conducted a Web site investigation to check if there were any research data services provided. In addition, it made an interview with the Wuhan University Library’s Research Data Service Workgroup to understand the procedure, difficulties and experiences of their research data service. Based on the survey and interview, it analyzed the current status and difficulties of research data services in university libraries and proposed some strategies for others to reference.

Findings

Of the 87 university libraries investigated, 50 libraries have offered research data services. Most of the services can be divided into six aspects: research data introduction, data management guideline, data curation and storage service, data management training, data management reference and resource recommendation. Among these services, research data introduction is the most frequently provided (47.13 per cent), followed by data curation and storage services (43.68 per cent), data management guideline (42.53 per cent), data management reference (41.38 per cent), resource recommendation (41.38 per cent) and data management training (24.14 per cent). The difficulties met by research data service of Chinese academic libraries are also concluded.

Originality/value

Through Web site investigation and interview with the Wuhan University Library’s Research Data Service, this paper presented an overall picture of research data services in university libraries and identified the difficulties and experiences of research data services of the Wuhan University Library. Based on some successful examples, it put forward some strategies for university libraries to reference. This study is very useful for academic libraries to promote their research data services.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper is one of the research results of a Humanities and Social Sciences Project supported by the Ministry of Education of P.R. China (Project Name: Study on the Guarantee of Scientific Data Integration and Sharing in China, Project No. 13YJA870016), and also supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Project No. 2012104010205) and the 2012 Emerald Chinese LIS Research Fund Award.

Citation

Si, L., Xing, W., Zhuang, X., Hua, X. and Zhou, L. (2015), "Investigation and analysis of research data services in university libraries", The Electronic Library, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 417-449. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-07-2013-0130

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited