Academic Libraries Meet Research Data Management: A Case Study of the University of Ghent’s Central Library’s Practices
The emerging of research data management (RDM) as a mature part of the research lifecycle, provides a major challenge for research organizations. It gives rise to the need for solid research data services (RDS) to be developed. In the university-wide efforts being deployed in the realization of these services, an academic library can appeal to its expertise in information management to provide a valuable contribution to the discussions. As the context academic libraries operate in varies, the roles it can take upon itself in the process might differ, as working collaboratively with other stakeholders is an essential part in the complex matter of RDM.
This paper analyses the contribution of the academic library of Ghent University (Belgium) to research data management services in the wider institutional context. It explores the hybrid RDM services model employed to encompassing both universitywide and decentralized initiatives.
Current emphases in the RDM program at Ghent University is on the development of consultative RDS.
The starting point for the University of Ghent’s academic library to commit to the development of RDS lay not, in the first place in the new demands from funders in regards to data management planning but stems from a longstanding tradition of providing access to information which reflects in their mission statement: ”Facilitating open knowledge creation”. In this paper we hope to provide an example of what the role of a research library can be, reveal its possible strengths (involving a diverse range of stakeholders and expertise, achieving goals through cooperation) and how it tried avoiding pitfalls (a pragmatic view rather than a top-down approach to facilitate researchers need and combining autonomous domain-specific initiatives and central services, reflecting the institutional context).