Is data management a new “digitisation”? A change of the role of librarians in the context of changing academic libraries’ tasks
peter.suber's bookmarks 2019-07-08
Abstract: Academic libraries’ tasks have been evolving over the years. The changes have been stimulated by appearing of electronic resources, automated library systems, digital libraries and Open Access (OA) repositories. Librarians’ tasks and responsibilities in the academic environment have been evolving in accordance with new tasks they were expected to assume. A few years ago there was a discussion during which an attempt was made to answer the question if a digital librarian is still a librarian. Digital librarians were expected to acquire a number of new skills and knowledge which were supposed to allow them to manage and organize the digital library and handle all the specialized tasks of massive digitization, storage, access and reference services. The popularization of OA gave rise to new changes. The role of librarians evolved towards becoming specialists who not only supervised the process of uploading resources on open repositories, provided the training for academic staff, but also promoted the idea of OA. The evolution of the idea of open access to the results of scientific research towards open access to research data, the advent of Data Science and Open Research Data (ORD) management were all lively discussed. The academic staff were faced with a new and difficult tasks of collecting, describing and disseminating the research data. Moreover, the academics were supposed to take advantage and care of the citation impact of their scholarly works. As a result, librarians started learning about ORD management and the strategies of supporting academic institutions’ further development. For the majority of librarians it was a natural way to develop new skills and knowledge. In the course of bringing about the changes a new job appeared – data librarians, soon becoming sought-after specialists at universities all around the world. The article discusses the issues concerning the role of data librarians and their tasks resulting from European Union (EU) grant programmes and the guidelines of the publishers who are supposed to publish the research publications together with the research data. On the basis of this analysis the author will present the strategy for the creation of the Open Science Competence Centre at the Gdańsk University of Technology (GUT).