ODE Project: New Report on on Best Practices for Citability of Data and on evolving Roles in scholarly Communication

Posted: August 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Projects, Report | Tags: , , | Comments Off on ODE Project: New Report on on Best Practices for Citability of Data and on evolving Roles in scholarly Communication

With the ever increasing availability of data, the best way to ensure its sharing and re-use is becoming a prominent issue. Finding data and understanding data are the first steps in such a process and good data citation is an important prerequisite to enable this. New roles are evolving to support researchers in this process with support in managing, archiving, discovering, interpreting and citing data.

The new report of the Opportunities for Data Exchange (ODE) sets out the current thinking on data citation best practice and presents the results of a survey of librarians asking how new support roles could and should be developed. The findings presented build on the extensive desk research carried out for the report “Integration of Data and Publication”, which identified that data citation was an area of opportunity for both researchers and libraries. That report also recounted the findings of a LIBER survey and a workshop held at the LIBER 2011 Conference in Barcelona.

In the area of data citation, the project found out that data citation mainly follows the conventions for traditional publication citation and aims at acknowledging data creators and indicating availability of data.

Some of the key learnings on best practice in data citation are:

  • Citations with persistent identifiers should be listed in the references/bibliography to enable tracking of citation metrics.
  • Publishers need to provide guidance for authors and referees on citation of data.
  • There is confusion on what persistence and longevity of data is required for it to be citeable and cited.
  • There is a lack of clarity and agreement on what ‘authorship’ of a dataset means
  • Researchers need to nurture awareness in their community of the benefits of data citation, and follow citation guidelines given by publishers and data centres.

Beyond the question of citing research data, the report also explores the roles that libraries should fill in support of data citation and data management. The ODE report “Integration of Data and Publication” identified several opportunities for libraries, and in a workshop at the LIBER Annual Conference in Barcelona in 2011, it was established that research libraries are keen to engage in data management. In addition, the report also presents the results from the LIBER survey on the role of libraries in data exchange. Over 110 LIBER libraries took part in this survey which took place in November 2011.  The survey provides a valuable insight into the direction libraries must go in order to take advantage of the opportunities that exist for libraries in the data sharing landscape. The survey showed that over 80% of the libraries are experiencing demand for data management support. The report explores where there are gaps between demand and supply of data management related services.

Barriers to the provision of support service include the lack of the correct skills to do so. Both IT skills and data curation skills are seen as important skills for development.

A large percentage of libraries are investing in developing data management support services.

An executive summary of the report is available here, the full report can be found here.



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