Publication Date

December 2014

Article Type

EScience in Action


There is a scarcity of practical guidance for developing data services in an academic library. Data services, like many areas of research, require the expertise and resources of teams spanning many disciplines. While library professionals are embedded into the teaching activities of our institutions, fewer of us are embedded in research activities occurring across the full life cycle. The significant challenges of managing, preserving, and sharing data for reuse demand that we take a more active role. Providing support for funder data management plans is just one option in the data services landscape. Awareness of the institutional and library culture in which we operate places an emphasis on the importance of relationships. Understanding the various cultures in which our researchers operate is crucial for delivering data services that are relevant and utilized. The goal of this article is to guide data specialists through this landscape by providing key resources and strategies for developing locally relevant services and by pointing to active communities of librarians and researchers tackling the challenges associated with digital research data.


academic libraries, data services, research data management, data curation, data sharing

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.



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