Article Type

Full-Length Paper

Publication Date

February 2012




Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate health sciences and science and technology librarians’ needed data curation and management (DCM) competencies to support nascent and future patron and institutional eScience research endeavors. The data from this research will be used to align a data curation and management curriculum with the educational needs of an online eScience portal community of users, and create relevant future professional development for librarians interested in data curation and eScience librarianship.

Setting/Participants: The study targeted the needed data curation and data management competencies of health sciences and science and technology librarians in six U.S. states who are on a listserv of librarians interested in learning about eScience. The sample for this study was 63 librarians.

Methodology: The team created the assessment tool using content analyses of digital curation and management library literature and LIS data management curricula. The survey contained 15 open-ended and closed-ended questions and was distributed to 141 librarians using Survey- Monkey (http://www.surveymonkey.com).

Results/Outcomes: The team identified twenty needed competency areas related to data curation and data management. The participants identified the necessary competencies to provide data curation and data management services. Results revealed a small number of librarians engaged in DCM and infrequent data services requests. Findings suggest there is an increase in libraries pursuing strategic plans concerning data management and the library community needs to cultivate a diverse range of technical and non-technical competencies through future professional development. Librarians saw their future roles involving DCM and sought competencies in conducting data interviews with patrons and helping patrons with NSF data management requirements. The survey results indicate the greatest need for librarians is technical hands-on training in the digital description and curation of large data sets.

Discussion/Conclusion: Librarians are interested in developing data curation and data management competencies to support eScience. These data indicate that future relevant professional development for librarians interested in eScience should focus on non-technical and technical DCM competencies.


Data Management, Data Curation, eResearch, Competencies, eScience Librarianship

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Survey Summary.pdf (146 kB)
Survey Summary