Overview of content related to 'imperial college london' http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/taxonomy/term/13851/all?article-type=&term=&organisation=&project=&author=brian%20westra&issue= RSS feed with Ariadne content related to specified tag en Data Services for the Sciences: A Needs Assessment http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue64/westra <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue64/westra#author1">Brian Westra</a> describes a data services needs assessment for science research staff at the University of Oregon.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Computational science and raw and derivative scientific data are increasingly important to the research enterprise of higher education institutions. Academic libraries are beginning to examine what the expansion of data-intensive e-science means to scholarly communication and information services, and some are reshaping their own programmes to support the digital curation needs of research staff. These changes in libraries may involve repurposing or leveraging existing services, and the development or acquisition of new skills, roles, and organisational structures [<a href="#1">1</a>].</p> <p>Scientific research data management is a fluid and evolving endeavour, reflective of the high rate of change in the information technology landscape, increasing levels of multi-disciplinary research, complex data structures and linkages, advances in data visualisation and analysis, and new tools capable of generating or capturing massive amounts of data.</p> <p>These factors can create a complex and challenging environment for managing data, and one in which libraries can have a significant positive role supporting e-science. A needs assessment can help to characterise scientists' research methods and data management practices, highlighting gaps and barriers [<a href="#2">2</a>], and thereby improve the odds for libraries to plan appropriately and effectively implement services in the local setting [<a href="#3">3</a>].</p> <h2 id="Methods">Methods</h2> <p>An initiative to conduct a science data services needs assessment was developed and approved in early 2009 at the University of Oregon. The initiative coincided with the hiring of a science data services librarian, and served as an initial project for the position. A researcher-centric approach to the development of services was a primary factor in using an assessment to shape services [<a href="#4">4</a>]. The goals of the project were to:</p> <ul> <li>define the information services needs of science research staff;</li> <li>inform the Libraries and other stakeholders of gaps in the current service structures; and</li> <li>identify research groups or staff who would be willing to participate in, and whose datasets would be good subjects for, pilot data curation projects.</li> </ul> <p>The library took the lead role on the assessment, consulting with other stakeholders in its development and implementation. Campus Information Services provided input on questions regarding campus information technology infrastructure, and to avoid unnecessary overlap with other IT service activities focused on research staff. The Vice President for Research and other organisational units were advised of the project and were asked for referrals to potential project participants. These units provided valuable input in the selection of staff contacts. Librarian subject specialists also suggested staff who might be working with data and interested in participating. Librarians responsible for digital collections, records management, scholarly communications, and the institutional repository were involved in the development of the assessment questions and project plan.</p> <p>The questions used in the assessment were developed through an iterative process. A literature and Web review located several useful resources and examples. These included the University of Minnesota Libraries' study of scientists' research behaviours [<a href="#3">3</a>], and a study by Henty, et al. on the data management practices of Australian researchers [<a href="#5">5</a>]. The Data Audit Framework (DAF - now called the Data Asset Framework) methodology was considered to provide the most comprehensive set of questions with a field-tested methodology and guidelines [<a href="#6">6</a>][<a href="#7">7</a>][<a href="#8">8</a>][<a href="#9">9</a>][<a href="#10">10</a>][<a href="#11">11</a>]. The stages outlined in the DAF methodology were also instructive, although we elected not to execute a process for identifying and classifying assets (DAF Stage 2), since the organisational structure of our departments and institutes are not conducive to that level of investigation. From the beginning it was recognised that recruitment of scientists was based as much on their willingness to participate as their responsibility for any specific class or type of research-generated data.</p> <p></p><p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue64/westra" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue64 feature article brian westra arl edina imperial college london jisc johns hopkins university microsoft uk data archive university of edinburgh university of essex university of glasgow university of illinois university of oregon university of oxford university of washington archives authentication csv curation data data management data set data visualisation database digital curation digital library drupal e-research e-science file format framework gis higher education infrastructure institutional repository metadata mysql open access provenance repositories research usability visualisation Thu, 29 Jul 2010 23:00:00 +0000 editor 1568 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk