Data Librarian, the Steward
Keywords:data librarians, data stewardship, skills set, FAIR data, Open Science
Background. By the 2020 mark, The European Union should have a functional Digital Single Market. One of the policies sustaining the efforts in such endeavour is building a European Data Economy (European Commission 2017a). The aim is to build a common European data space a transformative space even for the information science specialists.
Objectives. The study is investigative in nature aiming to extract the traits out of the trends leading to a possible specialisation having a broad scope in searching possible career paths for librarians in data science.
Results. A graphical explanatory framework indicating requirements, skills and competencies needed by the librarians to achieve new cross-disciplinary engagements with patrons and the research environment.
Methods. Because this study is put in the context of Open Science, and particularly addressing the European Union space, the late developments reflected in the policies and initiatives were taken under scrutiny coupled with relevant European Commission project deliverables. Other studies concentrating on the new roles of the librarians pertaining to data librarian were consulted, and also the body of information gathered around the Open Science Cloud. To couple existing studies’ conclusions with the demand in the librarianship, a body of job listings were investigated to find common traits data librarian job descriptions are exposing. To complete a picture, some training facilities were taken into the mix.
Debate. Out of many possible roles envisaged for the librarians, there are a few which trigger some focus on the future skills needed to be acquired. These possible scenarios involve data management planning guidance, data stewardship and curation, and data visualisation. Some or all of them might lead to a deep transformation of the librarianship as a craft we were used to up to the Open Science rising tide. The article invites all the information specialists to look into what are the needs to shape up or even to rehash the careers of library and information science specialists.
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