rusq: Vol. 54 Issue 1: p. 53
Sources: Data Management for Libraries
Flora Shrode

Head of Reference and Instruction Services, Utah State University Library, Logan, Utah

This volume in the LITA Guide series adds to a number of recent publications about data management. Writing primarily for an academic audience, authors Krier and Strasser provide a succinct but thorough introduction to help librarians learn fundamentals of data management and to guide them in assessing their institutions’ needs so that they can develop an appropriate array of services. The current digital era presents growing opportunities for librarians to both support researchers and to assist them in complying with funding agencies’ requirements for data management plans in grant proposals and progress reports. A major theme is that librarians should draw on their traditional strength in working collaboratively, and that broad communication is crucial to engage multiple stakeholders, including researchers who generate data, information technology professionals, and research office administrators. Librarians can make valuable contributions to institutional data management by applying their knowledge about how information is created, stored, made discoverable and accessible, and preserved to the challenges of managing data in digital and other formats. Additionally, librarians can educate researchers about ethics and copyright concerns as they work together to establish appropriate plans for data sharing over time. The book is organized logically, opening with a chapter that provides a basic overview of data management. The authors offer thoughtful, practical recommendations to help librarians facilitate the process of assessing local needs and establishing services that they can realistically provide. Checklists and questions in many chapters of this book will serve readers well as they gather local information and analyze their institutional needs regarding crucial aspects of research data, such as types of data generated, appropriate metadata creation and standards, ethics and intellectual property rights, and mechanisms for short- and long-term data storage, access, preservation, and reuse. Other topics featured include data management interviews, metadata, preservation, access, and data governance. Appendixes provide resources for institutional repositories, samples of data librarian job descriptions, and data management plans. Ample references to relevant publications and websites lead to valuable further reading, and several links point to examples of supportive guidance that many libraries provide to the researchers at their universities and research centers. Library professionals will find this book useful and accessible, especially those who are unfamiliar with data management. After reading this introductory text, librarians may wish to pursue additional recent publications that offer numerous case studies and slightly more detailed descriptions of existing repositories and standards for creating viable metadata and for preservation. Related titles include Research Data Management: Practical Strategies for Information Professionals (Purdue University Press, 2014) and Delivering Research Management Services (Facet Publishing, 2014).

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