Progress in Research Data Services
An international survey of university libraries
University libraries have played an important role in constructing an infrastructure of support for Research Data Management at an institutional level. This paper presents a comparative analysis of two international surveys of libraries about their involvement in Research Data Services conducted in 2014 and 2018. The aim was to explore how services had developed over this time period, and to explore the drivers and barriers to change. In particular, there was an interest in how far the FAIR data principles had been adopted.
Services in nearly every area were more developed in 2018 than before, but technical services remained less developed than advisory. Progress on institutional policy was also evident. However, priorities did not seem to have shifted significantly. Open ended answers suggested that funder policy, rather than researcher demand, remained the main driver of service development and that resources and skills gaps remained issues. While widely understood as an important reference point and standard, because of their relatively recent publication date, FAIR principles had not been widely adopted explicitly in policy.
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