Analyses of a Decade of Research Gap in Data Management Practices in Academic Libraries: A Social Science Perspectives
Recent studies considered research data management practices and serviced an emerging and innovative area for improving academic and research library services. The changing needs of academic library users require services such as research data management, data sharing, data stewardship, linked data technology, big data, knowledge of data management and policies to be included in the library and information science curriculum, and professional training for effective service delivery in academic libraries in the developing countries specifically in Africa. Despite the value and benefits of RDM services for researchers and patrons of academic libraries in developing countries, RDM services could have been better implemented for use among researchers in academic libraries in Africa and sub-regions. However, the idea met RDM practices in academic libraries met with the complex information needs of various users, becoming more personalised and detailed. This study aimed to identify the research gap in studies investigating the research data management practices in academic libraries from a social science perspective to inform the best method of meeting clients’ information needs in the 21st century. The study sought to answer the questions such as: What is the role of data librarians in research data management service providers in addressing the changing information needs of users of academic libraries? What strategies were used to provide efficient research data management practices to inform the changing needs of users of academic libraries in the previous decade? What are the current practices and training requirements to ensure efficient Research data management provision in academic libraries within the last decade? Library and Information Science Source and Scopus databases were searched for articles published between 2013 and 2022. Within the last decade, articles focusing on the role of data librarians in research data management and information services provided to address the changing information needs of users of academic libraries are limited in the databases. The few available articles addressing the changing needs of researchers were published between 2017 and 2021. Current practices in RDM services focus on data literacy, evaluating data quality and citations, data curation, data sharing and preservations. Strategies for adequate information provision and RDM services and practices to inform the changing needs of users of academic libraries include awareness of the benefits of RDM and bibliographic control services, emphasis on collaboration and support, digital technology management and training, engaging and aligning with international LIS institutions for better training in data management and curation skills acquisition in response to the changing needs of clients. Understanding the complexities involved in the use of data and the role of data librarians is crucial to effective data management services provided for users of academic and research libraries. Current practices involve acquiring data management skills, given that it is essential in helping data librarians address the changing needs of library clients. Strategies for best practices in research data management practices in academic libraries in Africa include awareness of the benefits of RDM, data literacy and skill acquisition, adoption of digital technologies, and practical communication skills to stay relevant in this increasingly digital world.
Copyright (c) 2023 Ibinaiye Irewole Dorcas, Jiyane, V. Glenrose, Jennifer W. Ibinaiye, Rukayat Tijani
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