European Academic Libraries Offer or Plan to Offer Research Data Services

  • Jennifer Kaari Mount Sinai Health System


A Review of:

Tenopir, C., Talja, S., Horstmann, W., Late, E., Hughes, D., Pollock, D., … Allard, S. (2017). Research data services in European academic research libraries. LIBER Quarterly, 27(1), 23-44.


Objective – To investigate the current state of research data services (RDS) in European academic libraries by determining the types of RDS being currently implemented and planned by these institutions.

Design – Email survey.

Setting – European academic research libraries.

Subjects – 333 directors of the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) academic member libraries.

Methods – The researchers revised a survey instrument previously used for the DataONE survey of North American research libraries and conducted pilot testing with European academic library directors. The survey instrument was created using the Qualtrics software. The revised survey was distributed by email to LIBER institutions identified as academic libraries by the researchers and remained open for 6 weeks. Question topics included demographics, RDS currently offered, RDS planned, staffing considerations, and the director’s opinions on RDS. Libraries from 22 countries participated and libraries were grouped into 4 regions in order to compare regional differences. Data analysis was conducted using Excel, SPSS or R software University of Tennessee, University of Tampere, and University of Göttingen.

Main Results – 119 library directors responded to more than one question beyond basic demographics, for a response rate of 35.7%. Among the libraries surveyed, more libraries offer consultative services than offered technical support for RDS, although a majority planned to offer technical services in the future. Geographically, libraries in western Europe offer more RDS compared with other regions. More libraries have reassigned or plan to reassign current staff to support RDS services, rather than hire new staff for these roles. Regardless of whether or not they currently offer RDS, library directors surveyed strongly agree that libraries need to offer RDS to remain relevant.

Conclusion – The authors determine that a majority of library directors recognize that data management is increasingly important and many libraries are responding to this by implementing RDS and collaborating across their institutions and beyond to help meet these needs. Future research is suggested to track how these services develop over time, how libraries respond to the staffing challenges of RDS, and whether consultative rather than technical services continue to be primary forms of RDS offered.


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How to Cite
Kaari, J. (2018). European Academic Libraries Offer or Plan to Offer Research Data Services. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 13(2), 106-108.
Evidence Summaries