Research Support Services in STEM Libraries: A Scoping Review
Keywords:Science and technology libraries, consultation services, data management, patents, GIS, bibliometrics, systematic review
As science and technology libraries continue to evolve, specialized research support services are developed and offered at academic institutions or research organizations. Making sense of this changing landscape and determining the best programs for an institution can be a daunting task, especially for early-career librarians. This article aims to provide an overview of various small to medium size non-traditional or specialized research support services in academic and special libraries serving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. A systematic search of five databases was conducted for articles that described the development and implementation of research support services. Non-traditional or specialized research support services identified in this scoping review fall in the following areas: bibliometrics/altmetrics, data management services, geographic information systems, patents, and systematic reviews. The paper provides a detailed foundation for novice and experienced STEM librarians to offer innovative library services or enhance existing research support services.
Abbott, L.T. & Argentati, C.D. 1995. GIS: A new component of public services. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 21(4):251–56. DOI:10.1016/0099-1333(95)90004-7.
Abernethy, T. & Holderied, A. 2018. Implementing new bibliometric services at EPA-RTP Library. Serials Review 44(3):204–210. DOI:10.1080/00987913.2018.1549695.
Akers, K.G., Sferdean, F.C., Nicholls, N.H. & Green, J.A. 2014. Building support for research data management: Biographies of eight research universities. International Journal of Digital Curation 9(2):171–191. DOI:10.2218/ijdc.v9i2.327.
American Library Association. [date unknown]. Types of libraries [Internet]. [accessed 2020 Dec 10]. Available from http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/careers/librarycareerssite/typesoflibraries.
Antell, K., Foote, J.B., Turner, J. & Shults, B. 2014. Dealing with data: Science librarians’ participation in data management at association of research libraries institutions. College & Research Libraries 75(4):557–574. DOI:10.5860/crl.75.4.557.
Arksey, H. & O’Malley L. 2005. Scoping studies: Towards a methodological framework. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 8(1):19–32. DOI:10.1080/1364557032000119616.
Auckland, M. 2012. Re-skilling for research: An investigation into the role and skills of subject and liaison librarians required to effectively support the evolving information needs of researchers [Internet]. [accessed 2020 Dec 10]. Avaiable from http://hdl.voced.edu.au/10707/204093.
Ball, R. & Tunger, D. 2006. Bibliometric analysis: A new business area for information professionals in libraries? Scientometrics 66(3):561–577. DOI:10.1007/s11192-006-0041-0.
Beck, D.M. & Callison, R. 2006. Becoming a science librarian. Science & Technology Libraries 27(1–2):71–98. DOI:10.1300/J122v27n01_06.
Boissé, J.A. & Larsgaard, M. 1995. GIS in academic libraries: A managerial perspective. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 21(4):288–291. DOI:10.1016/0099-1333(95)90010-1.
Booth, A. 2006. Clear and present questions: Formulating questions for evidence based practice. Library Hi Tech 24(3):355–368. DOI:10.1108/07378830610692127.
Borah, R., Brown, A.W., Capers, P.L. & Kaiser, K.A. 2017. Analysis of the time and workers needed to conduct systematic reviews of medical interventions using data from the PROSPERO registry. BMJ Open 7(2):e012545. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012545.
Bramer, W.M., de Jonge, G.B., Rethlefsen, M.L., Mast, F. & Kleijnen, J. 2018. A systematic approach to searching: An efficient and complete method to develop literature searches. Journal of the Medical Library Association 106(4):531–541. DOI:10.5195/jmla.2018.283.
Bramer, W.M., Giustini, D. & Kramer, B.M.R. 2016. Comparing the coverage, recall, and precision of searches for 120 systematic reviews in Embase, MEDLINE, and Google Scholar: A prospective study. Systematic Reviews 5(1):39. DOI:10.1186/s13643-016-0215-7.
Bramer, W.M., Rethlefsen, M.L., Kleijnen, J. & Franco, O.H. 2017. Optimal database combinations for literature searches in systematic reviews: A prospective exploratory study. Systematic Reviews 6(1):245. DOI:10.1186/s13643-017-0644-y.
Chang, B., Carroll, A. & Nickels, C. 2018. A study of research support service needs for civil, construction, and environmental engineering researchers at North Carolina State University [Internet]. [accessed 2020 Dec 10]. http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.20/35687.
Chiware, E. & Mathe, Z. 2015. Academic libraries’ role in research data management services: A South African perspective. South African Journal of Libraries & Information Science 81(2):1–10. DOI:10.7553/81-2-1563.
Choudhury, G.S. 2008. Case study in data curation at Johns Hopkins University. Library Trends 57(2):211–220. DOI:10.1353/lib.0.0028.
Choudhury, G.S. 2013. Case study 1: Johns Hopkins University data management services. In Pryor, G., Jones, S. & Whytre, A., editors. Delivering Research Data Management Service: Fundamentals of good practice. London (UK): Facet Publishing. p. 115–133.
Choudhury, G.S. 2017. Data management and preservation of digital research data. Against the Grain 29(5):30-34. DOI:10.7771/2380-176X.7838.
Coalter, J., Tchangalova, N. & Trost, A. 2019. Using data visualization tools to design a search strategy for a systematic review. Poster presented at the UMD Libraries Research and Innovative Practice Forum. DOI: 10.13016/3fel-hsou.
Cooper, D., Springer, R., Benner, J. G., Bloom, D., Carrillo, E., Carroll, A., Chang, B., Chen, X., Daix, E., Dommermuth, E, et al. 2019. Data management and preservation of digital research data. ITHAKA S+R. DOI:10.18665/sr.310885.
Daudt H.M., van Mossel C. & Scott S.J. 2013. Enhancing the scoping study methodology: A large, inter-professional team's experience with Arksey and O'Malley's framework. BMC Medical Research Methodology 13(48):1–9. DOI:10.1186/1471-2288-13-48.
Delasalle, J. 2011. Research evaluation: Bibliometrics and the librarian. SCONUL Focus. 53:15-19. [accessed 2020 Dec 10]. Available from https://www.sconul.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/5_1.pdf.
Delserone, L.M. 2008. At the watershed: Preparing for research data management and stewardship at the University of Minnesota Libraries. Library Trends 57(2):202–210. DOI:10.1353/lib.0.0032.
Dempsey, L. 2013. Three challenges: Engaging, rightscaling and innovating [Internet]. Lorcan Dempsey’s Weblog. [accessed 2020 Dec 10]. Available from http://orweblog.oclc.org/three-challenges-engaging-rightscaling-and-innovating/.
Dohe, K., Hamidzadeh, B. & Wallberg, B. 2019. Doing more, with more: Academic libraries, digital services, and revenue generation. [Issue Brief]. Ithaka S+R. DOI:10.18665/sr.310917.
Drummond, R. & Wartho, R. 2009. RIMS: The research impact measurement service at the University of New South Wales. Australian Academic & Research Libraries 47(4):270–281. DOI:10.1080/00048623.2016.1253427.
Falconer, J. 2015. Library support for systematic reviews at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. ALISS Quarterly 10(3):17–19. Available from https://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2783036.
Feng, J. & Zhao, N. 2015. A new role of Chinese academic librarians: The development of embedded patent information services at Nanjing Technology University Library, China. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 41(3):292–300. DOI:10.1016/j.acalib.2015.03.010.
Garritano, J. & Carlson, J. 2009. A subject librarian’s guide to collaborating on e-science projects. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship 57. DOI:10.5062/F42B8VZ3.
Goetsch, L.A. 2008. Reinventing our work: New and emerging roles for academic librarians. Journal of Library Administration 48(2):157–172. DOI:10.1080/01930820802231351.
Gonzalez, H.B. & Kuenzi, J.J. 2012. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education: A primer [Internet]. Washington (DC): Congressional Research Service. [accessed 2020 Dec 10]. Available from https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42642.pdf.
Griffin, J. & Lawlor, B. 2019. Leadership to advance data and information science at Virginia Tech library. Information Services & Use 39(3):177–181. DOI:10.3233/ISU-190042.
Gumpenberger, C., Wieland, M. & Gorraiz, J. 2012. Bibliometric practices and activities at the University of Vienna. Library Management 33(3):174–183. DOI:110.1108/01435121211217199.
Hackenberg, J.M. 2000. Who chooses sci-tech librarianship? College & Research Libraries 61(5):441–450. DOI:110.1108/01435121211217199.
Hardi, A.C. & Fowler, S.A. 2014. Evidence-based medicine and systematic review services at Becker Medical Library. Missouri Medicine 111(5): 416-418. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6172095/pdf/ms111_p0416.pdf.
Harris, P.A., Taylor, R., Minor, B.L., Elliott, V., Fernandez, M., O’Neal, L., McLeod, L., Delacqua, G., Delacqua, F., Kirby, J., et al. 2019. The REDCap consortium: Building an international community of software platform partners. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 95:103208. DOI:10.1016/j.jbi.2019.103208.
Harris, P.A., Taylor, R., Thielke, R., Payne, J., Gonzalez, N. & Conde, J.G. 2009. Research electronic data capture (REDCap): A metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 42(2):377–381. DOI:10.1016/j.jbi.2008.08.010.
Higman, R., Teperek, M. & Kingsley, D. 2017. Creating a community of data champions. International Journal of Digital Curation 12(2):96–106. DOI:10.2218/ijdc.v12i2.562.
Houser, R. 2006. Building a library GIS service from the ground up. Library Trends 55(2):315–326. DOI:10.1353/lib.2006.0058.
Hubbard, D.E. 2017. Chemical lecture demonstrations: An opportunity for engagement through collections, instruction, and reference. Science & Technology Libraries 36(4):376–389. DOI:10.1080/0194262X.2017.1389667.
Hunter, C., Lake, S., Lee, C. & Sallans, A. 2010. A case study in the evolution of digital services for science and engineering libraries. Journal of Library Administration 50(4):335–347. DOI:10.1080/01930821003667005.
Irvin, D. 2018. The patent office in the library. Public Services Quarterly 14(4):392–398. DOI:10.1080/15228959.2018.1487360.
Jaguszewski, J. & Williams, K. 2013. New roles for new times: Transforming liaison roles in research libraries [Report]. Washington (DC): Association of Research Libraries. [accessed 2020 Dec 10]. Available from http://hdl.handle.net/11299/169867.
Johnson, V. 2017. Leveraging technical library expertise for big data management. Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association 66(3):271–286. DOI:10.1080/24750158.2017.1356982.
Kinikin, J.N. & Hench, K. 2005. Survey of GIS implementation and use within smaller academic libraries. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship 42. DOI:10.5062/F4SX6B56.
Knehans, A., Dell, E. & Robinson, C. 2016. Starting a fee-based systematic review service. Medical Reference Services Quarterly 35(3):266–273. DOI:10.1080/02763869.2016.1189779.
Kung, J.Y.C. & Chambers, T. 2019. Implementation of a fee-based service model to university-affiliated researchers at the University of Alberta. Journal of the Medical Library Association 107(2):238–243. DOI:10.5195/jmla.2019.497.
Ludeman, E., Downton, K., Shipper, A.G. & Fu, Y. 2015. Developing a library systematic review service: A case study. Medical Reference Services Quarterly 34(2):173–180. DOI:10.1080/02763869.2015.1019323.
MacDonald, K.I. 2018. The business of chemistry: Opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration in information literacy. Science & Technology Libraries 37(4):323–331. DOI:10.1080/0194262X.2018.1515689.
Macfarlane, C.M. & Rodgers, C.M. 2008. Geospatial technology support in small academic libraries: Time to jump on board? Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship 55. DOI:10.5062/F4GF0RFV.
Mann, M. & Weightman, A. 2013. Support unit for research evidence: Supporting staff and students conducting systematic reviews. ALISS Quarterly 8(3):13–15.
March, G.H. 2011. Surveying campus GIS and GPS users to determine role and level of library services. Journal of Map & Geography Libraries 7(2):154–183. DOI:10.1080/15420353.2011.566838.
McGowan, J., Sampson, M., Salzwedel, D.M., Cogo, E., Foerster, V. & Lefebvre, C. 2016. PRESS peer review of electronic search strategies: 2015 guideline statement. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 75:40–46. DOI:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2016.01.021.
Nelson, M.S. 2011. Connecting with data: First steps toward an emerging area of library service. Paper presented at the 2011 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition; 2011 Jun 26–29; Vancouver, Canada. Washington (DC): American Society for Engineering Education. DOI:10.18260/1-2--17656.
Nelson, M.R.S. 2016. Using altmetrics as an engineering faculty outreach tool. Paper presented at the 2016 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition; 2016 Jun 26–29; New Orleans, LA. Washington (DC): American Society for Engineering Education. DOI:10.18260/p.27127.
Ogier, A., Brown, A., Petters, J., Hilal, A. & Porter, N. 2018. Enhancing collaboration across the research ecosystem: Using libraries as hubs for discipline-specific data experts. Proceedings of the Practice and Experience on Advanced Research Computing (PEARC ’18); 2018 Jul 22–26; Pittsburgh. PA. New York (NY): Association for Computing Machinery. DOI:10.1145/3219104.3219126.
Ogier, A. & Stamper, M.J. 2018. Data visualization as a library service: Embedding visualization services in the library research lifecycle. Journal of eScience Librarianship 7(1):e1126. DOI:10.7191/jeslib.2018.1126.
Ogungbeni, J.I., Obiamalu, A.R., Ssemambo, S. & Bazibu, C.M. 2018. The roles of academic libraries in propagating open science: A qualitative literature review. Information Development 734(2):113–121. DOI:10.1177/0266666916678444.
Oliver, J.C., Kollen, C., Hickson, B. & Rios, F. 2019. Data science support at the academic library. Journal of Library Administration 59(3):241–257. DOI:10.1080/01930826.2019.1583015.
Olson, J.A. 2004. Library-based GIS labs. Journal of Map & Geography Libraries 1(1):75–88. DOI:10.1300/J230v01n01_05.
Parrish, A. 2006. Improving GIS consultations: A case study at Yale University Library. Library Trends 55(2):327–339. DOI:10.1353/lib.2006.0060.
Patterton, L., Bothma, T.J.D. & van Deventer, M.J. 2018. From planning to practice: An action plan for the implementation of research data management services in resource-constrained institutions. South African Journal of Libraries & Information Science 84(2):14–16. DOI:10.7553/84-2-1761.
Peters, C. & Dryden, A.R. 2011. Assessing the academic library’s role in campus-wide research data management: A first step at the University of Houston. Science & Technology Libraries 30(4):387–403. DOI:10.1080/0194262X.2011.626340.
Raboin, R., Reznik-Zellen, R. & Salo, D. 2013. Forging new service paths: Institutional approaches to providing research data management services. Journal of eScience Librarianship 1(3):134–147. DOI:10.7191/jeslib.2012.1021.
Read, E.J. 2007. Data services in academic libraries. Reference & User Services Quarterly 46(3):61–75. DOI:10.5860/rusq.46n3.61.
Riegelman, A. & Kocher, M. 2018. A model for developing and implementing a systematic review service for disciplines outside of the health sciences. Reference & User Services Quarterly 58(1):22–27. DOI:10.5195/jmla.2018.430.
Roth, S.C. 2018. Transforming the systematic review service: A team-based model to support the educational needs of researchers Journal of the Medical Library Association 106(4):514–520. DOI:10.5195/jmla.2018.430.
Salisbury, L. & Mattice, G. 2016. Early exposure to the scientific research process through collaboration with chemistry faculty and the science librarian. Science & Technology Libraries 35(2):119–135. DOI:10.1080/0194262X.2016.1162118.
Scaramozzino, J., White, R., Essic, J., Fullington, L.A., Mistry, H., Henley, A. & Olivares, M. 2014. Map room to data and GIS services: Five university libraries evolving to meet campus needs and changing technologies. Journal of Map & Geography Libraries 10(1):6–47. DOI:10.1080/15420353.2014.893943.
Shen, Y. & Varvel, V. 2013. Developing data management services at the Johns Hopkins University. Journal of Academic Librarianship 39(6):552–557. DOI:10.1016/j.acalib.2013.06.002.
Smith, R. & Bridle, O. 2018. Using virtual reality to create real world collaborations. Proceedings of the 39th IATUL Conference; 2018 Jun 17–21; Oslo, Norway. Available from https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/iatul/2018/collaboration/5.
Steinhart, G. 2006. Libraries as distributors of geospatial data: Data management policies as tools for managing partnerships. Library Trends 55(2):264-284. DOI:10.1353/lib.2006.0063.
Suh, H-S.J. & Lee, A. 1999. Embracing GIS services in libraries: The Washington State University experience. The Reference Librarian 30(64):125–137. DOI:10.1300/J120v30n64_10.
Sweetkind-Singer, J. & Williams, M. 2001. Supporting the information needs of geographic information systems (GIS) users in an academic library. Science & Technology Libraries 21(3–4):175–190. DOI:10.1300/J122v21n03_11.
Tchangalova, N. 2009. Jumping onto the bandwagon: New librarians navigating the science/technology librarianship. Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship 10(3). Available from http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v10n03/tchangalova_n01.html.
Tchangalova, N., Harrington, E., Ritchie, S., Over, S. & Coalter, J. 2020. Working across disciplines and library units to develop a suite of systematic review services for researchers. Collaborative Librarianship 11(4):267–281. Available from https://digitalcommons.du.edu/collaborativelibrarianship/vol11/iss4/6/.
Thomas, D.R. 1991. Out of the fire and into the frying pan: Hope for patent reference service in a non-patent depository library. The Reference Librarian 14(32):125–138. DOI:10.1300/J120v14n32_09.
Tricco, A. C., Lillie, E., Zarin, W., O’Brien, K. K., Colquhoun, H., Levac, D., Moher, D., Peters, M. D. J., Horsley, T., Weeks, L., et al. 2018. PRISMA extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR): Checklist and explanation. Annals of Internal Medicine 169(7):67–473. DOI:10.7326/M18-0850.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 2016. STEM designated degree program list [Internet]. Available from https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2016/stem-list.pdf.
van Deventer, M. & Pienaar, H. 2015. Research data management in a developing country: A personal journey. International Journal of Digital Curation 10(2):33–47. DOI:10.2218/ijdc.v10i2.380.
Walter, S. 2011. “Distinctive signifiers of excellence”: Library services and the future of the academic library. College & Research Libraries 72(1):6–8. DOI:10.5860/0720006.
Walters, T.O. 2009. Data curation program development in U.S. universities: The Georgia Institute of Technology Example. International Journal of Digital Curation 4(3):83–92. DOI:10.2218/ijdc.v4i3.116.
Williams, S.C. 2013. Using a bibliographic study to identify faculty candidates for data services. Science & Technology Libraries 32(2):202–209. DOI:10.1080/0194262X.2013.774622.
Zhang, C. & Peng, L. 2018. Patent information service issues and countermeasures for college libraries: Taking Huazhong University of Science and Technology as an example. International Conference on Education Science and Economic Management (ICESEM 2018); 2018 Aug 25-26; Xiamen, China. Amsterdam: Atlantic Press. 895–898. DOI:10.2991/icesem-18.2018.209.
Zhang, L. 2009. Developing a systematic patent search training program. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 35(3):260–266. DOI:10.1016/j.acalib.2009.03.010.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Nedelina Tchangalova, Jodi Coalter, Amy Trost, Amber Pierdinock
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.