Reinventing Library Research Support Services at Griffith University

Reinventing Library Research Support Services at Griffith University

Belinda Weaver (Griffith University, Australia) and Joanna Richardson (Griffith University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4546-1.ch012
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Abstract

Griffith University provides advice and services to researchers around research grants, ethics and integrity, research performance, and publications and outputs. A broad-based researcher education and development program helps inform and upskill researchers and research students. From 2019, Griffith University Library has developed new services to support data-driven, data-intensive research and assist researchers through the entire research lifecycle. This chapter describes the staffing structure and the ideas underpinning a new service catalogue based around key areas, such as data management, open scholarship, and data wrangling. Methods to achieve this included a collaboratively developed knowledge base, the development of new workshops, mapping of research environments and referral pathways, and developing support for researchers for whom there is no established tool for the kinds of research they want to do. A push to establish the library as a vital and valued partner in research projects was a key driver for change.
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Context

While this chapter has been written from an Australian perspective, many of the drivers for the evolution of research support services are common across the world’s developed and developing nations. Striving to be more productive and more competitive, nations seek to address the major social, economic, and environmental challenges of this century. A government’s support for research and innovation helps position a nation to achieve these goals.

At the turn of this century, the Australian Government recognised that to ‘create research infrastructure to enhance the national innovation system and to foster collaboration’ (Australia. Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, 2010, p. 7), it would be cost-effective and efficient to adopt a national approach to investing in major research facilities and the associated supporting infrastructure and networks. To this end, it created the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) (Australia. Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, 2010), the aim of which was to provide researchers with access to world-class resources.

Since most public research in Australia is undertaken by universities (O’Brien, 2010), these institutions were understandably eager to leverage this strategic national investment to benefit their researchers. With the advent of the data deluge, universities submitted funding bids in their own right or collaboratively with other research partners. Importantly, librarians quickly realised that they, too, could play an integral role as members of proposed project teams (Wolski, Richardson, & Rebollo, 2011).

The next section outlines the current Australian research environment.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Fourth Paradigm: A theory that data exploration represents a new scientific paradigm, above and beyond the existing scientific models of empiricism, theoretical science, and computational science.

Library Research Specialist: A senior librarian who leads a discrete area of research support (e.g., data management, bibliometrics, and research impact).

Data-Intensive Scientific Model: In this model, data is captured by instruments or generated by simulators, and as the outputs are too large to be processed by humans, they require software tools to make sense of them.

Discipline Librarians: Senior librarians who support and liaise with specific academic disciplinary groups.

Five Safes: A framework that requires data management decisions to be based on appropriate use against five key criteria: projects, people, settings, data, and outputs.

Portfolio: An arrangement of services within a specific grouping.

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