E-Science librarianship

E-Science librarianship refers to a role for librarians in e-Science .

Early scholars

Early references to e-Science and librarianship information and scholars researching cyberinfrastructure and emerging networked information and knowledge communities. Notably Dr. Christine Borgman , Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) was a key player in bringing e-science, and the idea of ​​networked knowledge communities to the attention of the library profession. In 2004, as a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute , she conducted research and publicly read e-Science, Digital Libraries, and Knowledge Communities. [1] [2] In 2007 Anna K. Gold, formerly of MIT and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, authored a series of items in D-Lib Magazine That opened the door for academic libraries to begin exploring roles, skills, and strategies for Engaging in e-Science: Cyberinfrastructure, Data, and Libraries, Part 1: A Cyberinfrastructure Primer for Librarians and Cyberinfrastructure , Data, and Libraries, Part 2: Libraries and the Data Challenge: Roles and Actions for Libraries . [3] [4] Libraries and the Data Challenge: Roles and Actions for Libraries . [3] [4] Libraries and the Data Challenge: Roles and Actions for Libraries . [3] [4]

Academic research and health sciences libraries

In 2007, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) e-Science Task Force issued its report on e-Science and librarianship. The ARL’s report encourages its members to engage with researchers in e-science (eScience) by cultivating new research and development strategies for their scholarship infrastructure. [5]

E-Science has multiple attributes; Tony and Jessie Hey, E-Science for the library community, by Elizabeth Taylor and Jessie Hey, “e-Science is not a new scientific discipline in its own right: e-Science is shorthand for the set of tools and technologies required to support Collaborative, networked science “. [6]

In addition to academic libraries, the authors of the research papers, in collaboration with the University of Ottawa, campuses. Neil Rambo, current director of NYU’s Health Sciences Library and former director of the University of Washington Health Sciences Library, was the first to use the term in the Journal of the Medical Library Association , in his 2009 editorial e-Science and the Biomedical Library . Rambo’s definition of e-Science is a new research methodology ,


Many areas of science are about to be transformed by the availability of vast quantities of new scientific data that can never be considered before. However, this new data dominates both the science and the management of science and technology. Libraries will not be immune from change in this new world of research.
-Tony and Jessie Hey [6]

Karen Williams identifies roles in the following areas for librarians in the developing world of e-Science.

  • Campus Commitment
  • Content / Collection Development and Management
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Scholarly Communication
  • E-Scholarship and Digital Tools
  • Reference / Help Services
  • Outreach
  • Fund Raising
  • Exhibit and Event Planning
  • Leadership [9]

Challenges for research libraries

E-science tends towards inter- and multidisciplinary approaches that depend on computation and computer science . Research libraries have traditionally been discipline-oriented, but increasingly technologically sophisticated, do not have systems of the scale or complexity of the e-science environment. E-science is data intensive, but research scientists have not typically been responsible for scientific data. E-science is often conducted in a team context, often distributed across multiple institutions and on a global scale. The primary constituency of. Licenses for electronic content are typically restricted to a particular institutional community, And the infrastructure to move institutional licenses into a multi-institutional environment is not well developed. E-science challenges all these traditional paradigms of research library and services.
-Neil Rambo [6]


Garritano & Carlson were among the first to write a book on the subject of e-Science; They identified five skill categories librarians new to this area should expect to adapt or develop when participating on such projects:

• Library and information science expertise
• Subject expertise
• Partnerships and outreach
• Participating in sponsored research
• Balancing workload [10]

An example of librarians’ reconfiguring traditional social skills to meet the needs of researchers engaging in e-science is Witt & Carlson’s adaptation of the traditional reference interviews in a “data interview” in order to provide effective data management and e-science services. This interview consists of a practical queries necessary for understanding the provenance and expectations for the preservation of datasets typical of e-Science which also help illustrate some of the educational tools needed by a librarian to e-Science. What is the story of the data? What form and format are the data in? What is the lifespan of the dataset? How could the data be used, reused, and repurposed? How broad is the dataset, And what is its rate of growth? Who are the potential audiences for the data? Who owns the data? Does the dataset include any sensitive information? What publications or discoveries have resulted from the data? How should the data be made accessible? [11]

Notable resources

In 2009 the University of Massachusetts Medical Library (UMMS) and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region (NN / LM NER) funded an e-science program for building the skills highlighted above for librarians. Elaine Russo Martin , Director of Library Services at the Lamar Southern Library and Director of the NN / LM NER in this e-Science curriculum to build librarians and their familiarity with cyberinfrastructure and their familiarity with cyberinfrastructure e-Science. The E-Science Symposium , the e-Science web portal for librarians , And the New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum (NECD). [12] This booklet includes educational resources for specific tools and subject / discipline tutorials and modules to assist librarians new to e-Science. [13] It is available at: http://esciencelibrary.umassmed.edu/escience . UMMS and NN / LM NER also published an open access journal called the Journal of eScience Librarianship . Http://esciencelibrary.umassmed.edu/escience . UMMS and NN / LM NER also published an open access journal called the Journal of eScience Librarianship . Http://esciencelibrary.umassmed.edu/escience . UMMS and NN / LM NER also published an open access journal called the Journal of eScience Librarianship .


  1. Jump up^ Christine L. Borgman. “E-Science, Digital Libraries, and Knowledge Communities” Public Reading, Dept. Of Computer Science and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde. Glasgow, Scotland. Nov. 2004.
  2. Jump up^ http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/?id=36
  3. Jump up^ Gold A. Cyberinfrastructure, Data, and Libraries, Part 1: A Cyberinfrastructure Primer for Librarians. D-Lib Magazine [Internet]. 2007; 13 (9/10). Available from:http://www.dlib.org/dlib/september07/gold/09gold-pt1.html
  4. Jump up^ Gold A. Cyberinfrastructure, Data, and Libraries, Part 2: Libraries and the Data Challenge: Roles and Actions for Libraries. D-Lib Magazine [Internet]. 2007; 13 (9/10). Available from:http://www.dlib.org/dlib/september07/gold/09gold-pt2.html
  5. Jump up^ Joint Task Force on Library Support for E-Science (November 2007). “Agenda for Developing E-Science in Research Libraries” (PDF) . Final report . Association of Research Libraries . Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  6. ^ Jump up to:c Tony Hey; Jessie Hey (2006). “E-science and its implications for the library community” (PDF) . Library Hi Tech . 24 (4): 515-528.
  7. Jump up^ Rambo, N. E-science and biomedical libraries. J Med Libr Assoc. 2009 July; 97 (3): 159-161.
  8. Jump up^ Martin, Elaine Russo and Kafel, Donna, “Response to Neil Rambo’s editorial:” E-science and Biomedical Libraries “(2010). University of Massachusetts Medical School. Library Publications and Presentations. Paper 106.http://escholarship.umassmed.edu/lib_articles/106
  9. Jump up^ ARL Report: A Framework for Articulating New Roles in Librarianshiphttp://www.arl.org/bm~doc/rli-265-williams.pdf
  10. Jump up^ Garritano, Jeremy R. and Carlson, Jake R. A Subject Librarian’s Guide to Collaborating on E-Science Projects Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, n57 Spr 2009.
  11. Jump up^ Witt, M. and Carlson, JR 2007. Conducting a Data Interview. Purdue University. Available [Online.]Https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/lib_research/81/.
  12. Jump up^ http://library.umassmed.edu/escience_initiatives
  13. Jump up^ http://library.umassmed.edu/escience_symposium09.cfm

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