Research data services in veterinary medicine libraries


  • Erin E. Kerby MSI, Veterinary Medicine Librarian and Assistant Professor, Veterinary Medicine Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001 South Lincoln Avenue, 1257 VMBSB, Urbana, IL 61802



Library Science, Librarians, Library Services, Data Collection, Data Curation, Veterinary Medicine


Objective: The study investigated veterinary medicine librarians’ experience with and perceptions of research data services. Many academic libraries have begun to offer research data services in response to researchers’ increased need for data management support. To date, such services have typically been generic, rather than discipline-specific, to appeal to a wide variety of researchers.

Methods: An online survey was deployed to identify trends regarding research data services in veterinary medicine libraries. Participants were identified from a list of contacts from the MLA Veterinary Medical Libraries Section.

Results: Although many respondents indicated that they have a professional interest in research data services, the majority of veterinary medicine librarians only rarely or occasionally provide data management support as part of their regular job responsibilities. There was little consensus as to whether research data services should be core to a library’s mission despite their perceived importance to the advancement of veterinary research. Furthermore, most respondents stated that research data services are just as or somewhat less important than the other services that they provide and feel only slightly or somewhat prepared to offer such services.

Conclusions: Lacking a standard definition of ‘‘research data’’ and a common understanding of precisely what research data services encompass, it is difficult for veterinary medicine librarians and libraries to define and understand their roles in research data services. Nonetheless, they appear to have an interest in learning more about and providing research data services.


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Research Communications