Purpose - The aim of this paper is to explore the way in which e-research is changing the nature between researchers and libraries, and to suggest how librarians can become more engaged with professional research under an e-research environment. Design/methodology/approach - This paper takes the example of research into ultrasonic motors to investigate what can be done in current library facilities with regard to collecting and sharing data, and what should be provided in future libraries to facilitate the research of ultrasonic motors under an e-research environment. Findings - Current libraries can facilitate professional research through retrieval of digital resources such as diverse databases, in which researchers can get information on trends, hot topics, and the main problems in order to conduct further investigations. To completely realize e-research of professional researches, it is suggested that more extended services such as infrastructures of remote laboratories and virtual research environments are needed in future libraries to facilitate the collaboration of different research groups in different places. Originality/value - The paper provides methods for professional research into specific topics (such as ultrasonic motors in the present case) under the e-research environment, with a particular focus on collaboration in a universal infrastructure for sharing computing power and data storage, as well as data and research. The result of this study should also be helpful in shaping future libraries.
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