Thoughts on “eResearch”: a Scientist’s Perspective

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In response to the burgeoning practice of collaborative, networked, data-intensive research (known as eScience), university and research libraries are devoting significant consideration, effort and resources toward expanding their responsibilities to include research data services. The jargon that the librarianship community uses to discuss data -driven research is inconsistent and confusing, especially to non-librarians. This is problematic because when we attempt to engage research scientists in an effort to provide services, we risk alienating our potential stakeholders by using language that they don’t understand. As a recent transplant to the library community, the difference between librarian and research scientist perceptions of data-driven research, and the vocabulary surrounding it, have been surprising. This paper summarizes the problem of “eResearch,” spoken from the perspective of a recent scientist-turned-data librarian. The main conclusions reached are that “eResearch” is a meaningless term that should be avoided, and that data support services needn’t be couched as an eScience issue.

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  • Amanda Whitmire

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