18th LIASA Annual Conference: Abstracts: Research Data Management: awareness and knowledge among UFS LIS management and information librarians with a view to establish RDM support services at the UFS

Research Data Management awareness and perceptions among UFS LIS management and information librarians with a view to establish RDM support services at the UFS

Hesma van Tonder, Cornelle Scheltema-van Wyk, Carmen Nel, Neo Molemela, Gadi Moshotloa

Research Data Management (RDM) is a relatively new concept in South Africa. Journals and funders arebeginning to require the inclusion of research data as a prerequisite for publication of articles and to provide funding. The National Research Foundation’s (NRF) Open Access (OA) statement of 2015 states that from 1 March 2015 supporting data should be deposited in an accredited OA repository (NRF, 2015). This is one of the drivers for RDM in South Africa. Currently, only two South African universities have institutional RDM policies. Kahn, et al. (2014:303) assessed librarians’ views and awareness of RDM in 2014 and found that although awareness was good, there was a lack in policies and skills to support RDM In the years that followed, more South African universities developed RDM support services for their researchers. Most are still in the process of investigating possible policy, infrastructure and services. The University of the Free State Library and Information Services (LIS) does not have an RDM policy or services at present. In order to establish the LIS as a RDM partner in the university research community, RDM support services is wished for. The purpose of this study is to determine the level of awareness and knowledge of RDM at the LIS to identify LIS staff training needs for future research support services. The target group for this study will be the management and, information librarians.  Buy-in from LIS management is important since they will need to understand the importance and high profile of RDM services which will enable them to convey the importance of RDM to the university’s management. Non-compliance with journal and funder policies will negatively impact the university’s research profile. Buy-in is also needed from information librarians who are the main contact for current research support services. Unstructured interviews will be conducted with the target group. The main strength of an unstructured interview lies in having almost complete freedom in terms of its structure, contents, question wording and order (Kumar, 2014:177). The interview schedule will be sent to the participants in advance to allow them to prepare for the interview.