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Embedded Librarians to Support Data-management Needs of a Multidisciplinary Research Program

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Engineering Libraries Division Technical Session 2: Special Topics

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

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Paper Authors


Qianjin Zhang University of Iowa Orcid 16x16

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Qianjin (Marina) Zhang is Engineering & Informatics Librarian at the Lichtenberger Engineering Library, The University of Iowa. Her work focuses on providing data management support and developing library research data services. As a subject librarian, she also provides instruction, reference and consultation services for the engineering faculty and students. Marina holds a MA in Information Resources & Library Science from The University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), and a BS in Biotechnology from Jiangsu University of Science and Technology (Zhenjiang, China).

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Brian Westra University of Iowa Orcid 16x16

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Brian Westra is the Data Services Librarian for the University of Iowa Libraries. He assists researchers with the management and sharing of research data. Brian teaches workshops and a course on data management and consults with researchers on data management plans and implementing good data practices across the data lifecycle. He curates data published in the institutional repository, and works with stakeholders across the university to improve data sharing and broaden the impact of research through FAIR-aligned practices and infrastructure.

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This paper describes the establishment of a partnership between the Libraries and a multidisciplinary research program, and some of the products and outcomes from immersive and embedded roles within that program. Several factors contributed to the development of this partnership: outreach efforts by the Engineering Library and the Research Data Services to faculty, staff, students, and research administrators; a research program director who has a history of engagement with the Libraries; and the funder’s data management and sharing mandates in the funding opportunity announcement for the research program. The result has been the inclusion of two librarians in the Data Management and Analysis Core of this program, which is expected to continue for the duration of the 5-year funding cycle. This approach yielded the launch of a data management course, and ongoing development of program- and team-specific guidance and strategies to improve data sharing and integration. This paper also shows that these kinds of partnerships can increase the awareness of librarian skills in research data management, support compliance with funder requirements, and enhance the impact and value of research outputs.

Zhang, Q., & Westra, B. (2021, July), Embedded Librarians to Support Data-management Needs of a Multidisciplinary Research Program Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37022

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