Embed your library in the research process

Image from the SHARE Notify service

"Librarians need to be more involved in the process of scholarship, not just collecting its output."

Judy Ruttenberg
Program Director for Transforming Research Libraries, Association of Research Libraries

The same modern technology that advances research methods also expands the role that libraries play in the research process. Researchers may compile massive digital data sets, build computer programs to run complex calculations and present the results through draft papers, blogs, conference presentations and, finally, published work. Libraries traditionally have collected and preserved the published work. The SHARE community initiative seeks to engage librarians in conversations about what to do with these other research outputs.

"There has been so much conversation about libraries shifting from collecting outputs to embedding within the research process," explained Judy Ruttenberg, Program Director for Transforming Research Libraries at the Association of Research Libraries. "But The Evolving Scholarly Record report opens up the opportunities for libraries not just to participate in creating scholarship but also to preserve the pieces of the scholarly record we need to preserve.”

The Evolving Scholarly Record, a report by OCLC Research, proposes a framework that describes the diverse array of materials moving into the scholarly record today as well as the key roles in the stakeholder ecosystem surrounding those materials. "This framework helps us facilitate conversations about what that broader role means for services and for the kind of tools we need," Judy said. "Where does the repository meet the virtual resource environment?"

"The act of doing research and sharing it or releasing it to the community takes many, many forms. Wouldn't there be a great value in following that as it happens?"

"The first phase for SHARE is our partnership with the Center for Open Science to build a notification service called SHARE Notify," Judy continued. This service will allow researchers to receive notifications when someone contributes to the "larger pipeline of what scholarship looks like," she said. "Right now, everything is completely dispersed. Researchers have a lot of options for how they share, present and archive their research. …These research release events will push metadata that can resolve back to where that data lives."

Future SHARE efforts may sound "absurdly ambitious, perhaps," Judy admitted, but the initiative wants to use the ideas in The Evolving Scholarly Record to lead conversations about further embedding librarians in the research process and about what type of data to collect. Also, these broadening roles may require new relationships. "We'll need to continue to think of those links with new kinds of partners that can help the library community make this transformation," Judy added. "The stakeholder ecosystem supports these shifting roles, which I think is great."

SHARE at a glance

  • Developed in 2013 from a partnership among the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and in a technology partnership with the Center for Open Science
  • Mission is to maximize research impact by making a comprehensive inventory of research widely discoverable, accessible and reusable
  • Funded in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • Consists of an Advisory Board, Operations Group and a Working Group made up of diverse constituencies and stakeholders
  • Calling for metadata providers to register with SHARE Notify, now in beta release

Related stories

SKEMA Business School

Give users easy access to e-resources from any location and at any time

Learn how SKEMA Business School simplified access to e-resources both on and off campus and gained a clear picture of library usage around the world.


Save unique, at-risk digital content

Hear how cooperative research helped UCLA Library's special collections department emphasize strategic acquisition of important digital materials.