Data Scientists, Data Managers, Data Librarians, Oh My!

By robin | September 23, 2008

The Skills, Role and Career Structure of Data Scientists: An Assessment of Current Practice and Future Needs is a report prepared by Alma Swan and Sheridan Brown this summer for JISC in the UK.

The Skills, Role and Career Structure of Data Scientists: An Assessment of Current Practice and Future Needs is a report prepared by Alma Swan and Sheridan Brown this summer for JISC in the UK.

 

Ours is a profession that is not highly visible. This report will be welcomed by any data librarians or data archivists who have had trouble explaining what they do at parties, and especially those who have had trouble getting a pay rise or a promotion based on the value added work they do for researchers vis a vis working with data.

 

It was the NSF/NSB who first drew attention to the plight of “data scientists” and the poorly developed career paths of researchers who specialise in working with data within research groups in their Long-Lived Digital Data Collections report in 2005. This study also examined the situation of specialists working in domain-specific data centres or data archives.

 

Her treatment of data librarians poses the potential for academic libraries to get further involved with research data curation.

 

The current report draws on that as well as Liz Lyon’s UK JISC-commissioned report in 2007 on Dealing with data: roles, responsibilities and relationships.

 

Luis Martinez Uribe has written a summary of the report on the DataShare blog

.

 

Robin Rice EDINA and Data Library University of Edinburgh