Quadcopters or Linguistic Corpora: Establishing RDM Services for Small-Scale Data Producers at Big Universities


  • Viola Voß ULB Münster
  • Göran Hamrin KTH Library




research data management, academic support services, university libraries, Sweden, Germany


During an international library conference in 2017 the authors had many productive exchanges about similarities and differences in Swedish and German higher-education libraries. Since research data management (RDM) is an emerging topic on both sides of the Baltic Sea, we find it valuable to compare strategies, services, and workflows to learn from each other’s practices.

 Aim: In this paper, we aim to compare the practices and needs of small-scale data producers in engineering and the humanities. In particular, we try to answer the following research questions:

• What kind of data do the small-scale data producers produce?

• What do these producers need in terms of RDM support?

• What then can we librarians help them with?

 Hypothesis: Our research hypothesis is that small-scale data producers have similar needs in engineering and the humanities. This hypothesis is based on the similarities in demands from funding agencies on (open) research data and on the assumption that research in different subjects often creates results which are different in content but similar in structure.

 Method: We study the current strategies, practices, and services of our respective universities (KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm and Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster). We also study the work and initiatives done on a more advanced level by universities, libraries, and other organisations in Sweden and Germany.

Results: The paper will give an overview of how we did the groundwork for the initial services provided by our libraries. We focus on what we are doing and why we are doing it. We find that we are following in the leading footsteps of other university libraries. The experiences shared by colleagues help us to adapt their best practices to our local demands, making them better practices for KTH and WWU researchers.

 Limitation: We restrict ourselves to studying only researchers who create data on a small scale, since the large-scale data producers handle the RDM on their own.


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Author Biographies

Viola Voß, ULB Münster

Viola Voß is Subject and Liaison Librarian for modern humanities and Head of Services for the libraries of the Faculty of Philologies at the university library of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. Her work focusses on collection management, subject-specific information literacy, library management, knowledge management, and Open Access & Open Science. She trained as a linguist and academic librarian in Münster (MA 2003, PhD 2009) and Cologne (MA LIS 2012).

Göran Hamrin, KTH Library

Göran Hamrin is the KTH Library Director of Studies and a Lecturer in Library and Information Science at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology. He is a mathematician (BSc), logician (PhD), philosopher (BA), librarian and information scientist (MSc). His work involves teaching modules for information literacy, setting up the KTH research data management support, and developing new library services for KTH.



How to Cite

Voß, V., & Hamrin, G. (2018). Quadcopters or Linguistic Corpora: Establishing RDM Services for Small-Scale Data Producers at Big Universities. LIBER Quarterly: The Journal of the Association of European Research Libraries, 28(1), 1–58. https://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10255



Received 2018-09-19
Published 2018-11-08