Despite carefully crafted job descriptions, e-science or data librarians find that there is little consensus on position responsibilities and required competencies. Consequently, these librarians tend to customize their positions around what their clientele require. Indeed, data “Curation Service Models [are] driven by user requirements”. Therefore, it’s not just about the data – it’s about the people. Specifically, it’s about the different cultures of user groups and librarians and how to communicate effectively across these groups. The “elevator speech” for a scientist might be quite different from the one for your librarian colleague. It’s no wonder that a recent survey of e-science librarian job advertisements found that communication is the most frequently cited personal skill. While each librarian, researcher and student may have different needs, there are usually broad disciplinary cultures that can guide interactions. Understanding some of these broadly-defined disciplinary characteristics can promote successful communication.
Rinehart, A. (2012, October 28). "Yes, but what is it that you do?". Poster presented at the ASIS&T 2012 Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD.