Vol. 13 No. 1 (2022): The Bibliographic Control in the Digital Ecosystem

Bibliographic Control of Research Datasets: reflections from the EUI Library

Thomas Bourke
European University Institute

Published 2022-01-13


  • Research data,
  • Datasets,
  • Research data management,
  • Bibliographic control

How to Cite

Bourke, T. (2022). Bibliographic Control of Research Datasets: reflections from the EUI Library. JLIS.It, 13(1), 321–334. https://doi.org/10.4403/jlis.it-12723


The exponential growth in the generation and use of research data has important consequences for scientific culture and library mandates. This paper explores how the bibliographic control function in one academic library has been expanded to embrace research data in the social sciences and humanities. Library bibliographic control (BC) of research datasets has emerged at the same time as library research data management (RDM). These two functions are driven by digital change; the rise of the open science and open data movements; library management of institutional repositories; and the increasing recognition that data sharing serves the advancement of science, the economy and society. Both the research data management function and the bibliographic control function can be enhanced by librarians’ awareness of scholarly projects throughout the research data lifecycle (input, elaboration and output) – and not only when research datasets are submitted for reposit. These library roles require knowledge of data sources and provenance; research project context; database copyright; data protection; data documentation and the FAIR Guiding Principles, to make data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. This case study suggests that by creating synergies between the research data management function (during research projects) and the formal bibliographic control function (at the end of research projects) – librarians can make an enhanced contribution to good scientific practice and responsible research.


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