ACRL announces the publication of a new white paper, Transforming Library Services for Computational Research with Text Data: Environmental Scan, Stakeholder Perspectives, and Recommendations for Libraries, from authors Megan Senseney, Eleanor Dickson Koehl, Beth Sandore Namachchivaya, and Bertram Ludäscher.
This report from the IMLS National Forum on Data Mining Research Using In-Copyright and Limited-Access Text Datasets seeks to build a shared understanding of the issues and challenges associated with the legal and socio-technical logistics of conducting computational research with text data. It captures preparatory activities leading up to the forum and its outcomes to (1) provide academic librarians with a set of recommendations for action and (2) establish a research agenda for the LIS community.
In an era of expectations that any and all data can be combined and mined, restrictions on the use of texts for data mining research may close off an area of inquiry before it even begins. On college and university campuses, librarians play a key role in facilitating access to the textual material researchers may intend to use as data by negotiating licensing agreements, purchasing content, and developing infrastructure and services for computationally intensive research. This paper describes the key takeaways from the 2018 National Forum on Data Mining Research Using In-Copyright and Limited-Access Text Datasets and the research project that accompanied it, and offers recommendations for academic libraries to integrate text data mining practice into user-facing programs, technical and curatorial practice, and ongoing professional development.
Transforming Library Services for Computational Research with Text Data is freely available on the ACRL website (PDF).