Thoughts on “eResearch”: a Scientist’s Perspective

  • Amanda L. Whitmire (Oregon State University)


In response to the burgeoning practice of collaborative, networked, data-intensive research (known as eScience), university and research libraries are devoting significant consideration, effort and resources toward expanding their responsibilities to include research data services. The jargon that the librarianship community uses to discuss data -driven research is inconsistent and confusing, especially to non-librarians. This is problematic because when we attempt to engage research scientists in an effort to provide services, we risk alienating our potential stakeholders by using language that they don’t understand. As a recent transplant to the library community, the difference between librarian and research scientist perceptions of data-driven research, and the vocabulary surrounding it, have been surprising. This paper summarizes the problem of “eResearch,” spoken from the perspective of a recent scientist-turned-data librarian. The main conclusions reached are that “eResearch” is a meaningless term that should be avoided, and that data support services needn’t be couched as an eScience issue.

Keywords: eResearch, eScience, jargon, research data services, data management

How to Cite:

Whitmire, A. L., (2013) “Thoughts on “eResearch”: a Scientist’s Perspective”, Journal of eScience Librarianship 2(2): 3. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2013 The Author(s).

Publisher Notes

  • The HTML and PDF versions of this article were corrected on November 21, 2017 to change the Creative Commons license from CC BY-NC-SA to CC BY at the author's request.

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Published on
25 Jul 2013