This Task Force is not longer active.

The aim of the Task Force was to produce a number of competency profiles that will help to build capacity in libraries for supporting new roles in the area of scholarly communication and e-research. The profiles will enable library managers to identify skill gaps in their institution, form the basis of job descriptions, enable professionals to carry out self-assessments, and act as a foundation for the development of training programs for librarians and library professionals. In addition, the toolkit will provide an outline of new organizational models that are evolving in this dynamic environment.

Several profiles were published in June 2016:

Time to Adopt: Librarians’ New Skills and Competency Profiles

On the one hand, libraries are at the forefront of the digital transformation and digital information infrastructures, on the other, they manage and curate cultural heritage collections. This brings about new ways of engagement with information and knowledge and the need to rethink skills and competency profiles – which enable librarians to support e-research all along the research cycle. This paper presents findings of the joint Task Force on Librarians’ Competencies in Support of E-Research and Scholarly Communication. Download article

Librarians’ Competencies for Research Data Management

Research data management encompasses a wide array of activities across the research data lifecycle. Generally, it requires a high level of interaction with researchers and also working with other support services including technical services and research officers. View Full Profile

Librarians’ Competencies for Scholarly Communication and Open Access

Library activities in scholarly communication and open access typically fall into one of four categories: scholarly publishing services; open access repository services; for copyright and open access advice; and assessment of scholarly resources. View Full Profile

Librarians’ Competencies for Digital Humanities (coming soon)


Progress report from 2014 [PDF]

Presentation from the 20th Conference on Electronic Publishing, Göttingen, Germany 7-9 June 2016 [PDF]

About the Task Force

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER), and COAR launched the joint Task Force on Librarians’ Competencies in Support of E-Research and Scholarly Communication.

Rapid changes in technology and associated shifts in research and scholarly communications are profoundly changing the role of libraries in the 21st century. The emergence of e-research, for example, is bringing about new ways of doing science across the globe, compelling libraries to adopt new services, such as assisting with the development of research data management plans, hosting collaborative virtual research environments, managing institutional repositories, and disseminating research outputs through open access mechanisms. These novel services require a range of new skills and expertise within the library community as well as a shift in organizational models for libraries.

The aim of the task force is to outline the competencies needed by librarians in this evolving environment. The first step will be to identify the various avenues of service for libraries within the context of e-research, repository management, and scholarly communication. These services and roles will then be mapped to the competencies required by librarians and library professionals.

For more information about the task force, please contact TF chair Pascal Calarco.



    • Iryna Kuchma, Stichting, Netherlands
    • Alicia López Medina
    • Susan Reilly, LIBER, Netherlands
    • Judy Ruttenberg, Association of Research Libraries, United States
    • Birgit Schmidt, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany
    • Kathleen Shearer
    • Dominic Tate, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

    About ARL
    The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations.

    About CARL
    The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) provides leadership on behalf of Canada’s research libraries and enhances their capacity to advance research and higher education. It promotes effective and sustainable scholarly communication, and public policy that enables broad access to scholarly information. CARL’s members include the 29 larger Canadian university research libraries.

    About LIBER
    LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries) is the main network for research libraries in Europe. Its current membership includes over 400 national and research libraries from more than forty countries- mainly, but not only, in Europe. LIBER supports the academic mission of its members by building on existing strengths and balancing resources to maintain and improve a quality of service that befits the European researcher.