Libraries have always provided resources to access academic research in journals, conference proceedings, books amongst other forms.
There is increasing interest in the data gathered in the process of research, which can potentially be reused by other researchers.
To find out what is in a collection of data, it needs to be labelled so that it is more easily searchable. Data may be in many different formats - written texts, statistical datasets, software outputs, pictorial images etc. The tags or labels that are used to identify different sets of data are known as metadata, and UEA library provides advice on basic 'metadata' . A bibliographic citation is a form of metadata - giving the article name, author, year published, location in journal etc. Similarly an image on Flickr has metadata elements - often digital cameras add technical metadata such as the camera used, shutter speed etc.
For academic data some discipline-specific systems have been developed; some examples here.
UEA library liaises with Anna Collins from Research and Enterprise Services, who has specialist experience as Open Access & Research Data Officer. Anna is working with academics, IT, library and research support staff to develop data management policy and procedures which will help to open up data for re-use.
The Digital Curation Centre provide extensive guidance on the whole process of preserving data.
University of Leicester library metadata and documentation support
University of Southampton library Research data Management
Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/melomcc/3339786669/