Information Specialist facing new challenges


open science and research
open RDI
scholarly publishing
new skills
information professionals
academic libraries

How to Cite

Kiviluoto, J., & Sinisalo, R. (2019). Information Specialist facing new challenges. Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education, 11(1), 16-26.


The open science and research (OSR) movement has been shaping the world of scholarly communication for a few years now. In Finland, the Ministry of Education and Culture promoted research information availability and open science through the Open Science and Research Initiative. As a part of this initiative, an evaluation of the openness of Finnish research organizations was completed. The first evaluation indicated that OSR functions needed clearer guidelines and a coordinating unit to further improve the cultural maturity in Lahti University of Applied Sciences (LAMK). Furthermore, the scholarly publishing activities also needed a new home base due to organizational changes. As the information and library services had the basic understanding of scholarly publishing, different publishing channels and responsible conduct of research, it was decided that the library takes on these responsibilities.

For the new challenges, the traditional information specialist skills set needed updating. New skills were acquired via both formal and informal learning, benchmarking and trial-and-error. These new skills were immediately put to use in LAMK by creating a new open access publishing platform, organizing workshops and lectures for the staff and creating organizational guidelines for open RDI practices. The next organizational maturity evaluation ranking round proved the library’s new expertise, as LAMK climbed two levels up, being the second highest university of applied sciences in Finland.

As for the role of the information specialists, the new role as OSR experts have opened up new possibilities within the organization. They are now seen more as possible partners in different RDI activities, participating in project work and further developing the way openness is being carried out in all aspects of RDI and teaching. The paper offers a case example of how library professionals can diversify and update their skills pool and shape the future of their profession.

Copyright (c) 2019 Johanna Kiviluoto, Riikka Sinisalo

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