Workshop report: Research data management for librarians
Yesterday’s event for Library and Learning Services staff was the third in the series of research data management (RDM) workshops being run by Digital Curation Centre (DCC) staff for the University of Northampton. Our ‘institutional engagement’ with the DCC is part of a sector-wide initiative to enhance the skills of researchers, and those who support them, in RDM.
As a basic introduction, the session started by clarifying what research data are, then covered data management planning, data sharing and the skills required to support these tasks. It concluded with a round-up of progress in RDM activity at Northampton.
Interestingly, some of the most energetic debate focused on the challenges of sharing data.
From the point of view of a librarian, sharing resources is fundamentally a desirable thing, but colleagues were concerned about issues such as accessibility, copyright and licensing. Our discussions ranged from the technical to the cultural, eventually concluding that the challenges of data sharing were as much the latter as the former.
It became rapidly apparent that, as a profession, librarians have many skills that could be useful in supporting researchers in managing their research data, particularly in the areas of:
- current awareness of the research data landscape
- metadata and documentation – awareness of standards and good practice
- organising and structuring files
- data management planning – including in support of funding bids
- open access – storage and dissemination of datasets
- research data and publications
- data citation – including the use of Digital Object Identifiers
- research data policy
- sourcing and licensing datasets from external sources
Most of these draw on the key skills of an information professional, only the application is new.
Thank you to Sarah Jones and Marieke Guy from the DCC for running this workshop. The presentation and workbook are available from the DCC website.
If you would like to know more about services for RDM from the library then please contact Miggie Pickton.
Magnifying glass image: Heppdesigns