For the month of August 2018, we are featuring Kathryn Unsworth, Outreach Librarian at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia. Kathryn is Co-chair of the Exposing DMPs working group and member of a number of Interest Groups.
Can you tell us something about yourself?
My job title at CSIRO is Outreach Librarian. Predominantly, my role is to connect and build relationships with researchers and professional staff at CSIRO. These connections are to ensure that CSIRO folk are aware of the services and support the Library offers (information resources, data management, internal publications, citation analysis and impact) and get the best out of these services, when and where they need them.
Without a physical library, there are some challenges. The Outreach and Research Data Support teams are currently combining efforts and undertaking an outreach campaign in Victoria, meeting researchers and professional staff where they work, identifying their pain points, finding out about current projects, and letting them know how well placed we are to support them across the entire research workflow. Importantly, we are providing a human face, with familiar people they can contact.
When did you join RDA, and why?
I joined RDA about two years ago. To begin with I was only interested in lurking, wanting to see what this organisation was about, how it operated, its value to my role at ANDS, what could I possibly contribute, and so on. I’d been interested in Data Management Plans (DMPs), their value to researchers, institutions, funders and whether they achieved what they were designed to do – improve the management of research data. Having co-facilitated the DMP Interest Group in Australia, the step into an RDA working group seemed synergistic, particularly as the Exposing DMPs working group was formed.
What has your experience with being involved with the RDA been like?
The experience has been very rewarding! I’m working with really switched on folk in the Exposing DMP working group. I also feel I have been able to contribute in real ways even though the paid job gets in the way much of the time.
I’ve not had the pleasure of attending a plenary, but still feel that my contributions have been relevant and valued by others in the Exposing DMPs working group. Meeting folk in person is really how relationships develop, and where trust and collaboration flourish, but I think I’m an example of how you can make it work without the physical proximity. Time zones are a killer though!!