Efforts and investments in training and education for research data management – impressions from the RDA 14th Plenary Meeting
Selected as a grantee for the RDA Europe 4.0 programme for Experts I participated in the RDA 14th Plenary Meeting in Helsinki in October 2019, my first visit to a RDA Plenary meeting, and I was hugely impressed, by the engagement and enthusiasm among delegates, and by the well-organized meeting.
I have worked with development of service for research data management (RDM) for several years, in particular with how libraries may engage in RDM. During the last year, I have focused on different training activities in RDM. With the fast expansion and growing of research data management, and how to implement the FAIR Data Principles there will be needed many investments and efforts in training and education for different target-groups. The RDA 14th Plenary meeting presented many ideas and proposals for working with this in the future.
The session “Leveraging RDA data training experience in a data-driven economy“, arranged by IG Education and Training on Handling of Research Data, was one example of how to engage and share experience in training within RDA. Many interesting ideas and proposals came up during the session on how to share training experiences and how to build up common resources for training. Three projects and initiatives were presented; ‘RDA Adoption Grant: 23 Things Revisited’, ‘CODATA RDA Schools’, ‘FAIRS FAIR project Work Package 7’. The projects illustrated three different aspects on how to get started practically with training and education in research data. The session also brought up many other interesting topics into the discussion, such as:
- Importance of using the right pedagogic for different target-groups
- Developing common resources for training experiences
- How to market and promote training
- Create a FAIR training handbook
In the RDA Adoption Grant “23 Things Revisited” a group of Dutch universities has taken the original RDA guide “23 Things: Libraries for Research Data” to adjust it to be used in training for different target-groups, such as students, researchers, IT staff and data stewards. The original guide has been updated according to recent developments such as FAIR Principles and GDPR, which is a very good initiative by the Dutch project. The updated guide will be tested and evaluated in training sessions in RDM, and will eventually be implemented nationally in the Netherlands. This is a highly relevant project to the Interest Group, and which can enable other universities to start off and do similar activities. Links to the original RDA guide 23 Things: https://www.rd-alliance.org/system/files/documents/23Things_Libraries_For_Data_Management.pdf and to the updated Dutch guide: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3465895 .
There seemed to be a consensus that the ongoing activities in the Interest Group are important, and that the Interest Group should become a Working Group. We were a couple of people who signed up to help out with this. For more information on the training session, see: https://www.rd-alliance.org/leveraging-rda-data-training-experience-data-driven-economy
The session “Research Data Management in Engineering” arranged by IG Research Data Management in Engineering presented many interesting ideas in how to provide tools and services targeted to engineers. Four projects and initiatives were presented at the session; ‘Engineering research and Open Science use’, ‘Engineering specific DMP template’, ‘Preservation policies and annotation’, ‘EngMeta – metadata schema for engineering data’. All the projects had a very practical focus, and were developed in close collaboration with end-users, or “eng-users”. According to the Interest Group engineers are under-represented as RDM users, and that more use cases focused on engineering are needed. As many of the engineering sub-disciplines conduct very data-intensive research and many engineering projects are co-operations between academy and industry, there ought to be a good market for RDM tools and services specialized on engineering in the future. Thus with a good offer of tools and services, the need for training and education targeted to engineers will certainly raise in the coming future. For more information on the engineering session, see https://www.rd-alliance.org/ig-research-data-management-engineering
The RDA 14th Plenary provided many other sessions related to FAIR, DMPs, data repositories, data citation, metadata, etc in which training and education activities will be most important in the coming future. RDA has great potentials to be an important actor in training and education in RDM – not the least because of its knowledgebase and of its practical experience of running webinars, remote meetings etc.
Finally, I want to thank RDA for the expert grant, making it possible for me participating in the 14th RDA Plenary meeting. I’m really looking forward being part of the RDA family, and to engage in RDA in different Working Groups and Interest Groups.
Maria Johnsson, 5 November 2019
Author: Maria Johnsson
Date: 05 Nov, 2019