Proposed work for 'data science curricula'

09 Feb 2015

Dear all,
as discussed at the last RDA plenary in Amsterdam, Joy and I looked at
several ideas for 'data science curricula'. Joy was so kind to write a
summary (see below). We would like to use this as a starting point for a
discussion on this mailing list and, of course, at the next RDA plenary.
Looking forward to your feedback.
Purpose of the group: to define, agree and promote skills needed by researchers and research support staff. A key objective is to understand how the roles must fit together and where particular skills are shared across roles.
Proposed work:
Given the large remit of the group, it is deemed sensible to progress incrementally towards our overall goal through small bits of work. Following the next meeting of the RDA IG in San Diego, we will begin working in small groups to define skill sets for the following roles:
* Data scientists
* Data librarians
* Research administrators
* Research infrastructure managers and operators
A template will be developed to allow each group to record the skills and required ability levels for their particular stakeholder group. The IG will have the mapping ready for review by June 2015 to enable refinement and agreement prior to releasing the mapping as the IG's first deliverable for the 6th Plenary meeting scheduled for September 2015.
Suggested approach:
As a starting point, we suggest making use of the CRediT taxonomy as the common framework for describing skills needed across the different roles. The CRediT taxonomy was developed by the Wellcome Trust and Digital Science to represent the various roles and skills required to produce a range of research outputs. The classification includes many of the activities associated with authoring research publications but also includes wider research activities such as securing funding and project management. The potential value of the CRediT taxonomy for the IG on Education and Training is that it assumes that more than one role may be involved in any/all of the activities and allows users to specify a 'degree of contribution' - either 'lead', 'equal', or 'supporting'. This acknowledgement that many different roles will be involved in research activities will enable the IG to map data scientists, data librarians, research administrators and other support roles to particular areas of effort thereby ensuring that curricula development is complementary in nature. CASRAI is working with the team to gather feedback on the proposed taxonomy with the intention of developing it as open standard.
For each of the 14 taxonomy elements, the IG will list the skills that their particular stakeholder group should have in relation to the activity. We suggest using either Bloom's taxonomy to describe the cognitive domain or something more simplified version such as the such 'ability level' described in the Data Management Skills Support Initiative - Assessment, Benchmarking, Classification (DaMSSI-ABC) scheme. The Jisc funded DaMSSI-ABC project aimed to classify course offerings produced by the Jisc 01/12 RDMTrain projects to ensure that the anticipated outcomes of these and other training interventions could be clearly set out to allow participants to select the training that best meets their particular learning objectives. The DaMSSI-ABC team developed the classification scheme based on reviews of the Research Information and Data Literacies Coalition (RIDLs) criteria for describing and evaluating which had been considered alongside Vitae's Researcher Developer Framework (RDF) and the European Commission funded DigCurV curricula lenses.
As an example of mapping of librarians' skills to the CRediT taxonomy, please refer to 'Open Science - How do librarians fit in?' ( which was presented by Joy Davidson at the LISC 75 Conference on November 28, 2014.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC)
Dr. Christopher Jung
Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1
76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen
phone: +49-721-608-28606
fax: +49-721-608-24972
KIT – University of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg and
National Research Center of the Helmholtz Association

  • Yuri Demchenko's picture

    Author: Yuri Demchenko

    Date: 10 Feb, 2015

    Christopher, Joy,
    Thank you for suggestions.
    Christopher, will you attend the meeting?
    In any case I propose to include this item into Agenda.
    We can include this as the IG-ETRD activity for the initial period and
    work on the WG establishment. For my observation it may take some time
    and depend on members' commitment.

  • Vassilis Protonotarios's picture

    Author: Vassilis Proton...

    Date: 11 Feb, 2015

    Dear all,
    Even though I may not be able to actually participate in the upcoming
    RDA Plenary meeting, I was really glad to have joined you in the Dublin
    one (and feel glad to have personally met Yuri at the 2nd Plenary in
    Washington D.C.) and I keep following all related activities and
    discussions with great interest. As a fan of popular science I find
    articles like this one really useful in order to promote the outcomes of
    the group in the greatest extend possible:
    This provides an alternative view on the subject, providing actual (and
    pragmatic) information on the actual work of a data scientist (I
    understand that in some parts it might be too simplified). What I wanted
    to point out is that we need to keep in mind that we need to attract
    people who are not always interested in the high-level discussion of the
    group, but still they could provide substantial information that is
    actually useful for the group's purposes.
    My best wishes for a great and fruitful meeting in San Diego!
    Best regards,
    /*Vassilis Protonotarios, PhD|* Marketing & Networks Manager /
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  • Christopher Jung's picture

    Author: Christopher Jung

    Date: 11 Feb, 2015

    Dear Yuri,
    yes, I will attend the meeting.

  • Laura Molloy's picture

    Author: Laura Molloy

    Date: 11 Feb, 2015

    Hi all,
    I thought it may be helpful for group members to have some direct links to the work mentioned in Christopher's email, so that group members can quickly find them in order to review the resources for themselves.
    CRediT taxonomy: - choose 'taxonomy' to see the full set of terms.
    Bloom's taxonomy: well covered in scholarly literature in many locations. provides a short and basic introduction that might be handy if you're new to it.
    DaMSSI-ABC project: described here:
    The RDMTrain projects are described here. Despite only being relatively recently completed, they have already been packed off the to Web Archive, but the links still seem to be in place:
    RIDLs criteria for describing and evaluating: There are 'full' and 'summary' versions available on this page (click the blue text).
    European Commission funded DigCurV curricula lenses - described on the following pages. Full lens in each case available by clicking the image on the page:
    - for practitioners:;
    - for (middle) managers:;
    - for executives (i.e. high level management and administrators):
    - description of the entire framework, including all three lenses, at:
    The Vitae's Researcher Developer Framework is described here
    Sadly the full framework is behind a paywall, but this leaflet provides an overview which may be sufficient for our purposes:
    It would be great if there were other things we should look at, in order to help us go forward with the work outlined. This is by no means some sort of exhaustive or prescriptive list - just trying to help connect us all with the things mentioned in Christopher's message. I hope this is helpful.
    Laura Molloy -- Researcher -- Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII) -- 11 University Gardens -- Glasgow G12 8QJ -- Scotland -- e: ***@***.*** -- phone: (+44)(0)141 330 2095 -- skype: laura.molloy -- twitter: LM_HATII
    From: christopher.jung=***@***.*** [christopher.jung=***@***.***] on behalf of cjung [***@***.***]
    Sent: 11 February 2015 08:22
    To: ***@***.***
    Subject: Re: [rda-edu-ig] Proposed work for 'data science curricula'
    Dear Yuri,
    yes, I will attend the meeting.

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