Epic Fails: Learning from the Past to Do Better in the Future
In research we tend to only present on and/or publish our successes as they are so integral to our career progression. Yet not everything we attempt is successful: no matter how hard we try, some of our research and developments fails. Projects that develop research data infrastructure are often prone to a higher risk of failure, as technology is changing so rapidly and unpredictably, whilst the change of research culture is slow. Edwards et al. (2007) emphasized the value of honestly reporting failures “to supporting long-term and comparative learning across the varieties of cyberinfrastructural experience” and recommended that “through the disciplined and even-handed study of failure, funders and proponents of cyberinfrastructure must learn to stop hiding the bodies”. New trends in biochemical research and publishing show increased attention to sharing of negative results from early clinical trials (Kevin Kelly, “Speculations on the Future of Science”). What we need is a free and blameless environment that encourages honest reporting of where things went wrong. It is time to bring the skeletons out of the closet and showcase Epic Fails that you know about (particularly your own) in software, data infrastructures, samples, software delivery, services, etc. and build a portfolio of lessons learned from these stories that will inform the future, and ultimately contribute to accelerating progress in the development of research data infrastructure and informatics.
Click on the poster image to enlarge
Name & surname:
Kerstin Lehnert, Lesley Wyborn, Erin Robinson
Relevance / Link to RDA:
Learning from mistakes and failures is relevant to the entire RDA community. This poster intends to encourage RDA attendees to overcome their reluctance of sharing stories and experiences of failed projects and developments so we can learn from past mistakes and avoid them in the future.
Scientific Discipline / Research Area:
Columbia University, Australian National University, Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)