Data Champion Communities RDA 9th Plenary BoF meeting

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11 January 2017 2779 reads

Meeting title

Towards effective research data training delivery: creating a researcher-led data champion community

Short introduction describing the activities and the scope of the group: 

Research data cannot be effectively shared if it has not been properly managed during the research lifecycle. Hence, Research Data Management workshops seem to be the most common way research data teams are engaging with researchers, typically targeting postgraduate research students and postdoctoral researchers. Cambridge has been successfully running training on Research Data Management for some time. However, feedback from workshops indicated the need for training for specific disciplinary groups. Additionally, some have found inviting academics who have experience of sharing their data to speak at workshops greatly increases engagement.

We have started to develop the idea of having Data Champions in each department, institute or college who can act as the local expert as well as delivering some discipline-specific training to their community. This has the advantage of increasing the number of trainers across the University, making the workshops tailored to the relevant audience, and building a community of experts. Data Champions are researchers, PhD students or support staff who have agreed to advocate for data within their department: providing local training, briefing staff members at departmental meetings, and raising awareness of the need for data sharing and management.

We would be interested in finding other individuals who have taken similar approaches and discussing the possibilities this approach offers for better engaging researchers with Research Data Management. 

We would also like to explore the possibility of creating an international community of Data Champions to further recognise and reward local champions, and also provide them with additional networking opportunities.

Additional links to informative material related to the group i.e. group page, Case statement, working documents etc

Cambridge Data Champions page:
Blog post on Data Champions and building a community around RDM: 
Online discussions around Data Champions and similar initiatives have taken place here: 

Meeting objectives

1. Exchange information on initiatives encouraging researchers happening in different countries
2. Establish whether there is sufficient interest in this to create a permanent group which would develop resources to support “Data Champion” initiatives
3. Discuss whether it would be useful to create an international Data Champions community

Meeting agenda

1. Introduction to aims of the Data Champions project at Cambridge - Marta Teperek (15 mins)
2. Discussion of similar initiatives at other institutions - All participants (20 mins)
3. Discussion of possible future actions for an RDA group - All participants (15 mins)
4. Summary of discussion and outcomes - Marta Teperek


Active researchers and anyone directly supporting researchers with their research data management who is looking to promote researchers as advocates at their institutions.
Preparation: Reading the blog post and Gitter discussions referenced above would be a good introduction to the initiative.

Group chair serving as contact person: Rosie Higman, Marta Teperek

Type of meeting: Working meeting