Going global with 23 Things for Research Data Management

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Going global with 23 Things for Research Data Management
29 Oct 2016

Going global with 23 Things for Research Data Management

23 Things is a recognised training concept that supports flexible, self-paced learning. In 2015, a version of the program called ‘23 Things: Libraries for Research Data’ was launched by the RDA’s Libraries for Research Data Interest Group. The resulting resource is presented as a two-page handout that groups 23 free, online resources to help librarians get involved in research data management into 10 categories. The sequence in which topics and resources are presented is designed to progressively build participants’ understanding of key concepts and gain experience in research data management.

The 23 Things program was originally presented as a conference session at the 81st World Library and Information Congress and subsequently published by RDA/US. It was translated into Japanese and presented at the 7th Plenary Meeting of the RDA in Tokyo, after which volunteers organized used Twitter to coordinate translations into Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

The RDA program inspired the development of an Australian version called ‘23 (research data) Things’ that challenges participants to ‘do’ 23 Things in an online self-paced setting to build their confidence and experience with research data management. Co-ordinated by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), this 23-week program expands on the RDA model by introducing three different levels of activity for each ‘thing’ and a robust community support and engagement program involving community groups, webinars, online discussion boards, face-to-face ‘crash courses’ and social media.

The ANDS 23 Things program attracted participants from around the world and was very successful: close to 1000 people signed up for the launch webinar; there were 1600 newsletter subscribers; 50 local community groups formed; over 13, 000 views of posts on the meetup discussion boards were recorded; and over 3000 online credly badges were claimed. The 23-week program concluded in early October. Feedback to date shows a significant improvement in the knowledge of participants as a direct result of the program. As one participant commented: ‘I now have some skills and knowledge [in data management] that I can share with my colleagues and apply in the workplace’. ANDS has developed a re-use toolkit with an open licence that enables anyone to take the program and adapt, adopt or contextualise it for their situation.

To view the RDA 23 Things in 11 languages see: https://www.rd-alliance.org/group/libraries-research-data-ig/outcomes/23-things-libraries-research-data-supporting-output

To view the ANDS 23 (research data) Things program and re-use toolkit see: http://ands.org.au/23-things

By Natasha Simons, ANDS