Professionalising data stewardship: business case, terminology & organisational models

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26 Jan 2021
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 

Following the formal launch of the Interest Group, prioritising of topics and formalising of tasks groups at VP16, we invite those of the community interested to work on professionalising data stewardship to work on some of the rotating themes from our master plan for the coming years:

  • A business case for data stewardship
  • Data stewardship terminology
  • The integration of data stewardship across an organisation

These themes are the first of many, and are closely connected to other themes and challenges identified at P14 and P15 and prioritised at VP16 (see relevant links to additional information below) . We anticipate that drafting out the fundamentals of these themes will help the other task groups to progress as well (such as job profiles, training, career tracks, networking & knowledge exchange, and certification).

Between VP16 and VP17, some really nice progress has already been made, and we will use the VP17 “professionalising data stewardship” plenary session to work together (in a mini-hackathon-style) to use the expertise and experience of the RDA community to draft a first version of deliverables for a business case for data stewardship, data stewardship terminology and data stewardship organisational models.

The expected output will be first version of deliverables for 

  • a business case for data stewardship
  • data stewardship terminology
  • data stewardship organisational models

We expect these first versions to be useful for the broader RDA community that struggles with professionalising data stewardship in their organisations, and therefore we think it is very useful to spend some dedicated time on these three themes.

Meeting agenda: 

 

Collaborative session notes  

We realise that the work currently done will greatly benefit from the active input of expertise and experience of the RDA community, from various disciplines and countries, and therefore we explicitly organise a hackathon-style meeting. 

(in minutes from the start)

0 - 20 min

  • Introduction of the IG and its tasks groups
  • Elevator pitches (max 4 minutes) of three fundamental themes for professionalising data stewardship (as first of many topics of the coming years)
    • a business case for data stewardship
    • data stewardship terminology
    • data stewardship models

20 - 80 min

  • Interactive breakout sessions to progress the work on these three topics. This will include for example presenting a case study, plans for deliverables, mentimeter questions, padlet exercises etc.
  • Meanwhile in the main room, there will be plenty of room for those new to the Interest Group to get introduced to the group’s work, and discuss the broader plan for the coming years.

80 - 90 min

  • Future outlook/wrap up/closure

Target Audience: 

This Interest Group brings together those interested in professionalising data stewardship. More specifically, this session will be of interest to those who wish to actively engage with each other to contribute to current discussions, initiatives and projects that are tackling challenges in professionalising data stewardship.

They may be current or future data stewards, but we also actively reach out to people in the broader data professional community, including data librarians, data managers, data scientists, data archivists, IT staff, research support staff, policy makers, funders, and managers and executives.

This explicitly includes students and researchers, potentially being our future data stewards.

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

Data stewardship and data management skills are essential in the research process. The lack of consensus on the responsibilities, knowledge, skills, and value of data stewards leads to confusion about the role and hampers building adequate data steward capacity. To our knowledge, a coherent approach and dedicated training for data stewardship on the (inter)national level is lacking as well. This, combined with scarce resources for data stewardship at many institutions, limits vital developments such as defining recruitment procedures and career paths for current and future data stewards.

Eight challenges are identified and will be regularly discussed and updated: a business case for data stewardship, data stewardship terminology, the integration of data stewardship across an organisation, job profiles for data stewards, training for data stewards, career tracks for data stewards, networking and knowledge exchange, and certification. Separate task groups will be formed to work on related deliverables and people will work on these between plenary sessions. These task groups will be coordinated by the co-chairs of the Interest Group. In addition, the group will organise regular webinars to stimulate discussion and practice exchange.

The group will meet virtually, and if possible, in person at RDA Plenaries to exchange new ideas and tactics for facilitating professionalising data stewardship, and also to update each other on the progress of task groups working on specific deliverables. Plenary meetings will also be used as an opportunity to recruit and engage with new members. Between Plenaries, the group will communicate through the formal RDA Interest Group page (posts and events) and Slack community (rdadatastewardship.slack.com).

Short Group Status: 

At the 14th RDA Plenary, a Birds of a Feather session was organised on professionalising data stewardship, with over 60 participants. Eight challenges were identified and discussed: a business case for data stewardship, data stewardship terminology, the integration of data stewardship across an organisation, job profiles for data stewards, training for data stewards, career tracks for data stewards, networking and knowledge exchange, and certification. This was followed by another Birds of a Feather session at the 15th RDA Virtual Plenary, which was attended by more than 100 participants, who reiterated their interest in these topics.

Against this background, this Interest Group was formally endorsed just after VP16, and will focus on sharing good practices, initiatives, and projects that could help research organisations in professionalising data stewardship. It thus aims to stimulate collaboration within and outside the RDA community. We expect that the activities of this Interest Group will help current and future data stewards as well as the organisations that incorporate, facilitate and require data stewardship, both within and across disciplines. This aligns with the grass-roots, inclusive approach of the RDA, and with its mission to build bridges, exchange views, collaborate on relevant topics, and tackle current hurdles experienced by the international research data community.

Estimate of the required room capacity (Hybrid plenary): 
N.A. (virtual)
Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Remote participation availability (only for physical Plenaries): 
Yes
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (3): 
Meeting presenters: 
To be decided