RDM@nottingham training event

Last week I was invited to give a two hour workshop/presentation on research data management at the University of Nottingham (UoN) Academic Librarians’ Forum (ALF). This forum meets regularly to discuss wider LIS issues and topics relevant to their role in supporting the researchers’ at UoN.

An integral part of the ADMIRe project is to identify the RDM training needs of both our research community and those that will be providing services offering research data management support. A key aspect of raising RDM awareness at UoN is the delivery and organisation of RDM training, advocacy and outreach. This was a great opportunity to gather some initial thoughts and views on how the academic librarians’ saw the future of a sustainable RDM service, and in particular the skills that they may already have on managing information, as well as finding information.

The title of the event was ‘What is research data management?’ and the event organiser provided me with a series of RDM topics to cover during the session. The aim of the event was to raise awareness of research data management (RDM) and identify some of the key skills required for the delivery of a research data management service. The event and user feedback from the event will inform and enhance the development of the RDM service at the University of Nottingham.

We had 12 attendees and had two interesting break-out activities, one was around the RDM skills matrix ADMIRe has been working on and the other was reviewing the recently published: ‘Ten recommendations for libraries to get started with research data management’, published in August 2012 by the LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries).

Activity one – RDM skills matrix

The RDM skills matrix includes several key elements of the research lifecycle and attendees where asked to identify where they think library staff could provide support on a variety of RDM issues. The majority agreed that they already had the skills in the following areas:

  1. Metadata
  2. Open Access and Repositories
  3. Data discovery and data re-use
  4. Compliance with funding policies and requirements
  5. Data classification

Some of the areas where they felt they needed further training included:

  1. Data types
  2. Data storage
  3. Data preservation
  4. Data archiving
  5. Data Management Plans

Activity two – LIBER recommendations for libraries to get started with research data management

They could see that many of the recommendations were an extension of things they already do or have knowledge on but the majority had not come across the recommendations and were interested in looking at these in greater depth.

I took a lot  away from this event, particularly when thinking about the issue of ‘training the trainers’ when considering institutional engagement with RDM. We are particularly pleased that the Digital Curation Centre have accepted our invitation to help us with raising RDM awareness and will be working with us to deliver several training events for UoN researchers and support staff in 2013.

As for our research community, our recent RDM survey (results to be published later this year) highlights some of the following as areas they identified where they would like to receive RDM training and support:

In what areas of research data management do you require training?
Developing a research data management plan 230
Documenting your data 137
Formatting your data 93
Storing your data 171
Sharing your data 109
Creating metadata for data 143
Ethics and consent 73
Funders requirements and RDM 103
Copyright and IPR 102
Data repositories and open access (OA) 109

So we have to think about tailoring our RDM training and awareness training to both our research community and those that will be supporting the researchers.

Laurian Williamson, Service Developer, Research Data Management