Jan 29 2013

DataPool expands on student RDM training approaches at IDCC13, Amsterdam

Steve Hitchcock

Two presentations from the University of Southampton at the¬†8th International Digital Curation Conference (#IDCC13) set out its approach to providing training for research data management for postgraduates. Taking a broad approach, DataPool gave a poster¬†on working with PhD and Early Career Researchers, described as featuring “examples of essential building blocks coming out of researcher-focussed work”. In the main conference a team from the¬†Faculty of Engineering and the Environment presented a paper jointly with DataPool on a booklet “Introducing Research Data‚ÄĚ they have produced, and included some startling findings from initial training sessions with students. Below Mark Scott from that team introduces the booklet, and we reproduce the live Twitter record of the presentation, which highlights the main points from the talk identified by the Twitter reporters, particularly those findings on student responses.

Introducing Research Data booklet – cover sheet

We recently presented some of our postgraduate training material at the¬†IDCC conference in Amsterdam. With so much data out there, and much of¬†today’s research relying on large scale data sets, it is important to¬†educate researchers about their data – and its value – early.

Our approach was two-fold: a lecture to introduce research data management to first year postgraduates, and a booklet introducing the area. The talk concentrated mainly on the booklet we produced.

The booklet had three sections: an introduction to types of research data,¬†some case studies showing real-world examples of the types of data in use,¬†and some best practices. For the case studies, we looked at five¬†researchers’ work from medicine, materials engineering, aerodynamics,¬†chemistry, and archaeology, and tried to show the similarities and¬†differences between the data types they produce using the categories from¬†the first section.

The concepts in the booklet have been presented twice as a training lecture in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, and the material has also been used in the WebScience Doctoral Training Centre. The feedback from students suggest that being made to think about these issues is necessary and useful, and engaging them at this stage helps cultivate good practices.

Mark Scott

Mark Scott et al, #idcc13 slide 13, Feedback From Lectures

Mark Scott et al, #idcc13 slide 13, Feedback From Lectures

Below is the Twitter record of Mark’s talk on 16 January 2013, from #idcc13,¬†in the chronological sequence of posting.

Meik Poschen ‚ÄŹ@MeikPoschen¬†Next up is Mark Scott, University of Southampton on ‘Research Data Management Education for Future Curators’ #idcc13

Marieke Guy ‚ÄŹ@mariekeguy¬†#idcc13 Mark Scott from Uni of Southampton – post graduate training, created a magazine style booklet for all first year students

Archive Training ‚ÄŹ@archivetraining¬†Southampton University give magazine style RDM booklet to 1st year PG students. #IDCC13

@MeikPoschen Booklet to introduce RD to first year students with 3 sections: 1) five ways to think about RD, 2) case studies, 3) DM best practice#idcc13

Jez Cope @jezcope Good, thorough description of the Southampton approach to RDM education from Mark Scott. #idcc13

‚ÄŹ@mariekeguy¬†#idcc13 Uni of Southampton – 5 ways to think about data: creation, forms of research, electronic rep, size/structure, data lifcycle

Gail Steinhart ‚ÄŹ@gailst¬†Southampton’s RDM guide for first year post-graduate students: http://ow.ly/1RbLND ¬†(PDF) #idcc13

Full link added: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/338816/1.hasCoversheetVersion/studentdata.pdf

@jezcope I want to see Southampton’s RDM booklet, which includes ways to think about data, case studies and best practices. #idcc13

SMacdee ‚ÄŹ@SMacdee¬†#idcc13 – mark scott (U of Soton) RDM education booklet for Postgrads: 5 ways to think about research data; case studies; best practices

‚ÄŹ@MeikPoschen¬†Booklet: 2) case studies giving an overview on various disciplinary examples, covering Genetics, Materials Engineering, Archaeology#idcc13

Mariette van Selm ‚ÄŹ@mvanselm¬†+1 RT @jezcope: I want to see Southampton‚Äôs RDM booklet, which includes ways to think about data, case studies and best practices.#idcc13

Odile Hologne ‚ÄŹ@Holo_08¬†Five Ways to Think About Research Data¬†http://bit.ly/XDahjb¬†¬†Mark Scott course for students #idcc13

Corrected link: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/338816/2/StudentDataIntroduction.pptx

@mvanselm¬†Mark Scott (Uni of Southampton) on RDM education: “When you start scaring students, they start paying attention” #idcc13 ūüôā

@mariekeguy #idcc13 Southampton noted that students happier with RDM lecture when delivered later in year Рhad real data experience at that stage

‚ÄŹ@jezcope¬†Feedback for Soton‚Äôs RDM lecture was better when it was delivered later in the year. PGRs need to have some data experience first?#idcc13

@archivetraining¬†Southampton’s feedback: RDM lecture was more positive when given in month 7 – when data collection was underway. The power of fear! #IDCC13

@MeikPoschen¬†Booklet now part of University of Southampton’s wider (10 year) training etc. scheme #idcc13

@archivetraining¬†Lots of RDM guides for lots of different audiences being shown-off at#IDCC13. Here’s ours [in German – English coming]¬†http://bit.ly/TqDrTJ

For a view of wider coverage and activities with a research data training theme at #IDCC13, we return to our colleagues at @archivetraining:

“The impression I took from this bundle of presentations (mostly funded by the excellent¬†JISC Managing Research Data¬†programme) was that projects doing data management training or support have to effectively design a campaign strategy, as one would for an election. Digital curation is akin to a valence issue ‚Äď we all like sharable, long-term secure data ‚Äď but how we get there needs to be thought about.” More

Or for more views on #IDCC13 as a whole, see this collection of post-conference blog posts.


Jan 28 2013

Positive Poster’ing for IDCC 2013

Dorothy Byatt

Creating¬†the poster for the International Digital Curation Conference ¬†(#IDCC13) was different to the ones we have done thus far. Although very much linked to the DataPool project, the choice of the content was only restricted to being of interest to the theme of the conference –¬†“Infrastructure, Intelligence, Innovation: driving the Data Science agenda”. Our choice was to focus on our collaborative work by PhD and Early Career Researchers, that is, helping to embed and enable good research data management practices in the institution.

Gareth Beale and Hembo Pagi have been investigating 3D and 2D raster imaging being used in the University. We look forward to their report. A group of researchers came to a working lunch, led by iSolutions and the DataPool team,¬†to look at progress on a SharePoint data deposit option and provided valuable feedback. Another development that will be of great assistance to those looking to capture a snapshot of life and society is that of a twitter archiver using ePrints currently in beta development. One snapshot will be of #IDCC13 tweets. Yet another collaboration was with Mark Scott on his work on his ‘Introducing research data’ guide and on a data sharing system for the Heterogeneous Data Cente (HDC). More details of his work and paper¬†he presented will follow in our linked second IDCC blog. So there was our content, examples of essential building blocks coming out of researcher-focussed work.

And that just left the design …!


Jan 21 2013

Mapping training needs for the support team

Dorothy Byatt

In a large University many of the roles required to support Researchers in their work are spread across a variety of services. As each service has their own focus and strengths they are able to assist at the point in the research process most appropriate to their skills. What happens when there is a need to develop new skills, update existing ones or increase awareness of new requirements that impact all these services?  How do you identify who needs to know what or who needs to know about what other areas are doing?  While it may at first seem quite straightforward to identify the major areas where training might be required, where does this fit in with the research lifecycle and who therefore will need to have a greater awareness or expertise in specific areas? What skills do the researchers need and at what point?  Does this impact on what training is required? These are the questions that I have been taking time to consider with regard to research data management and how through training we can enhance our network of support.

wordle of training needs

There seems to be two key aspects to the training support teams.  The first is to look at what they already know, what areas they are responsible for and what they are currently doing to help the researcher? The second is to look at what support the researcher needs, at the what point in the research lifecycle and who will provide this?  Having looked at this it seemed that it was important to be able to map these aspects in some way.  There has been a lot of recent work looking at the needs of the Researcher resulting in the Research Development Framework, and the Information Literacy Lens based on it, that very much show the researcher at the centre of the process, as they should be.  It seemed sensible to take this approach in the initial scoping of the training needs and see where the skills fit in the research lifecycle.

Taking the research lifecycle steps listed in Brewerton (2012, p.104) and using some of the aspects of knowledge understanding identified in the Information Literacy Lens, work began on trying to map the advice, guidance and support the researcher might need. This proved useful in breaking down the various types of questions that might arise and scoping for the future. It was also helpful in thinking through the wider implications of data management on policy and procedures, how data fits in with other professional development and the need for integrated support.

The¬†DataPool Training Matrixv1¬†is the result of this work. There are empty boxes where you might expect content because it was covered elsewhere and we didn’t want to repeat. There are probably still skills that could be included, but we have learned what we needed to for our current purposes. It is still, to a lesser extent, a work in progress, and we would welcome comments.

Brewerton, A 2012 Re-Skilling for Research: Investigating the needs of researchers and how library staff can best support them. New Review of Academic Librarianship 18(1):96-110