DCC training workshop at iPres 2012

1 October, 2012

The DCC ran a workshop in collaboration with several other digital curation stakeholders today. Pushing the Boundaries - excellence in digital curation education and training through collaboration covered a number of themes, including curriculum development, assessing course content, and developing frameworks to map skills and evaluate training.

There were lots of presentations, so I’ve limited this review to my top 3 highlights.

National Digital Stewardship Residency

George Coulbourne of the Library of Congress presented their forthcoming National Digital Stewardship Residency programme. NDSR aims to give recent graduates practical experience in digital preservation. Internships will run for 9 months in a variety of cultural heritage institutions, medical organisations, universities and businesses. Lots of care has been put into planning the programme. Each host institution offers a well-defined project which the intern will lead so they can use this example to bolster their CV. The placement of students will be very carefully managed to ensure a good match in skills and expectations.

I loved the sound of this programme. I was fortunate enough to do a traineeship at Glasgow University Archives before undertaking my masters and the practical knowledge I gained was invaluable both during the course and afterwards. Many other students found it hard to gain employment as they couldn’t demonstrate an ability to put the theory they’d learned into practice – something that these internships will address for a lucky few graduates. The attention to detail in defining the projects and placing interns is exemplary. So many opportunities fall through because of mismanagement in expectations and poor planning, leaving one or both parties dissatisfied with the experience. It would be great to offer a parallel programme in the UK – any potential, JISC?...

Digital Curation Exchange (DCE)

Cal Lee gave a wonderfully concise overview to Digital Curation Exchange, a platform to ask digital curation questions, establish special interest groups, share knowledge, discover training opportunities and more. It was supported through a series of grants from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and was developed primarily by Heather Bowden. There are 700+ registered members and dozens of active groups. New “getting started guides” are being created to roll it out further too. As Call explained, it’s not meant to replace the existing platforms that you use, but allows you to aggregate useful content and surface events and training materials that you want to promote. Definitely one to sign up to!

Researcher Development Framework (RDF) Information Literacy Lens

Jonathan Roberts of Vitae presented the Information Literacy lens of the Researcher Development Framework. RDF (in this context!) is a development framework for postgraduate researchers and research staff. It was developed in consultation with the higher education sector and other stakeholders. Lenses are being created to expand certain skills or provide a bridge between RDF and existing frameworks. The information literacy lens falls into the latter category, bridging between RDF and Sconul’s seven pillars. Both of these models were used extensively by DaMSSI – a JISC-funded project to support those developing training materials in the Managing Research Data programme – and were found to be very useful.

The RDF planner demonstrated by Jonathan looked particularly promising. This online tool allows researchers to identify their existing expertise and capabilities and set targets for career development. It would be great if there was potential to link training opportunities to this tool so researchers can be directed to relevant courses. There were a number of calls throughout the workshop to create a single register of training courses and this would be an ideal place to push that data.

Picking only three presentations is not to diminish the excellence of the others – it’s simply to keep the post relatively short in the hope that you’ll read it all! The slides are online and I really encourage you to look at the other training initiatives going on at present, particularly DigCurV, DigCCurr and the DCC’s training initiatives.

We’ll be back tomorrow with a data citation workshop being led by Monica Duke.