Education and Training for Research Data Handling at RDA Plenary 6, September 2015

30 September, 2015

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) continues to provide a useful international network for those active in research data-related activities. Last week, DCC attended the most recent plenary in Paris to contribute to a number of relevant working and interest groups. Amongst these was the Interest Group on Education and Training for the Handling of Research Data (IG-ETHRD), which I currently co-chair with Yuri Demchenko of the University of Amsterdam / the EC-funded EDISON project.  

We were delighted to have such a good turnout at our IG meeting with 99 seats filled (including by the DCC's Sarah Jones and ex-DCC staff member Alex Ball along with a number of other big names in research data skills development) and some more people listening from outside.  Clearly the training and skills agenda is an important one which connects directly to building capacity and creating jobs across the research data space.  Our aim is to support education and training-related activities across the full spectrum of stakeholders including those who identify as researchers, librarians, data scientists, research data managers and any other interested parties. In these ways, the ethos of this group is very much in line with our range of work at DCC; we recognise that increasing capacity and skill levels in research data handling improves practice throughout the lifecycle and as a result, the chances of availability of research data for reuse and impact.

Last week's meeting provided updates on current IG-ETHRD activities including: 

  • development of an updated profile of skills and proficiencies for four different research-data handling professions, namely research librarians; research administrators, research infrastructure managers; and researchers. We are gathering suggestions of 1. essential skills for research data handling; 2. desirable skills for research data handling; and 3. relevant literature and projects about aspects of research data handling for each of these four professions. This process will run until 15 Dec 2015. 
  • participation in the ULCC-DPC-DCC training needs survey available here: until 16 Oct 2015 (we have 207 responses so far!)
  • an active call for suggestions of work we can undertake with related working groups (WGs) and IGs at RDA, and other groups. 

We also enjoyed short presentations on the GridKA summer school; on the upcoming Data Science Summer School in Trieste this August which will be produced by CODATA, RDA, ICTP and TWAS; and on the EDISON project; before a lively discussion around the room.  

Time was short so we'd like to continue the discussion.  If you would like to find out more about the group, please visit the group's webpage (free website login required) - joining the mailing list is the best way to keep up to date with our activities.  And if you're interested in knowing more about any of the activities described above, please get in touch with one of the two co-chairs: laura.molloy AT, or y.demchenko AT  Or let us know what needs to happen next in research data related education and training, in the comments below!