The value of a one-to-one

31 October, 2012

Marieke and I were in Northampton yesterday as part of the DCC institutional engagements. A few months back Miggie suggested we kick off our one-to-one support by running a preliminary 'research data clinic' where we invite researchers to come along and share their RDM problems. This reminded me of a service we used to run via AHDS - researchers could book short consultations around the workshops that we ran. We were all fired up by the idea and put together a poster to advertise it.

A number of sessions were booked. We spoke with five researchers from a range of subject areas - Drama, Occupational Therapy, Ecology, Psychology and Child Health. The queries were very varied too. Some researchers were concerned with good practice when creating and analysing data, while others wanted to know how long their data needed to be kept or were looking for feedback on their data management plan. A number of common themes emerged across the sessions, notably storage provision, options for remote access to data and bibliographic tools such as RefWorks. 

We'd initially booked 15 minute slots but left ample time in between. This was needed as most sessions lasted 20-30mins. We began by explaining about the DCC and support services at Northampton and then asked the researcher to briefly explain their work and the kinds of data they were creating. It didn't take long to uncover questions they had or pointers to tools and support that we could provide.

The consultations were a great opportunity to get an insight into researchers' practices and concerns. They not only raised awareness and engagement, but the information gathered will help us deliver appropriate RDM services. It's definitely a model that could be applied in other institutions and at DCC events. Thanks Miggie for giving us the idea!

Image CC-BY-NC-ND Universo Producao