Because good research needs good data

RDM training for librarians

Sarah Jones | 18 April 2013

Marieke and I were in Northampton earlier this week to run a 3 hour training session for librarians.

We've been really impressed with the work to emerge from the Jisc MRD programme and elsewhere so pulled together various aspects of the different courses. The course slides and an accompanying handbook (inspired by the Leeds RoaDMaP project) are available on the new RDM for librarians webpage.

Miggie Pickton, Research Support Librarian at Northampton, gave out hard copies of the UKDA's Managing and Sharing Data guide as pre-reading. Tacked on to the front was a Misson Impossible-style note, saying that "your task, should you choose to accept it, is to skim through any parts of the booklet that interest you" and reflect on some questions for the round of introductions.

Everyone had looked through and found it a useful introduction. One reflected that he was "surprisingly interested in it all" while another commented that she found her husband reading it. He's a researcher and was keen to hear what she learned on the course.

There were a broad range of interests - everyone had something they hoped to take away. These ranged from understanding how to support researchers in their particular discipline, to copyright issues when using third-party data and how to catalogue data.

The content went down well and the discussions were free-flowing. Miggie has written a workshop report that details the main discussion points.

There were lots of useful suggestions when considering how to support RDM at Northampton. One idea was to identify key intervention points so that you could get researchers together with the academic liason librarian and a contact from the research office to discuss plans. Others suggested raising awareness amongst Deans and ensuring mandates come from the top down so the library can act as advocates rather than being seen as telling people what to do. Writing case studies with existing researchers was suggested too, as there was a concern that some will be less interested/aware and they're the ones that we need to engage. Questions were also raised about how this will be resourced to make sure librarians have capacity to provide support - a perennial problem.

We welcome any feedback on the content and encourage others to reuse it. We recommend keeping the presentation sections brief to allow enough time for questions and discussion around the exercises.

Course slides and accompanying handbook