Last Tuesday I went down to UWE in Bristol for a day all about Research Data Management (RDM) and academic librarians. It was a really interesting day on something which I personally hadn’t thought much about but luckily lots of other people have! To be fair one of the points made was that the majority of institutions feel we are working with other areas over and above RDM but it provides a real opportunity for librarians, especially those working in liaison roles.
One theme that did run through is that librarians are not necessarily the people leading on this (i.e. writing policy etc) but they can be instrumental in success and education of researchers because of the cross departmental nature of liaison work.
So first of all … what is Research Data and why are we thinking about it?
Research data is the data created when research is undertaken.
It is basically the next big area to be looked at in terms of research – how is it curated, how can it be accessed etc
The UWE day came out of a JISC project: Managing Research Data: a pilot study in Health and Life Sciences
The Presentations from the day are available here.
One presentation interested me greatly. Using the RLUK Reskilling for Report and mapping the gaps. It looked at the gaps librarians have in their skills and how to fill them. The gaps were identified as:
1. Ability to advise on preserving research outputs (49% essential in 2–‐5 years; 10% now)
2.Knowledge to advise on data management and curation, including ingest, discovery, access, dissemination, preservation, and portability (48% essential in 2–‐5 years; 16% now)
3.Knowledge to support researchers in complying with the various mandates of funders, including open access requirements (40% essential in 2–‐5 years; 16% now)
4.Knowledge to advise on potential data manipulation tools used in the discipline/ subject (34% essential in 2–‐5 years; 7% now)
5.Knowledge to advise on data mining (33% essential in 2–‐5 years; 3% now)
6.Knowledge to advocate, and advise on, the use of metadata (29% essential in 2–‐5 years; 10% now)
7.Ability to advise on the preservation of project records (24% essential in 2–‐5 years; 3% now )
8.Knowledge of sources of research funding to assist researchers to identify potential funders (21% essential in 2–‐5 years; 8% now)
9.Skills to develop metadata schema, and advise on discipline/subject standards and practices, for individual research projects (16% essential in 2–‐5 years; 2% now)
The list fills me with a bit of dread but I can see how useful it is and also how important it is for future proofing the role of liaison librarians.
Luckily the afternoon introduced some tools to educate staff on Research Data Management.
First up were the RDMRose team: http://rdmrose.group.shef.ac.uk/ According to their site they say:
- Developing Research Data Management Policy and Services (slideshare.net)