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Training professional staff to support Research Data Services Andrew Cox, Information School University of Sheffield United Kingdom.

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Presentation on theme: "Training professional staff to support Research Data Services Andrew Cox, Information School University of Sheffield United Kingdom."— Presentation transcript:


2 Training professional staff to support Research Data Services Andrew Cox, Information School University of Sheffield United Kingdom Open research data: the future of science BIBLIOTHÈQUE DE L'EPFL Lausanne, 2014

3 Our projects (JISC funded) RDMRose, 2012-13 – Learning materials about RDM tailored for information professionals – Collaboration with libraries of Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York (LFHE funded) Wicked ways with RDM, 2014 – Collaboration with professional support staff from 15 universities in Northern England (RLUK funded) RDM Insight, 2014-

4 The purpose of the workshop To think systematically about training needs of professional staff to support RDM and open data

5 Why would you want to train professional staff? There are not the resources to recruit new staff; its relevant to a wide range of staff There is recognition of the need to support research in general better; the scale and reach of the issue is very great There is a skills gap, a need to translate/adapt/enhance existing knowledge – Metadata skills – Information literacy pedagogy – Copyright and licensing There is a mis-match in mind-sets

6 Why might there be resistance to training? Staff are cautious about talking to researchers when/if service provision/ policy is unclear It’s complex and unfamiliar territory – a different social world Staff are already over-taxed with roles Different professional services view the problem quite differently

7 Q1 New recruitment or on the job training of existing staff? Evidence (Bresnahan and Johnson, 2013; Corrall et al. 2012) and logic points to retraining as the main approach to workforce issues created by RDM – Limited budgets – RDM is relevant to staff in many support teams – But may be some recruitment in technical areas (see DigiCurv framework) and RDM coordination

8 Q2 Who should the training be for? Library staff – Research support teams – Liaison librarians – Metadata specialists – Library IT specialists – … All LIS staff Archives/Records management IT staff Research administrators, including those embedded in departments Staff development Including direct engagement with researchers Should you develop training for professional staff separately from your researchers?

9 Q2 Who should the training be for? 3 minutes End

10 Q3 What topics are important? Work with the person sitting next to you to prioritise topics from the list You may have to think about this from the perspective of a particular group (e.g. library staff not specialising in RDM)

11 Q3 What topics are important? 5 minutes End

12 Q3 What topics are important? Required knowledge – For whom? For individuals in specific roles – For the team/organisation? What are the needs of the organisation = what shape of RDS is planned? – When do they need to know it? What do they need to know if 2 years time? – Can quite specific knowledge sets be identified? Eg all staff should know X What do people already know? What’s the “training gap”?

13 Training Needs Assessment List of possible topics (published in the article) – then Is it relevant to my job now ? Will it be relevant in 5 years ? Am I able to explain the issues surrounding this topic to a researcher ? I currently interact with researchers about this topic I feel very anxious/ anxious/ comfortable/very comfortable about discussing this topic with researchers ? Staff needs are unclear Participatory approach to learning needs assessment is recommended by literature Differentiates short and long term need Strategic priorities could over- ride staff preference – indeed likely to do so in unfamiliar territory How do we find out systematically what the “training gap” is? (Bresnahan and Johnson, 2013)



16 RDMRose: Design approach to learning materials Participatory design process Learning needs assessment (published on RDMRose web site) Process based or emergent curriculum Trialled with 40+ library staff at Leeds, Sheffield and York Literature and existing curricula List of potential library roles Focus groups with library staff List of topics / required competencies Feedback from training sessions with library staff Revised list of topics

17 Topics and their importance Current knowledge session 1 Current knowledge session 8 Change in current knowledge (8-1) Importance of topic session 1 Importance of topic session 8 Change in importance of topic (8-1) 1) The basics of Research Data Management 0.0 2) The potential LIS roles in RDM 3) Exemplars of LIS roles in RDM from other institutions 5) DCC curation lifecycle model 7) DCC web site structure, contents and tools 8) How research is important to HEIs and how it is governed 9) The social organisation of academic research: disciplines, specialities, interdisciplinarity 10) Perspectives of researchers, from the inside 14) How to check compliance to funders’ data policy Rate your current level of knowledge/experience 0= none 4= expert 0=not important 4= very important

18 Topics and their importance Current knowledge session 1 Current knowledge session 8 Change in current knowledge (8-1) Importance of topic session 1 Importance of topic session 8 Change in importance of topic (8-1) 15) Institutional policies on RDM, including the local policy 17) How to persuade a researcher that data management is important 20) Understanding of the perspective of the Research office on RDM 22) Knowledge of who is who in library/research office/computing service 23) Key messages about data management best practice for researchers 26) Sources for reusable data you might want to promote to researchers 28) Understanding of data analysis and ability to advise on this 0.0 29) Understanding of how data might be cited in publications

19 Rank by current activity Rank by top future priority Open access and policy11 Copyright28 Data citation37 Awareness of reusable sources45 External data sources511 Early career awareness63 = PGR training73 = Advisory service82 Licensing914 RDM plan advice1011 Web portal119 Data repository125 Metadata1310 Audit RDM1413 Data analysis1517 PGT training1615 Data impact1715 UG training18 83 (c 50%) UK HEIs responded to our survey conducted in November 2012 [paper available from JOLIS OnlineFirst doi:10.1177/0961000613492542 or from WRRO ]

20 Q4 What attitudes and mindsets are needed? Garritano and Carlson (2009) mention: – Courage – Risk taking – Collaborative skills DigiCurv digital curation curriculum framework – Integrity – Communication and advocacy skills – Responsiveness to change

21 Q4 How do we build culture change into the training programme? 3 minutes End

22 Q5a How will you make the training engaging? Some of the challenging learning outcomes: – To explain what data is, given its variety and obscurity – To explain the data lifecycle – To have empathy with the time-pressured, passionately committed researcher – To talk persuasively about the value of open data, given legal, privacy, commercial issues

23 Approaches that have been taken Data interviews / data curation profiles Analysis of edited audio interviews 23+1 things Active learning Inquiry based and problem based learning Discussion Reflection

24 Q5b How do you ensure staff engage? Embed RDM support in organisational objectives Think about motivation Link to appraisal and individual development plans… job descriptions Embed RDM training in existing training offering

25 Q6 How should training be delivered? Informal discussions Multi-day workshops One-day workshops One-to-one consultations Online tutorials Panels and presentations Print hand-outs/guides Webinars

26 Q6 How should training be delivered? One-day workshops (74%) Panels and presentations (68%) Print hand-outs/guides (63%) Informal discussions (63%) Online tutorials (47%) One-to-one consultations (42%) Webinars (32%) Multi-day workshops (26%) (Bresnahan and Johnson, 2013) Likely to vary by RDM preparedness, research intensiveness, size of institution Corrall et al (2013) survey suggests this might be by self- training / learning on the job as much as institutionally supported learning

27 Q7 Should/can the training be designed/ delivered collaboratively? Every institution is different, but could you work with local institutions to develop a programme together? – Is building a cross organisational network a key outcome? Are there opportunities for partnering with a local learning provider/ information school?

28 Q8 How will the training be evaluated? Quality of the learning materials Satisfaction with the training /attendance Confidence / self-estimated skill (before/after) Direct measurement of knowledge and skills Behaviour and performance Impact

29 Q9 What resources exist I can reuse in training? Online resources – RDMRose and “Wicked ways” – DCC’s RDM for librarians, librarians – Edinburgh’s DIY kit and Mantra, – Open Exeter’s 23 Things (+1) for Research Data Management, UKDA training – other Data Services Sheffield Information School is working with a northern consortium of universities on a bespoke set of workshops and also UKeIG short course in September

30 The URL… An Open Educational Resource on RDM tailored for information professionals

31 Learning approach Open ended context demands exploration of issues, with individual professional reflecting on how issues relate to their own role and how the library organisation might change More than about lists of competencies/knowledge, also about identity – so strong element of reflection Need to understand perspective of researchers Need to understand perspective of other professional services: especially research office, computing service, archives and records managers Not for specialist digital curators or data analysts

32 Module overview 1.Introductions, RDM, and the role of LIS 2.The nature of research and the need for RDM 3.The DCC curation lifecycle model 4.Key institutions and projects in RDM 5.What is data? 6.Managing data 7.Case studies: research projects 8.Case study: Institutional context, and conclusions Eight sessions Each equivalent to about half a day of study Consist of introduction, slides, activity sheets, resources

33 The learning materials Desire for practical hands on experience needs to be balanced by a grasp of strategic issues Problem Based Learning (PBL) Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) Eight sessions equivalent to about 4 hours of study each Slides Readings Learning activity ideas Audio files of interviews with researchers A fictional case study

34 How can you use the learning materials? Gain a systematic grounding in RDM, through self-directed CPD Undertake targeted learning about an RDM topic that is key for your role Reuse material or ideas for teaching your library colleagues and others Come to Sheffield to take RDM as a module on one of our Masters courses

35 Wicked ways project Exploring RDM as a “wicked problem” through two workshops with professionals from a number of institutions – Leadership skills for wicked problems – Problem mapping – Scenario planning OER to be released shortly wickedways

36 Information School / RLUK collaboration

37 Self-study sources Corti et al. (2014) Managing and sharing research data: A guide to good practice. London: SAGE. Pryor, G. (2012). Managing Research Data. London: Facet. Pryor, G., Jones, S. and Whyte, A. (2014). Delivering research data management services. London: Facet. DCC web site Jones, Pryor and White (2013) explains the issues in setting up RDM service, JISC Managing Research Data programme of research, International Journal of Digital Curation,

38 Training needs assessment 1.Train or recruit? 2.Who should be trained? 3.What subject areas should they be trained in? 4.What attitudes and mindsets are needed? What’s the training gap? 5.How will you make the training engaging? How do you ensure that staff engage? 6.In what format should the training be delivered? 7.Should/can it be developed/ delivered collaboratively? 8.How do we measure effectiveness of the training? 9.What resources already exist for reuse? Who does the training? When should it be carried out (for different groups)? How do we make learning materials reusable?

39 Research data Management: Training Needs Assessment Type of data service, eg advisory or repository Today 3 years time Workforce New systems Collaborative Outsourced Required skills, mindsets Current skills, mindsets Training gap Training: Who? When? How? By whom? Evaluation 5 years time Motivation Recruitment

40 References Bresnahan and Johnson (2013) Assessing scholarly communication and research data training needs, Reference Services Review, 41 (3) 413-433 Corrall S, Kennan MA and Afzal W (2013) Bibliometrics and research data management: Emerging trends in library research support services, Library Trends, 61 (3) 636-674. Cox AM, Verbaan E and Sen B (2012) Upskilling liaison librarians for research data management. Ariadne 70. Available at: (accessed 30 April 2014). Cox AM and Pinfield S (2014) Research data management and libraries: Current activities and future priorities, Journal of Library and Information Science, doi: 10.1177/0961000613492542.

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