RDAP’s Response to the Federal Data Strategy – by Amy Koshoffer

In this post RDAP Treasurer Amy Koshoffer, who facilitated the association’s response to the Federal Data Strategy request for comment,  presents the RDAP response submitted in July of 2018.

The Federal Data Strategy will shape how the government manages, provides access to, and preserves federal data.  As information and data professionals, our community is uniquely qualified both to provide guidance on data quality, access, and preservation of federal data and to highlight considerations for a successful long term strategy.  In early July 2018, the RDAP Executive Board invited community members to attend two town hall meetings and virtually author an RDAP collective response to the Federal Data Strategy. As RDAP is in its formative stages, the board felt that it was important to respond to the call from the Federal Government under the name of RDAP to reflect the steps we are taking to grow and become an independent association of information and data professionals defined by a common set of values.  The process is still ongoing, and we suggest that members consider responding to follow-up calls for feedback on the practices currently proposed.  The result of the RDAP community’s efforts so far follows: Continue reading “RDAP’s Response to the Federal Data Strategy – by Amy Koshoffer”

RDAP Webinar: Where the Data Repo Meets

The RDAP Education and Resources team is excited to announce the first in a series of webinars, each of which will allow members of the research data community to present their local approach to a particular topic. The first webinar will be “Where the Data Repo Meets the Road: Data Service Models in Practice“on November 8th, 2018 from 1 – 2:30 pm (ETD).

The webinar includes librarians from Carnegie Mellon University, Emory University, and the Data Curation Network in a panel presentation and discussion of evolving service models that extend local RDM expertise through complementary collaborative, hosted, and third-party services. Continue reading “RDAP Webinar: Where the Data Repo Meets”

What is the RDAP Association?

RDAP (Research Data Access & Preservation) began as an American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) sponsored summit in Phoenix, Arizona in April of 2010 with a total of 75 initial attendees. That inaugural summit aimed “to bring together leaders in data centers, laboratories, and libraries…to share ideas and techniques for managing, preserving, and sharing large-scale research data repositories with an eye toward achieving infrastructure-independent access and stewardship”.1

The RDAP summit quickly saw a proliferation of topics, especially following the White House OSTP memo of 2013, requiring accessibility to federally funded research. RDAP continued branching out to include data curation, discovery, and citation and altmetrics. In 2014, RDAP offered workshops for the first time in conjunction with the summit, focusing on capacity building and instruction.

In the years since then, RDAP has grown into a thriving, active community of data practitioners who work in many disciplines and types of environments. With the growth of the community, discussions regarding the future of the organization began. In mid-2018, RDAP became the RDAP Association, an independent, not for profit, professional association aimed advancing best practices in research data and providing professional development opportunities to our community.

The RDAP Association brings together a variety of individuals, including data managers and curators, librarians, researchers, educators, students, technologists, and data scientists from academic institutions, data centers, funding agencies, and industry who represent a wide range of disciplines from the health and life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Annually, the RDAP Association will continue to hold Summits for data practitioners to learn about common solutions to issues surrounding research data management, with opportunities to expand professional networks and acquire practical knowledge and skills that can be applied to their own work and projects. Continue reading “What is the RDAP Association?”

A “Newbie” Experience at the RDAP18 – Something for Everyone

At RDAP all are welcome, and we truly mean it!

In her article “A Newbie at the RDAP Summit, or How I Learned that the RDAP Summit is for Everyone” published  in The Journal of eScience Librarianship,  Oakland University Research Data Librarian Joanna Thielen shares her experience as a first time, ‘newbie’ from a mid to small size institution attendee at RDAP18. Moving quickly from “initial hesitation” to engaged enthusiasm, Joanna explains the benefits of the summit structure, topics, and the overall inclusive and collegial atmosphere which encourages collaboration and information sharing. She describes RDAP as a serious, yet welcoming conference regardless of who you are, what your position is, or where you come from.

“I encourage any librarian with even an inkling of interest in research data management, access, or preservation to attend.” – Joanna Thielen

She also notes that RDAP is not just for librarians and that the diverse community of  “people working in government libraries, cultural heritage institutions, industry, data science, and funding agencies” really makes RDAP an impactful and unique experience for all.

Thanks for sharing your experience Joanna. Indeed we would have to agree with you, that there is something for everyone at RDAP!

Meet our sponsors: NNLM, New England Region: Karen

The Annual RDAP Summit wouldn’t be possible without our generous sponsors. This year we’ve asked each organization sponsoring at the contributor level or higher to introduce one (or two) of their staff members to the RDAP Community through a short interview.  Take a moment to get to know some of the faces you’ll see at this year’s summit.

Today’s interviewee is Karen Coghlan, Education & Outreach Coordinator at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region.

photo of Karen
Karen Coghlan, Education and Outreach Coordinator at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region

Q: Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Karen Coghlan and I am the brand new Education & Outreach Coordinator at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region hosted at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.  I serve as the Liaison to NNLM Web Services Technology Center, Research Data Management Team, and Access to Biomedical information programs.

Q: Have you ever attended an RDAP Summit before?

This is my first RDAP summit and I am looking forward to the opportunity.

Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Summit?

I am looking forward to attending the summit and learning about key development of research data management issues.  The seminar titled “Defining the Role of the Library in Research Data Management within an Institution” looks very intriguing.  I hope to use what I learn to better assist patrons of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.  Also as prior IP attorney I am very interested in the “Intersection of Publishing and Data”, to see how issues are evolving.

Q: What data-thing or project has you the most excited right now?

I am very excited about the e-science symposium being hosted at the University of Massachusetts on April 5th, 2018.  The purpose of this event is to initiate and maintain a regional dialogue on e-Science, identify ways libraries can better support networked research, and ways that libraries can deliver relevant and effective research data management services at their institutions. The theme of this year’s Symposium is “Past and Future”.  You can also see work from all previous symposia here: http://escholarship.umassmed.edu/escience_symposium/

Q: What else should the RDAP community should know about you and NNLM?

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) advances the progress of medicine and public health by providing equal access to biomedical information. The NNLM New England Region produces the Journal of eScience Librarianship (JeSLIB), an open access, peer-reviewed journal advancing librarianship related to data-driven research across multiple disciplines.

Meet our Sponsors: Iowa State University: Erin and Curtis

The Annual RDAP Summit wouldn’t be possible without our generous sponsors. This year we’ve asked each organization sponsoring at the contributor level or higher to introduce one (or two) of their staff members to the RDAP Community through a short interview.  Take a moment to get to know some of the faces you’ll see at this year’s summit.

Photo of Erin Thomas, Science and Technology Librarian,
Erin Thomas, Science and Technology Librarian, Iowa State University Library.

Today’s interviewees are Erin Thomas, Science and Technology Librarian, and Curtis Brundy, Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Communication and Collections both of Iowa State University Library.

Q: Who are you and what do you do?

Erin: “I’m a Science and Technology Librarian at Iowa State University. I’m primarily the liaison librarian for our departments of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, but I also teach data management best practices and work closely with our Data Services Librarian.”

Curtis: “I am the Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Communication and Collections at Iowa State University. My scholarly communications role includes coordinating our efforts in the areas of open data, open educational resources, and open access.”

Q: Have you ever attended an RDAP Summit before?

Curtis Brundy, Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Communication and Collections, Iowa State University Library.
Curtis Brundy, Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Communication and Collections, Iowa State University Library.

Erin: “I attended my first RDAP Summit last year and, obviously, felt the experience was valuable enough to return for a second year. The presentations and posters covered topics that left me with a lot of food for thought, and it was a great opportunity to meet other professionals who are interested in some of the same things that I am.”

Curtis: “I have not.”

Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Summit?

Erin: “Looking at the program for this year, I think I’m most looking forward to the presentation on underserved data communities. This is something I’ve been becoming more interested in the more I get involved in data management and data sharing, and I’m excited to see it on the agenda for this year’s Summit.”

Curtis: “I’m excited to meet folks who are working on similar data initiatives. I’ve only been involved with research data since my arrival at ISU last year. So I still have lots to learn and look forward to doing so at the Summit.”

Q: What data-thing or project has you the most excited right now?

Erin: “Ithaka S +R and the American Society of Civil Engineers have partnered with libraries in the US and Canada to investigate the research support needs of scholars in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Iowa State University is one of ten institutions participating in this project and, as one of two ISU librarians involved, I have been busily interviewing researchers at our campus. A significant portion of this research focuses on the data management and sharing practices and needs of researchers in this field. I’m excited to see what our local results will be, as well as those from the other participating institutions, and how those results can inform our services going forward.”

Curtis: “At the moment, I’m most excited about our local data projects here at ISU. The library has partnered with campus IT and the Office for the Vice President for Research on ISU’s first dedicated data repository. Administered by the library, our ISU branded Figshare repository, DataShare, will launch in the coming weeks. In addition, we are working with our IT and OVPR partners to develop additional services and guidelines to encourage and support data sharing.” 

Q: What else should the RDAP community should know about you and Iowa State?

Curtis: The Iowa State University Library is excited to be a sponsor of the RDAP Summit and we look forward to seeing everyone in Chicago!

Meet our Sponsors: Digital Preservation Network: David

The Annual RDAP Summit wouldn’t be possible without our generous sponsors. This year we’ve asked each organization sponsoring at the contributor level or higher to introduce one (or two) of their staff members to the RDAP Community through a short interview.  Take a moment to get to know some of the faces you’ll see at this year’s summit.

Today’s interviewee is David Pcolar, Technical Officer, Digital Preservation Network (DPN).

David Pcolar, Technical Officer, Digital Preservation Network (DPN)
David Pcolar, Technical Officer, Digital Preservation Network (DPN)

Q: Who are you and what do you do?

I’m David Pcolar, Technical Officer, Digital Preservation Network (DPN). I coordinate the work of our preservation storage service providers, resolve member’s technical issues, and explore new workflows, tools, and techniques to improve services supporting DPN’s mission.

DPN is a 40+ membership organization investing in long-term, scalable digital preservation. Our mission is to preserve scholarly content for the next generation of researchers.

We are a dark archive for the academy.

DPN’s technical service is content transportation and tracking logistics, assuring content is viable in multiple preservation environments and providing geographic distribution.

Q: Have you ever attended an RDAP Summit before?

No, this is my first RDAP Summit.

Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Summit?

Meeting attendees and better understanding their needs for data management practices.

Q: What data-thing or project has you the most excited right now?

DPN is rolling out a new service for large content and high-volume members. In a partnership with established service providers, the new service will support very large datasets and other large content streams to be quickly and cost-efficiently preserved.

Q: What else should the RDAP community should know about you and DPN?

DPN is part an organizational effort to develop a code of shared values for digital preservation providers. The working document is available at: http://bit.ly/Preservation_Code_of_Values

Meet our Sponsors: Figshare: Alan

The Annual RDAP Summit wouldn’t be possible without our generous sponsors. This year we’ve asked each organization sponsoring at the contributor level or higher to introduce one (or two) of their staff members to the RDAP Community through a short interview.  Take a moment to get to know some of the faces you’ll see at this year’s summit.

photo of Alan Hyndman
Alan Hyndman, marketing director at Figshare.

Today’s interviewee is Alan Hyndman, marketing director at Figshare.

Q: Who are you and what do you do?

Hello, my name is Alan Hyndman, I’m the marketing director at Figshare and have worked here for 6 years. Figshare is an ‘all in one repository’ for papers, data and non-traditional research outputs, working with institutions, publishers, funders and governments all over the world.

Q: Have you ever attended an RDAP Summit before?

Yes, this will be my third year in a row at RDAP and it is definitely my favorite North American conference to attend. RDAP is a chance to bring everyone in the data librarian community together to share stories, initiatives, pain points and innovative solutions.

Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Summit?

I look forward to hearing about the big challenges for 2018 and beyond. This space is moving so fast that we went from talking about open data to FAIR data in a short amount of time, I’m curious to see what the next big thing will be. I’m also looking forward to hearing about the Figshare project at Carnegie Mellon University on the workshop Friday, they are doing very cool stuff.

Q: What data-thing or project has you the most excited right now?

I love data visualization and the potential it has to make research more accessible and exciting. A great example of this is the Oxford University Interactive Data Network, they use Shiny apps to query datasets on Figshare and plot them in a really cool ways. We loved their work so much that we partnered with them to do data visualization of our State of Open Data survey data and have some other collaborations coming up in 2018.

Q: What else should the RDAP community should know about you and Figshare?

People know us for being a data repository but since we started working with institutions 3 years ago they started asking us if they could migrate their paper repository to Figshare as well. We are of the opinion ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’, sadly in a lot of cases paper repositories are broken, tired, out of date and not fitting for the modern researcher workflow. Several gap analyses later we have started building out traditional IR functionality to complement our existing data repository platform. A good friend of mine at one of my favorite institutions that we work with said to me “We have a paper repository and a separate data repository, but we can’t think of a good reason why”.

For me it makes most sense to have all research outputs living together in the same place, papers, data, code and all non-traditional research outputs. That’s easier for the researcher depositing, easier for the researcher discovering and means fewer systems for the institution to manage.  At the same time APIs and interoperability are really important to us, when a university is happy with their current setup we are happy to throw and catch data wherever we can.

Meet our Sponsors: Springer Nature: Rebecca

The Annual RDAP Summit wouldn’t be possible without our generous sponsors. This year we’ve asked each organization sponsoring at the contributor level or higher to introduce one (or two) of their staff members to the RDAP Community through a short interview.  Take a moment to get to know some of the faces you’ll see at this year’s summit.

Today’s interviewee is Rebecca Grant, Research Data Manager for Springer Nature.

photo of Rebecca Grant.
Rebecca Grant, Research Data Manager at Springer Nature.

Q: Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Rebecca Grant, and I’ve been working as Research Data Manager at Springer Nature since July 2017.

I work in the Open Research Group, and two of the biggest projects I work on are the roll-out of standard research data policies across our journals, and a new service providing hands-on curation assistance to researchers who want to share their data in repositories. I’ll be speaking about both of these projects during the Intersection of Publishing and Data panel on Wednesday 21st.

I’m a qualified archivist and part-time doctoral candidate at University College Dublin, where my research is investigating the connections between archival skills and training and research data management. I also co-chair the Research Data Alliance Interest Group on Archives and Records Professionals for Research Data.

Q: Have you ever attended an RDAP Summit before?

This will be my first RDAP Summit!

Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Summit?

The session Data quality: Curation services, Metadata, and Metrics. I saw Amy Koshoffer speak on this topic at the International Digital Curation Conference 2018, and I think it’s an area that’s both fascinating and important. As an archivist I’ve been trained to create metadata with a focus on context and how records will be interpreted, but we require researchers to describe their own datasets – what is the impact on metadata quality?

If resources and support are channeled into the creation of metadata, we should be able to assess and quantify what constitutes good quality metadata, and why it’s important.

Q: What data-thing or project has you the most excited right now?

I’m a member of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), and I manage the roll-out of standard data policies at Springer Nature journals, so I’m most excited about a new RDA output that’s currently under community review – the Journal and Publisher Research Data Policy Master Framework.

At Springer Nature we started rolling out our standard data policies in 2016, and since then a number of publishers have produced similar standard policies. The RDA output is the product of an Interest Group which included publishers, researchers and other stakeholders, and aimed to create common standards for developing data policies. The resulting framework facilitates the creation of different policy “levels” which are appropriate for different communities and disciplines.

Involving the community is a key aspect of the RDA’s work and the framework is currently open for review and actively soliciting community feedback.

Q: What else should the RDAP community should know about you and Springer Nature?

The RDAP community may not be aware of the breadth of the work we do to support researchers in sharing their data. As well as providing consistent research data support policies, we also advocate for the use of data availability statements (allowing data to be found and reused), and standardised data citations (ensuring researchers get credit for their published data). We have also published a curated list of recommended data repositories to support data archiving in discipline-specific, community-recognised repositories. To help authors and editors to understand all of this, we also provide a Research Data Helpdesk. Finally, we have recently launched a new service to provide hands-on assistance to researchers who want to publish their research data – I’ll be presenting on this, and our data policies, on Wednesday 21st.

Meet our Sponsors: Elsevier: Jean and Anita

The Annual RDAP Summit wouldn’t be possible without our generous sponsors. This year we’ve asked each organization sponsoring at the contributor level or higher to introduce one (or two) of their staff members to the RDAP Community through a short interview.  Take a moment to get to know some of the faces you’ll see at this year’s summit.

photo of Jean Shipman
Jean Shipman, VP for Global Library Relations, Elsevier

Today’s interviewees are Jean Shipman, VP for Global Library Relations and Anita de Waard, VP Research Data Collaborations from Elsevier

Q: Who are you and what do you do?

We are with Elsevier, a science publisher and information analytics company that helps institutions and professionals advance healthcare, open science and improve research performance.

Within Elsevier, we play different roles in two units.

Jean: “I am a conduit of information between Elsevier and librarians around the world. As a retired medical library director, I bring over 37 years of library experience to this position, along with my knowledge from serving as the Medical Library Association president from 2006-2007. I have also engaged with researchers, innovators, and faculty who have data management needs.”

photo of Anita de Waard
Anita de Waard, VP Research Data Collaborations, Elsevier

Anita: “As VP Research Data Collaborations I work for the Research Data Services group which is involved with developing interoperable data management solutions. These include the open data platform Mendeley Data (data.mendeley.com), the online electronic lab notebook Hivebench (Hivebench.com), and the data search engine DataSearch (datasearch.elsevier.com). I focus on enhancing and enabling open science collaborations between academics, researchers, and communities of practice to Elsevier’s content collections, tools and platforms. I also co-founded the multi-stakeholder organization Force11, and am actively involved in the Research Data Alliance, the AGU FAIR Data group, the National Data Service and the Science Gateways conference.”

Q: Have you ever attended an RDAP Summit before?

Jean: “This will be my first RDAP Summit.”

Anita: “I attended my first RDAP Summit last year, and was very impressed.”

Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Summit?

Jean: “Meeting others interested in data management and science.”

Anita: “Of the hundreds of conferences I’ve attended in my career, I have never heard people listen so well to each other. That’s what struck me most about RDAP, and I’m very excited to go back and partake in more listening. I am particularly interested in hearing practical, workfloor experiences of librarians regarding research data management practices. This practice is changing and evolving very rapidly, and at RDAP this evolution comes to the fore.”

Q: What data-thing or project has you the most excited right now?

Jean: “Elsevier has many solutions to address the needs of researchers along the research lifecycle. It is fun to learn how these tools can be applied.”

Anita: “I am thrilled to see how the diversity of contributors to open scholarship and open science is extending organically. Initiatives such as Data Carpentry and Library Carpentry are supporting librarians in joining these development. This is changing how science and scholarship are conducted, communicated, and shared. It is allowing new voices at the table, and new groups to join the discourse.”

Q: What else should the RDAP community know about you and Elsevier?

Jean: “I’m eager to learn of librarians’ needs as they related to research data and researcher partnerships.”

Anita: “We are very committed to serving and improving scholarship, and the data library community is at the forefront. Change is afoot, in many ways, and we believe that we can be a constructive partner in the many new directions data and information science scholars and practitioners are spearheading. We want to hear what we need to do to help make this vision a reality.”