Thank you, IASSIST!

The RDAP Summit will convene in Atlanta, less than a month from now. The program is posted. Registration is still open.

This year, several generous sponsors lent support to our community: libraries, professional organizations, data publishers. Our sponsors share a commitment to the work of data access and preservation. The International Association for Social Sciences Information Services and Technology (IASSIST) is one of them.


IASSIST supports RDAP as a Partner. Partners are the MVPs of the Summit and we raise a glass to them today! Check out how IASSIST can help you:

  • A smorgasbord of hands-on workshops at every IASSIST conference. This year, in Norway! If you’re not going to RDAP, I hope you’re going to Bergen. Learn more.

  • Interest groups. Join a diverse array of professionals on the Data Viz, Open Source, or Geospatial IGs. Jump in.

  • IASSIST Quarterly. In a sea of literature, IQ balances the practical and theoretical and regularly brings on guest editors for fascinating special issues. Read more.

For many of us, a professional organization has value when it exposes us to new ideas and practical skills. It welcomes diversity. It builds community. We come back to RDAP every year because of its focus on the issues and practices of research data professionals. Similarly, IASSIST draws together data and technology professionals in the social sciences: information specialists, methodologists and computing specialists, and researchers. International in focus, they support professionals from countries with emerging economies through the IASSIST Fellow Program. From our perspective, IASSIST is the perfect fit for someone who enjoys the RDAP Summit.

When you’re considering where to invest your professional dollars and time, seriously consider an IASSIST membership. It’s exceptionally affordable and a huge value whether you’re a social scientist or support people in the social sciences. If you’re already an IASSIST member and you’re attending RDAP, don’t be shy — tell us what you love about it!

Thanks again to IASSIST!

Carolyn Bishoff is the sponsorship coordinator for RDAP16. For more information, contact her at 

Getting the word out at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

When you work in a field that’s constantly changing, how do you keep up? Kristin Briney is one of the best people to ask. She has presented at RDAP and literally wrote the book on data management for researchers. She also knows firsthand that making an impact takes energy and patience. Her blog, Data Ab Initio, is an excellent resource for data experts and researchers alike.

Data expert: Kristin Briney (@KristinBriney)

Position and organization: Data Services Librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Your job in ten words or less:

Data management evangelist and research support networker.

What made you want to work with research data?

I used to be a chemist until I decided that my favorite part of research was dealing with my data. Ironically, my data was also one of the most frustrating parts of research. So I got into data management due to this and the fact that I don’t want other researchers to repeat my data mistakes!

What are some highlights of your work? (Projects, successes, small victories)

There are lots of highlights. Seeing grad students’ faces when I tell them a data horror story then teach them the data management skill that will prevent them from living this story themselves. Talking to researchers about their data. Writing about a practical data management skill and seeing my writing adopted and used by other people. Publishing a book on data management.

What has been your biggest challenge (and how are you overcoming it)?

It’s hard to get the word out. Most researchers intrinsically know that they have issues with their data but don’t know that they can get help/where they can get help. Countering this is a slow process of building the support network.

A second problem is infrastructure. It’s hard to recommend places for researchers to deposit data (to comply with funder mandates) when there isn’t always a logical repository for the field.

What is the strangest or funniest thing to happen in your position?

Being the first data services librarian on my campus, there’s always an element of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants. It’s both liberating and exhausting.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from your job?

Never stop learning. I love working in this field because it’s still developing, but it means that I read a lot to stay on top of things!

Care to share a few resources or vendors?

Retraction Watch! It’s a great source of horror stories (so useful for teaching) and has a pulse on the current issues with research & publishing.

Do you have a data management story to tell? Submit it here! Whether you’re one member of a huge team or the only data person in your organization, we want to share your experiences with the RDAP community. 

RDAP 2016 is heading to Atlanta!


The 2016 Research Data Access and Preservation Summit will be held May 4-6Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center, Atlanta, GA.

Please mark your calendars and keep an eye out for more information over the coming months. Call for proposals will go out in late October/early November 2015.

For the latest RDAP news:

Questions? Contact the RDAP16 program chairs! Lisa Zilinski at and Kate Dillon at

Hope to see you in Atlanta!

Atlanta @ night” by Terence S. Jones is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.