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  • September 21, 2021 5:47 PM | Elena Azadbakht (Administrator)

    What is you name, job title, institution or company, & how long you have been in your current position?

    Name: Hannah Gunderman (any pronouns)

    Job Title: Data, Gaming, and Popular Culture Librarian

    Institution: Carnegie Mellon University Libraries

    Length in Current Position: A little over 2 years (started in July 2019)

    Twitter: @HannahGunderman 

    What are 3 words that describe you? Hannah Gunderman

    Three words that describe me: Gamer, Introvert, Neurodivergent 

    What motivated you to attend/join/participate in RDAP?

    I wanted to get involved in RDAP because when I first started in my role 2 years ago, I was completely new to data librarianship and was feeling confused about how to start building my network. RDAP was a great way to meet new people and learn about the research happening in this field!

    Do you have any roles in RDAP? If so, what do you do and what do you find motivating about your work with RDAP?

    I do not, but I hope to be more active in an RDAP committee in the future! 

    Please describe your path to your current position/profession.

    I am a cultural geographer by training (specializing in popular culture), and have always had an interest in exploring unique forms of data such as images, text, and video - all data that is super common in cultural geography research! I decided to pivot my career towards data librarianship so I could help other researchers navigate the world of data, and pursued a postdoc at the University of Tennessee with the DataONE team working on data management research and resources. I was then hired as a Research Data Management Consultant at Carnegie Mellon University Libraries, and after a few months I explored teaching data management concepts through a pop culture lens. Several months later, we transitioned my role to the Data, Gaming, and Popular Culture Librarian in recognition of my niche skills in data management support and popular culture research background. 

    What is a current project you’re working on that you’re excited about?

    I’m currently working on my YouTube-based webseries called Pixel Datascapes, where I explore the data management lessons we can learn through video games! Each episode features a different video game, including Pokémon, Untitled Goose Game, GRIS, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. New episodes will continue to come out during the remainder of 2021! 

  • August 09, 2021 10:33 AM | Laura Palumbo (Administrator)

    What is your name, job title, institution or company, & how long have you been in your current position?

    My name is Chao Cai. I am an Assistant Professor and the Plant Sciences Information Specialist with the Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies. I started this position in August 2018, so it’s been 3 years since I’ve been on this job.

    What are 3 words that describe you? What are 3 words that describe RDAP?

    Me: newbie, learning, passionate

    RDAP: my, professional, home

    Do you have any roles in RDAP? If so, what do you do and what do you find motivating about your work with RDAP?

    I am currently a member of the Conference Planning Committee in RDAP. Along with other members of the Conference Planning Committee, I help to plan and organize the next RDAP Summit. I consider RDAP as “my professional home”, so it is quite rewarding that I have the opportunity to make some contributions to this “home”. Also, being able to work with experienced colleagues from other institutions is really a great learning experience for me, which is another big motivation.

    Please describe your path to your current position/profession.

    I think I have a relatively unique path towards my current position as an information/data professional. I was trained as a plant biologist, and my PhD work was about fern biology. I’m familiar with research data as I have extensive training on bioinformatics and statistical analytics. So, I became one of the co-instructors for a graduate level research data management course, and work with research groups for their data management practices.

    What is one thing about research data that excites you?

    One thing that excites me about research data is the education on best practices of research data management, which is something that I wish I had exposure to when I was a graduate student and postdoc. It is really a fundamental skill that every researcher in training should obtain, but mostly neglected/left out of the graduate curricula.


  • May 21, 2021 5:34 PM | Cameron Cook

    The RDAP Association is pleased to announce the following free webinar on June 3, 3-4 pm EST:

    Using Social Media Research Data Responsibly: Considerations for Librarians and Researchers

    Presenters: Aditya Ranganath and Jordan Wrigley

    What is the role of privacy and consent in social media research data? What are the potential political, institutional, and ethical issues that researchers should consider when developing projects that utilize social media data? Social media-based research has proliferated in recent years, and as researchers increasingly view social media platforms as a source of valuable and easily mined data, this trend is accelerating. However, the norms, policies, and ethical considerations that regulate the use of these data remain confusing and vague. This webinar will overview the current political, legal, and ethical issues surrounding social media based research. It will also discuss practical steps that researchers and those in research support roles can take to minimize the potential risks that arise when using social media data. Such steps include developing plans to safeguard participant privacy and consent, and understanding Terms of Service or User Agreements.

    Register for free in advance for this meeting:

    https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIlcu2rpj0oH9ShMoMzGGe5fdyLLUy6ixXT

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The webinar will also be recorded for those interested in watching it at a later date.


  • May 10, 2021 5:47 PM | Cameron Cook

    Strategies for Writing More Equitable Job Postings: Results from Analyzing Librarian Job Postings

    May 20, 2-3PM EDT (11AM-12PM PDT)

    Presenters: Amy Neeser, Wanda Marsolek and Joanna Thielen

    While diversity, equity, inclusion & accessibility (DEIA) is often centered in much library decision making, the hiring process has seen less focus. Many libraries/institutions have paused or slowed down hiring due to the pandemic. Now is an ideal time to revamp and reconsider longstanding hiring practices. This webinar will discuss results of two research projects that analyzed librarian job postings from a DEIA lens and then the discussion will broaden to the hiring process as a whole. We hope to provide general ideas and give attendees ample opportunity to share their questions, comments and experiences as job seekers, search committee members, and hiring managers. We will be discussing the following questions:

    • What are some DEIA activities/actions that your institution has done for job postings or the hiring process? 
    • How do you think job postings could be more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible? 
    • If you think you might receive pushback about changing how job postings are written or other aspects of the hiring process, how would you address it? Or if you have, how did you address it? 
    Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, the webinar will not be recorded.

    Register for free at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAtfuGqrjsvGNQnu2EHi6tzoyyye4urvDhp

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

  • April 27, 2021 3:51 PM | Cameron Cook

    RDAP Member Highlight: Teresa Schultz

    Portrait of Teresa Schultz

    What is your name, job title, institution or company, & how long have you been in your current position?

    I’m Teresa Schultz, the Social Sciences Librarian at the University of Nevada, Reno, which means I wear a lot of different hats, including helping to oversee our research data management support services. I’ve been in this position since 2018.

    What are 3 words that describe you? What are 3 words that describe RDAP?

    Me: Pragmatic, frank, and intentional
    RDAP: Growing, learning, and fighting

    What motivated you to attend/join/participate in RDAP?

    I was interested in diving more into research data management and had heard others talk about the RDAP Summit and what a great event it was (this was before we became our own org). My first Summit was in 2018 in Chicago, and it was great. I loved the size, the variety. I was also able to make some connections there and decided I wanted to make more by getting involved in committees.

    Do you have any roles in RDAP? If so, what do you do and what do you find motivating about your work with RDAP?

    I am a member of the Membership Committee, which is in its first year. That’s been really exciting because it means we’re coming up with everything! We’ve had some great ideas about how we can make the organization truly meaningful, how we can be inclusive and equitable, and how we can also just have fun, like our welcoming event for new members just before this year’s Summit. I’m also on the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Task Force, which is also new and therefore exciting as well. It’s tough work, but I’m so happy that we’re helping build equity into RDAP early on. 

    What advice do you have for people who are new to library & information/research data management roles?

    Seems like a token answer, but get involved with RDAP! I’ve met people through it who have really helped me learn and grow as a data management professional. I’ve also gotten lots of ideas about learning opportunities and other conferences through the RDAP listserv. And start following these people on social media. A lot of them are pretty active and share their work on places like Twitter. Also, don’t be afraid to check out other professional groups as well that are related, such as ACRL’s Digital Scholarship Section, if you’re able to afford them (cost is definitely an issue). But whichever group you join, try to get involved in some way, even if it’s small. This really helped me form relationships with other data management professionals, and I now have people I can go to for help. 


  • April 27, 2021 3:45 PM | Cameron Cook

    Teaching Carpentries Workshops Online

    By Esther Plomp

    Due to the pandemic the majority of teaching that would normally take place physically now had to be hosted virtually. This shift to online teaching has not been without hurdles. During RDAP 2021, Ben Chiewphasa, the Economics and Librarian at the University of Notre Dame, presented his lessons learned from taking the Data Carpentries workshops online. This blog post presents a short summary of these lessons.

    The Carpentries “teach foundational coding, and data science skills to researchers worldwide.” Carpentries workshops are traditionally held in-person as the general consensus is that learning coding is most effective in a physical classroom setting. A safe learning space is ensured thanks to the code of conduct all the workshop adhere to.


    Ben Chiewphasa was involved as an instructor in two online workshops in 2020, taking place via Zoom (two full days from 9AM to 5PM). During the workshops there was another instructor (PhD student) and one helper present. The online workshops provided space for 12 participants. In an in-person context, the same amount of instructor/helpers could support 20 participants. Ben described the role of the helper as particularly critical in the online setting as they are essential in helping out the participants when they have questions or when they run into problems executing the code. In an online workshop the trouble shooting is generally done in a breakout room and it requires more time and effort compared to a physical workshop. There are several other issues that have to be addressed in the online setting, such as the issue of information overload on the computer screen: Learners need to manage the Zoom window and chat, their own interface and perhaps a third window if any other software or tools are used during the workshop.

    Ben recommended to take more breaks during online workshops. This, together with the trouble shooting taking up more time, means that the amount of materials that can be covered during online workshops is less compared to physical workshop. In an online workshop you really need to think about what the minimum amount of information is needed for the learner to understand the general concepts. Rather than trying to rush through all the materials you should prioritize the skills that are both useful and don’t take a long time to master.

    The carpentry curriculum is generally really jam packed and even in an in person workshop it is rare that instructors actually finish the entire session. In an online session you’ll need to adjust your expectations even further” – Ben Chiewphasa

    Online teaching is possible but it does take a lot more planning, thought, and a willingness to adjust to new tools and approaches! At the Delft University of Technology we experienced similar difficulties in taking the Carpentries workshops online and we still struggle to get the timing right. We have shared our experiences in a blogpost on one of these workshops, the first online Genomics Workshop. As Ben said during his presentation, “Putting together and running these workshops can take a village” and at Delft we are lucky to have a team of Carpentry instructors and helpers present to be able to host these workshops.

    Screenshot from the online Genomics Workshop at TU Delft


    More resources:

    Mapping & Planning a Live Coding Workshop for Digital Delivery (Carpentries)

    Online Workshop Logistics and Screen Layouts (Carpentries)

    Recommendations for Teaching Carpentries Workshops Online

    Bonus Modules for Carpentries Instructors for online workshops


  • April 20, 2021 11:25 AM | Laura Palumbo (Administrator)

    The following post was written by an RDAP 2021 Summit Scholarship recipient. Scholarships were prioritized for those from under-represented groups, first-time RDAP attendees, early career professionals, and current students. Each recipient was asked to write a brief post on their conference experience.

    ------------------

    I am Olusola Ige O. Adetoro, a Postdoctoral researcher and Affiliate Staff at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA.

    This summit, with a conference theme titled Radical Change and Data, expanded my understanding on data practices and its relevance for solving varieties of specific and general fundamental problems in the world.  The focus also explored the potential of multidisciplinary approaches in data practices. The Summit emphasized the reuse of data to solve different problems and at the same time achieve quality results. The session Supporting Responsible Research with Big Social Data by Connecting Communities of Practice, by Sara Mannheimer, where she described Big social data to represent radical ways of securing data attracted more of my attention. Most of the data reused are used to advance discoveries in social science, which also considers present challenges in context, content, privacy, and intellectual property. This session added more value to the opportunity I have as a member and one of the coordinators of a laboratory called Space Applications and Environmental Science Laboratory (SPAEL) in Africa. This laboratory houses the GIS and Remote Sensing Unit, Climate Observatory Unit and the Monitoring of Environment and Security in Africa Hub where earth observation data is archived and made accessible as open-source data for STEM and social science researchers and professional bodies.

    The summit was able to clarify the confusion I had about data practice sustainability. This is an aspect of concern to me as many fields presently engage in data curation and analysis. Many researchers are identifying themselves as Data Research Scientists or Analysts. This is a good idea to collaborate data practices both in the areas of data reuse and availability. However, it is important to strengthen data practice sustainability, which was clearly discussed during the summit. Another key issue discussed is the need to strengthen the power of multidisciplinary collaboration and partnership. This involves continuous dependence on data clusters that can be accessed not only within an institution or a local community, but globally. Many research institutions and organizations are beginning to enforce the rules on research students to submit all data acquired, captured, or utilized during their study before leaving the university or institution. The data achieved and used during the workshop session provided a bigger picture of the power of data. I am beginning to envisage what the world could become in the near future, with data practices/data archiving/data analysis. Another interesting aspect of the summit for me was the new approach to teaching of data management. We are presently in an era of high influx of people on online teaching modes basically caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic and this has increased the need for new teaching methods, one of which is storytelling. I was really impressed by the crowd sourced activities and this has enlightened and imparted me with another teaching method for data management.

    Finally, my overall experience during the summit was productive and propelled a greater desire to improve my data practice skills.

  • April 13, 2021 8:35 PM | Cameron Cook

    The following post was written by an RDAP 2021 Summit Scholarship recipient. Scholarships were prioritized for those from under-represented groups, first-time RDAP attendees, early career professionals, and current students. Each recipient was asked to write a brief post on their conference experience.

    ------------------

    Where does the time go? Has it really been a month since the conference? My name is Jennifer Latessa. I am in pursuit of my Regional Development Planning Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati, I serve the University of Cincinnati Libraries as a Data & Geographic Information Systems Consultant, and as I reflect on the 2021 RDAP Summit and what I learned, I think about the tools and topics discussed that most impact my current research, work, and daily life. Namely, the ways in which libraries support community engagement through information science, and how data structures and management practices affect future research, interoperability, accessibility, collaboration, security, and social constructs. For me, the “RDAP 2021: Radical Change and Data” program helped to establish an understanding of how information professionals are learning and adapting with data as a means to better socially engineer our collectively built society. I very much enjoyed Dr. Tonia Sutherland's keynote presentation and had not thought much about negotiating life after death data strategies to promote positive societal change, where progress is founded on the notion of capturing and retaining personal respect and well-being. It is an important topic for me professionally, as I look to focus on recommended procedures when developing viable spatial data structures across time and place, and personally, as I witness the decline in my aging parents' health. This discussion, along with others presented at the conference, inspired me to acknowledge that behind every recorded entry there is a story, with unique considerations, and constant (sometimes even radical) evolution. And, what's more, with Margaret Janz's "Using Storytelling for Teaching Data Management" workshop, I acquired familiarity and experience, so I am well equipped and more able to story tell the stories! The RDAP Association's 2021 Summit promoted teaching and applying best data management methods for open, preservable research data, aiming to radically affect present-day results and instill important questions to contemplate for the world to come. It was truly a pleasure to meet, connect, and discover new skills and knowledge from the wisdom shared and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved.


  • April 13, 2021 8:34 PM | Cameron Cook

    The following post was written by an RDAP 2021 Summit Scholarship recipient. Scholarships were prioritized for those from under-represented groups, first-time RDAP attendees, early career professionals, and current students. Each recipient was asked to write a brief post on their conference experience.

    ------------------

    My name is Winny Nekesa Akullo and I work with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority – Uganda as the Head of the Library and Documentation Centre Unit and currently the IASSIST – Africa Regional Secretary. As a research data librarian, I was intrigued about the theme of the summit “Radical Change and Data.” I looked forward to gain knowledge on research data management in the different situations and be able to share with my colleagues. I was therefore glad to participate in the RDAP Summit. First, it was unique for me that there was a “new comers” session that new comers were invited to attend. This session was a groundbreaker for me, because it exposed me to RDAP, the executive committee, and other new comers. I also got to know what the association does and how I can be involved as a member. This was unique for me because it was my first time to attend a first timer session virtually.

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend all the sessions because of the time zone. I was, however, able to attend some of the sessions. I found the following presentations very useful to my current needs: Supporting Responsible Research with Big Social Data by Communities of Practice – this presentation emphasized how big social data represents a radical change especially in ways research is conducted and curated, and therefore, needs to be framed as a form of qualitative data reuse. The Radical Change for RDM in Canada – Stakeholders, Services and Synergies emphasized the need to make data more open and discoverable to the different stakeholders. In addition, the basics of accessible data visualizations during one of the lighting talks, which is very applicable to my work.

    I am grateful for the scholarship which enabled me to attend the RDAP 2021. It was an opportunity for me to gain knowledge about best practices from other researchers and data professionals. Thank you very much!


  • April 13, 2021 8:33 PM | Cameron Cook

    The following post was written by an RDAP 2021 Summit Scholarship recipient. Scholarships were prioritized for those from under-represented groups, first-time RDAP attendees, early career professionals, and current students. Each recipient was asked to write a brief post on their conference experience.

    ------------------

    To me, academic conferences are both exciting and disappointing. They’re exciting because they provide us with so many new ideas and concepts to think and ponder about. But they’re disappointing because after attending a conference you realize how little time you actually have to spend on these exciting new ideas and concepts.

    Dr. Tonia Sutherland’s keynote is the quintessential example of the Summit’s theme “Radical Change and Data” and drove me to think not only about the specifics of her presentation, but to also consider all the tangents associated with her topic (of which there are many). Dr. Sutherland’s presentation is a great example of a new idea or concept that I would love to spend more time thinking about, but it is also representative of a topic that is quite complex and difficult to integrate into existing research data management practices at a university. Along with ideas and concepts around Indigenous data sovereignty, the concept of feminist data practices require a systemic change not just to written policies and procedures, but to the very way researchers think about, collect, use, and share data (and we all know how flexible and adaptable academic researchers can be!!).

    As a librarian at Canada’s largest university -- the University of Toronto -- I would love to see Indigenous, feminist, and racialized data policies put into place. I would also love to see the university promote and drive such changes from the highest levels, rather than leaving it up to individuals to try to push the change from the bottom up. If a university with the prominence and size of the University of Toronto were to promote such changes, there’s a higher probability that other universities and colleges in Canada would follow suit.

    I suppose this is another disappointing aspect of attending conferences. You learn about great ideas and concepts that you’d like to see implemented more widely, but then you realize the massive challenges that exist to even convince people to listen to the idea, let alone implement the idea. Why does doing the right thing always require such a crazy uphill battle? It makes me realize how much resilience and perseverance long-term activists have and how exhausted they must be.

    At the moment, I fear that many universities (in Canada and beyond) simply implement equity, diversity, and inclusive (data) policies and procedures at the lowest level possible in order to satisfy the most minimum of requirements. These policies and procedures are implemented in order to make some people feel less guilty, but they do very little to make people truly feel equitable, diverse, and included.

    While difficult, this uphill battle is worth the effort. Plus, the journey associated with such a battle is just as important (and educational) as the destination. I am looking forward to investigating how I may be able to contribute to these systemic changes by creating or updating policies and procedures in my department. I am grateful to Dr. Sutherland, and other academics and librarians I’ve heard speak previously about these topics, for providing me with the ideas and concepts to pursue in my own organization.

    I would also like to thank the Research Data Access and Preservation organization and sponsors Figshare, Northeastern University Library, Syracuse iSchool, and generous RDAP members for the opportunity to attend the RDAP Summit at no cost.

    By Alicia Cappello MA | MLIS

    Dataverse Preservation & Policy Coordinator

    Scholars Portal | University of Toronto Libraries


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