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  • April 24, 2024 11:20 AM | Jennifer Chaput (Administrator)

    My name is Casey Mckenna. I am a graduate student with Syracuse University’s iSchool, pursuing my MLIS. I take my courses online and am anticipating a graduation date of June, 2025. I was granted an opportunity to attend the RDAP conference, due to the generosity of the scholarship committee, donors and sponsors. I could not be more grateful that I, along with my fellow recipients, were offered this experience. The week began when my Summit Buddy, Erin Foster, a Research Data Management Lead at the University of California, Berkeley reached out to me. We shared bits about our backgrounds, experiences and our draw to RDAP. A few days later, we met over Zoom. With Erin on the West Coast, and me on the East Coast, I was reminded of how wonderful it is that we live in a world where we can connect with bright minds, regardless of location.

    Having the opportunity to connect with a mentor within the community was important to me, as I am going through a bit of a career pivot, and have been hoping to connect with someone who was interested in having some conversations about their own experience. I have been both a mentee and mentor over the past eight years in particular, and truly enjoy the partnership that mentoring can bring. The committee did an excellent job of providing the schedule in advance, in order to give attendees the opportunity to plan which sessions they’d like to attend. I felt the presentations offered an array of experiences and projects, from individuals who have been in Research, Data, Access and Preservation roles for the entirety of their careers, to newcomers like me, receiving their MLIS degrees. I appreciated the diversity of the presentations, presenters, attendees and overall RDAP community.

    I opted into two pre-summit courses, one on Python and the other on NIST RDaF Toolkit. Through taking these courses at the start of the summit, I began to tie my newer knowledge of coding languages to concepts I am learning in a new role. I appreciated that this conference allowed me to take what I learned back to real-life situations. As I entered each session, I reminded myself to be mindful of noticing where the conference's theme, ‘Bridging Boundaries: Interoperability in the Data Community,’ came up in each presentation.

    In regards to the platform used for this summit, it was my first time encountering Pheedloop. I noted the incredible ease of use, and accessibility options. It was clear that this platform was thoughtfully designed, to ensure all attendees had the tools they needed for the duration of the conference. Channels had been created to communicate with fellow-first time attendees, giving us an opportunity to reach out to tech support and view recommended journal articles and resources. Upon completion of the summit, I was able to connect with several presenters and attendees, who I hope to both learn from and support moving forward. I’m excited about the year ahead, as a first time member of RDAP.

    I’d like to extend my gratitude to the RDAP Association, the RDAP Sponsorship and Membership Action Committees, Joshua Finnell, Elsevier, Center for Open Science, Cornell University Library, Dryad, Iowa State University Libraries, University of Illinois Libraries and University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries.

  • April 22, 2024 9:14 AM | Jennifer Chaput (Administrator)

    My name is Elaine Kong, a first-year PhD student in Library and Information Science (LIS) at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Computing and Information. Attending the RDAP Summit was an invaluable experience, especially as a first-time attendee. I'm deeply appreciative of the sponsors for funding my scholarship, which made my participation possible and highlights the importance of accessibility in professional development opportunities.

    The 2024 theme, “Bridging Boundaries: Interoperability in the Data Community” resonated with me due to its focus on collaboration and integration within the data community. The keynote address on the development of data metrics was particularly enlightening, emphasizing the evolving practices in data management and evaluation. Understanding the significance of data metrics in responsible data stewardship and their role in assessing the usage of open datasets was fascinating, highlighting the importance of continual improvement in data management practices.

    One presentation that left a lasting impression was “Identifying Patterns of Racial Discrimination through Natural Language Processing”. The innovative approach of analyzing sentences and visualizing similarities across covenants opened my eyes to the potential applications of technology in addressing societal issues. The proposed future work, including implementing a spell checker and enhancing visualization capabilities, holds promise for further exploration into racial discrimination clauses and signatory restrictions.

    The Buddy Program was a highlight of my experience. Learning from an experienced mentor provided valuable insights and guidance for my future career in LIS. The advice and mentorship have already begun shaping my professional journey, and I look forward to applying these lessons moving forward.

    Moreover, the poster sessions provided a wealth of knowledge on various methodologies and practical projects in data services. Specific projects, such as “LIbrary Data Services (LIDS) dataset: A Golden Gate(way) to Collaboration” and “Data Bloom: Bridging Communities through Data Workshops”, showcased innovative approaches to data services in libraries. These projects stood out to me for their ability to bridge communities and foster collaboration through data-driven initiatives.

    In addition, the social events for new members and first-time attendees, such as the social kickstart and game night, provided excellent networking opportunities and fostered a sense of community among participants.

    In conclusion, the RDAP Summit was a transformative experience that equipped me with valuable skills, insights, and connections that will undoubtedly benefit my career in LIS. I'm grateful for the opportunity to attend and eager to continue applying what I've learned in my academic and professional endeavors, furthering my contributions to the field of LIS.

  • April 18, 2024 9:33 AM | Jennifer Chaput (Administrator)

    I am Mahmoud Barakat, MA in Cultural Heritage Studies at Central European University in Vienna, Austria. I have an engineering background, however, I became more interested in the data management field after doing an internship in archive and record management, where I was exposed to many data management aspects in archives and records management. I plan to do a PhD in the data and network science field.

    At the RDAP summit, I learned many things that gave me more insightful visions into this field, however, the most important is how to develop data management skills. Also, I learned about R programming language and got some materials I am already learning to develop my skills in this language. I enjoyed both the presented topics and the connection with others, where most of them professionals and similar-interest fellows. I could connect a lot and get to know others in social events. The summit is well-organized, topics are selected well, and understandable for someone not fully professional. The session 3B: Supporting Cross-Disciplinary Communities with Lifecycle Data Infrastructure, which I did not think about it before. It gave details and information about institutions and organizations. Moreover, the presenters explained the obstacles that research communities face in their FAIR data, the collaboration challenges of cross-community activities, and how inventions in product development can enable communities to normalize FAIR data practices.

    The conference’s theme presents a very important angle in the data science field. I believe it is important to build and create channels to ensure access to data targeting communities as a core of such an approach, and the theme emphasizes that. Moreover, it is important to learn from experience and build on learned lessons in order to develop, so, it is a well-designed theme. In my opinion, there is no specification of what kind/s of communities, where data usage, accessibility and management differ by the community activities and scope of work.

    I was impressed by the different approaches to using and managing data by the presenting institutions and originations. More interestingly, I noticed the difference in these ways between the US and EU institutions, I am more familiar with the latter where I live. In this summit RDAP 2024, I learned and benefited from many aspects, approaches and perspectives on many topics, to mention some (Research data in scholarly communication, Approaches to the curation of simulation data, Audio-visual data curation, FAIR, Enabling connection throughout the data ecosystem, Incorporating web archiving into software curation workflows) which will help me in my endeavors as I plan to do PhD studies in network and geospatial topic, where I need data management skills and knowledge.

  • April 16, 2024 9:17 AM | Jennifer Chaput (Administrator)

    I am Kelley Klor, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, a recent MLIS graduate from the University of Missouri, and a soon-to-be Ph.D. student at the University of Alabama. My interest in the RDAP conference was born out of the interest in ensuring best practices for data accessibility and, ultimately, data sovereignty. As a member of a Native American tribe and an early career archival professional, I am especially interested in Indigenous data sovereignty because of the historical erasure of Indigenous people, and the importance of data gathering and use in Indigenous communities.

    I enjoyed the content of the Community-centered initiatives session. Specifically, I found the lightning talk, “The ‘I’ in FAIR: Developing a Variable Standards Finder for Researchers” by Heather Barnes and Sabrina McCutchan insightful. Similar to Barnes and McCutchan’s data needs of the HEAL project, Indigenous data must be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR). However, in many Indigenous communities, data needs simply aren’t met because the community has little control over their own information. One example of data important to Indigenous communities is the data about boarding schools, which is often scattered among various repositories and inaccessible. Learning about variable standards in this presentation was thought-provoking because such standards could be extremely useful when they are culturally appropriate and applied to Indigenous data.

    Beyond the sessions, I thought this conference was well-planned and offered great opportunities to network and forge meaningful connections. I enjoyed the conversations I had with my conference buddy, Danica, and our mentor, Nina. I also enjoyed the intentional social time, such as playing virtual Scattergories, which was a first for me.

    I found the time spent attending the conference was valuable, and although I missed a few sessions that I wanted to attend due to work, I am excited to watch the recordings and continue learning more. Thank you for this opportunity and wonderful experience!

  • April 12, 2024 1:12 PM | Jennifer Chaput (Administrator)

    Up until March 31st, I worked as a research associate with the World Data System International Technology Office (WDS-ITO). The WDS is a community of data repositories and affiliated organizations who have a shared interest in ensuring high quality data and processes that feed into and enable first class research. The goal of the ITO is to support the capabilities, impact, and sustainability of our member repositories and research infrastructure on the whole through the building of trustworthy and enduring global research data infrastructure for the public good.

    I was fortunate to attend the RDAP 2024 Summit as both a participant for all sessions and as a speaker for Session 4A. My work within the ITO focused on supporting the Research Data Alliance Global Open Research Commons International Model Working Group (RDA GORC IM WG), whose outputs of an international commons model I co-created and presented on at RDAP2024. Participating in RDAP2024 helped shed light on where research infrastructures big and small are encountering roadblocks to research data management and interoperability, which is extremely helpful for identifying where to focus building the model and developing implementations that address what infrastructure providers, data librarians, and research support staff are experiencing on the ground.

    Although I won’t be working with the WDS-ITO anymore, I will continue to work with RDA groups and specifically the GORC IM WG in my new role at the Digital Research Alliance of Canada. My experience at RDAP2024 helped prepare me for the types of technical and procedural issues that are at play for supporting research in our changing environment. One area that continues to surprise me is how to deal with sensitive and restricted data such that it complies with all legal and ethical frameworks but is still of use to the research community, and in particular is FAIR. It was surprising to learn that encryption and deidentification of data don’t fulfill the same requirements for sensitive data - you can’t just do one or the other! Data needs to be deidentified before being encrypted to be compliant with our legal frameworks.

    It was incredible to hear all of the different projects and experiences from folks in so many different positions. I was especially blown away by Abigail Goben in Session 7B who relayed her experience and tips on data services strategic planning and the need to work with governance to secure interest and resources. I learned a lot about navigating relatively high-stakes interactions through Abigail’s incredible presentation and thoughtful discussion.

    While I thoroughly enjoyed the summit, I was shocked by how many folks were reinventing the wheel within their institutions. I am privileged to have worked in an internationally-focused organization and exposed to the plethora of resources from the global community on all-things-data, such as RDA outputs. I would love to see folks from RDAP participate directly in the international community, or at least consider using some of the work that’s already been done to save time and effort.

  • April 10, 2024 8:49 AM | Jennifer Chaput (Administrator)

    The organization, curation, and preservation of research data are vital issues in research activities today, and they are also the fields that I am centering on during my research journey. The RDAP24 summit was an excellent platform for professionals and researchers from all over the world, across various positions and institutions, who share interests in this field, to meet and exchange their stories, findings, and ideas. Such exchanges of information and knowledge are sure to be very helpful to many people at this conference, including me.

    I found many impressive presentations and sessions at this summit. From Iratxe Puebla’s keynote speech about the Data Citation Corpus project, I was introduced to the concept of a corpus. It represents the first research infrastructure to support the efforts of Make Data Count, and I believe it points out a promising direction to identify and track data usage. I am also considering using this corpus for my investigations in the future.In the lightning talk titled “Interoperability between Specialized Data Repositories,” Brendan Honick and Mariah Kenney introduced the NIH BRAIN Initiative Consortium, where data can flow through multiple specialized data repositories. Their efforts are highly referable for building similar infrastructures in many other fields, such as social science.

    During the panel 'Supporting Cross-Disciplinary Communities with Lifecycle Data Infrastructure', representatives from critical stakeholder groups in research data management came together. They introduced their efforts to provide infrastructures and design policies to overcome the barriers that research communities face in their pursuits of FAIR data. The discussion also covered how breakthroughs in product development can enable communities to normalize FAIR data practices and sharing. Cross-disciplinary research data management and communication present challenges that have captured the attention of both academia and industry. As a doctoral student spending most of my time on campus with other researchers, I primarily hear about these topics from researchers on campus. Therefore, it was incredibly meaningful and helpful for me to encounter stakeholders from institutions other than universities and listen to their experiences and insights. What I learned from their sharing and discussions is very inspiring to me and has given me many thoughts on my current work.

    Last but not least, I want to express my gratitude to the presenters at RDAP for sharing their ideas, and to the Membership Committee for allowing me to participate in this year's conference. Thank you very much for all your contributions and efforts on this wonderful summit. I am looking forward to all the RDAP activities in the remaining year and expecting to make some contributions to this community and the joint efforts on better research data preservation. I can’t wait to attend the 2025 summit.

  • April 08, 2024 11:26 AM | Jennifer Chaput (Administrator)

    Being an early career professional, I am still comparatively new to the world of data services and practices. The RDAP Summit 2024 gave me an amazing opportunity to learn about the said world by enhancing my understanding of the latest trends in interoperability and giving me an introduction to the community.

    As a current Data Management Program Assistant in the University of Illinois-Chicago Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, I have the privilege of collaborating with a diverse range of university researchers in supporting ethical and secure data management and sharing practices. Thus, I was particularly excited to expand the knowledge directly related to my skills. As such, Zixin Nie’s presentation on PIIs has provided a valuable framework to identify privacy risks within the data. I found this presentation very informative as I might have to help researchers catch these risks in my role.

    Additionally, coming from a technical background, I was very inspired by presenters introducing technology solutions to research data problems. For instance, Chreston Miller and LaDale Winling from Virginia Tech gave a very insightful presentation on how NLP technology can be used to identify patterns of racial discrimination in text documents. Furthermore, I was very impressed by Talya Cooper and Vicky Rampin’s project, which addresses a very acute problem and creates an ecosystem to preserve both software and its documentation as key elements of reproducibility. Working on my own code, as well as assisting researchers in the safe deposit of their software, I was always concerned about the systems we currently have in place, so this project makes me very hopeful about new solutions.

    Finally, I think what I most enjoyed about the Summit was the community aspect. I highly appreciated all the questions and comments the participant left as well as the opportunities to network. Despite being held virtually I could feel everyone’s eagerness to learn and share knowledge.

    Overall, the RDAP Summit was a highly inspiring and informative experience. I am very grateful to everyone who made this Summit possible for this wonderful opportunity!

  • April 05, 2024 3:43 PM | Jennifer Chaput (Administrator)

    Reflecting on RDAP Summit 2024: Fostering Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration

    As a current library and information science MA student, attending the RDAP 2024 Summit Conference was a transformative experience. Throughout the conference, I delved into discussions surrounding the intersection of data accessibility, interdisciplinary research, and community-centered approaches. This immersive event not only broadened my perspectives but also provided invaluable insights that I am eager to apply in my academic and professional endeavors.

    One of the standout aspects of the Summit was the emphasis on leveraging others' research, workflows, and insights to inform and enrich my own work. Sessions and presentations showcased diverse applications of research in enhancing data accessibility across interdisciplinary domains. Particularly compelling were discussions on reaching out to various disciplines to facilitate their data management workflows and fostering a deeper understanding of research approaches and purposes across disciplines. This resonated deeply with my research interests, especially in the context of emerging technologies like generative AI and machine learning. Many speakers and sessions resonated with my belief in the transformative power of community engagement in shaping research practices and outcomes. Furthermore, the Summit's theme, "Building on Experience: Centering Communities in Data Creation and Access," underscored the significance of prioritizing inclusivity and collaboration in data stewardship efforts.

    Throughout the conference, I was inspired by the passionate speakers who shared their experiences and insights. Engaging with these speakers and fellow attendees allowed for stimulating discussions and invaluable networking opportunities. The enthusiasm with which my questions were met highlighted the supportive and collaborative ethos of the RDAP community. I enjoyed having the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with like-minded professionals and researchers. The sense of camaraderie and shared purpose fostered an enriching learning environment. Additionally, I was pleasantly surprised by the wealth of practical insights and strategies offered to address real-world challenges in data management and accessibility.

    Looking ahead, I am excited to integrate the knowledge and insights gained from the RDAP Summit into my research and professional practice. I am confident that the connections made and lessons learned will continue to guide my journey as a researcher and member of the RDAP community. The Summit has reinforced my commitment to fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and community-centered approaches in data access and preservation efforts, and I look forward to contributing to these endeavors in meaningful ways.

  • April 03, 2024 9:27 AM | Jennifer Chaput (Administrator)

    As a Visiting Assistant Professor at Emory University, specializing in gender studies and photography, my attendance at the Summit proved to be an enlightening experience, particularly concerning the accessibility, reproducibility, and long-term preservation of data and archives—a crucial aspect of my research in developing a queer photography website. This platform aims to showcase LGBTQI archives and contemporary queer photography images, necessitating an extension of my expertise in data archives and management. One key insight gleaned from the Summit was the significance of archiving research software, a topic previously overlooked in my considerations. The session underscored the pivotal role of software in achieving reproducibility in scholarly work. Discovering tools like Memento Tracer, facilitating the creation of repeatable formats for archiving websites, and OCCAM, ensuring the quality of scholarly software, provided valuable knowledge to integrate into my website development. By incorporating these tools, not only can the preservation of LGBTQI archives and contemporary queer photography be enhanced, but also the reproducibility and integrity of the research process. 

    What stood out most during the Summit was the abundance of resources available for research data management (RDM). As someone relatively new to this field, the discovery of different reports on making research data publicly accessible proved immensely beneficial. Additionally, the Summer RDM Workshops offered practical guidance on integrating RDM into academic practice. The Summit served as a platform to explore diverse perspectives and initiatives in RDM, shedding light on the varying levels of support provided by different institutions. While some institutions boast robust support for regulated research data management, others are still in the developmental stages of their frameworks. Understanding these nuances will shape my approach to data management within my academic and archival projects, ensuring their efficacy and longevity.

  • April 01, 2024 9:12 AM | Jennifer Chaput (Administrator)

    Attending the RDAP Summit 2024 as a recipient of both the RDAP Summit Scholarship and an RDAP membership has been an incredibly enriching personal experience for me. The summit, held online this March, provided a platform for me to grasp the depth of the diverse and powerful world of research data access and preservation.

    One standout aspect of this experience has been my pairing with a mentor, Ali Krzton, who guided me through the entirety of the conference's ecosystem. Initially, navigating the conference schedule and platform, PheedLoop, seemed daunting, but with Ali's assistance through email exchange, I was able to seamlessly explore the various sessions and workshops on offer. Ali has been extremely supportive, kind, and thoughtful in offering her help and insights, and her enthusiasm truly worked wonders. Ali's own lightning talk, 'Enriching IR Metadata via the DOI Registrar,' emphasized the need to curate and improve metadata for better accessibility and visibility.

    Another session that particularly resonated with me was the keynote address by Iratxe Puebla titled 'Responsible Data Stewardship Needs Data Metrics.' The session underscored the significance of data metrics in ensuring responsible data stewardship and highlighted the potential limitations in the exposure of datasets despite having assigned DOIs. 

    Another intriguing session was 'Bridging Data Literacy Boundaries with a Data Management Plan Email Course' by Kaitlin Throgmorton. This innovative approach to data literacy, delivered through asynchronous email modules, emphasized the importance of self-guided learning and leveraging existing tools for enhancing data management skills. It was one of the key takeaway sessions for me. As a frequent email user myself, I am motivated to simplify learning through basic technological tools. While email may seem basic to the current generation, its efficient use can make education accessible, enabling seamless and efficient learning for almost everyone on a global scale.

    Throughout the summit, I took notes, capturing key insights on various topics, including all the new things that I learned about Research Data Framework (RDaF), FAIR data principles, open data policy, data sharing policies, metadata management, and transparent data metrics. Additionally, I gained valuable insights into initiatives such as the Data Citation Corpus, data catalogs, and projects like Make Data Count and DataCite. I also learned why and how research data access and preservation are vital components of scientific progress and integrity, facilitating reproducibility, transparency, and collaboration across disciplines. Accessible data not only supports knowledge advancement and innovation but also informs evidence-based policymaking and fosters public engagement with science. Ethical considerations emphasize the need to protect data while ensuring its availability for scrutiny and future reference, ultimately enhancing the long-term impact and relevance of research efforts.

    I was thoroughly impressed by the remarkable organization demonstrated by the RDAP team throughout the entire summit experience. From receiving timely email updates to navigating the conference schedules seamlessly on the PheedLoop platform, which I tried for the first time ever, every aspect of the ecosystem was impeccably managed and easily accessible. The efficiency and attention to detail displayed by the team made the entire event a smooth and enjoyable experience, and I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.

    Most importantly and overall, my experience at the RDAP Summit 2024 was not only educational but also inspiring. It reaffirmed my commitment to advancing research data access and preservation, equipping me with valuable knowledge and resources to contribute meaningfully to this evolving field. I am greatly looking forward to contributing as an RDAP member in meaningful and productive ways in the upcoming year.

    Nanditha Krishna
    Integrated Masters (M.A) English Language and Literature (2019-2024)
    Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
    Amritapuri, India

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The RDAP community brings together a variety of individuals, including data managers and curators, librarians, archivists, researchers, educators, students, technologists, and data scientists from academic institutions, data centers, funding agencies, and industry who represent a wide range of STEM disciplines, social sciences, and humanities.


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