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 Omolola Adedokun. I am the Collection Development Librarian at the Kenneth Dike Library, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. The Research Data Access and Preservation conference has really motivated me to a higher level of research and data application in my work.
As Collection Development Librarian and a researcher, I work with data more in my research. I gained new knowledge in every session of the conference and my knowledge was also renewed that I have to apply to my work and research. I was firstly impressed by the opening keynote given by Dr. Sonia Sutherland, The Feminist Data Manifest-NO – A declaration of refusal and commitment. This was my first-time hearing of the manifest-NO; it refuses harmful data regimes and commits to new data futures. I learned how balanced the use of data is and could be regulated by these declarations now and in the future if we could all accept and apply them. It cut across and addresses all facets of data use. I have downloaded it and read it over and again!
In the Collaborative Data Projects: No-nonsense, Practical Guide to Implementing Effective Data Practices presentation by Maria Praetzellis, I learned that effective data practices go beyond an individual decision or work. It involves all stakeholders and communication among them. Stakeholders are allowed to participate fully in identifying achievable concrete goals that are practicable in their own and other organizations. It is a pyramid that works to involve stakeholders’ collaboration. It concludes by creating a workable toolkit based on report and recommendations.
The discussion Research as Design-Design as Research: Developing a Researcher-Driven Collaborative Model for Data Services by Kay Bjornen and Cinthya Ippoliti helped me to see the weaknesses in data management. Instead, it could have a positive effect if librarians, helped researchers manage their data not just for a while but throughout the entire project lifecycle. I learned about the various methods that can be used to gather data and how the limitations in these methods affords the opportunity to learn something new and do it better. Managing project results can also be a challenge because of constraints such as file sizes and platforms, making data easily searchable, data organization, unclear documentation on used variables, storage space, time, and security. These are some issues to consider critically. There is a lot of diversity in terms of disciplines and research topics, as well as detailed questions and templates, which makes design questions hard to formulate. There needs to be training for graduate assistants before the projects begin. As a lab partner with subject matter experts, my role includes training or mentorship programs, budget requirements, file sharing and storage, and end of project debriefing. As librarian, I will help more faculty members not just get research materials but also keep track of their data, for storage, sharing, and security until the project period is completed.
There is no doubt that there needs to be radical change in regards to data management. The availability of more resources opens up more of the challenges we need to overcome and this implies that research concerning data is non-stop, with continuous feedback for further improvement. - Omolola Adedokun