My name is Maddie Hare, and I am a Master of Information student at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. I was a first-time attendee of the RDAP Summit; drawn particularly to the important 2022 theme “Envisioning an Inclusive Data Future.” I currently work as a research assistant with a team developing an open-access database for LIS research in Canada. As a student new to data-intensive research, I wanted to learn more about inclusive data practices so that I can develop projects using methods that consider the impact of the decisions we make while doing data work.
I found Workshop 1, which discussed the Center for Open Science’s Open Science Framework and Internet Archive’s mission to provide open, cooperative infrastructure for the research lifecycle, to be enlightening about the ways we are evolving towards open research practices. I was inspired by Dr. Claudia von Vacano’s keynote address on Radical Inclusion for the Future of Data and Computationally Intensive Social Science Research Support. The D-lab professional learning community model employs a transdisciplinary, non-hierarchical, collaborative environment. I reflected on how I can foster a similar environment focused on empowerment, mentorship, and the transgressive power of education in my work as a researcher in Dalhousie's Quantitative Science Studies Lab. Dr. von Vacano’s remarks on it “being okay not to know '' resonated with me deeply; upon beginning my program I had a background in the social sciences, but diving deep into data-intensive research methods was a bit of a learning curve. Through assisting on various projects and with the support of peers, faculty, and visiting postdocs I gained the skills and confidence to formulate data-intensive research projects of my own. The possibilities that peer-to-peer learning possesses and the capacity of groups like D-lab to serve everyone in their network and not just researchers, as Dr. von Vacano noted, should be embraced. The keynote address paired with other themes explored throughout the Summit, such as how innovation is influencing research data accessibility and services, left me more informed and envisioning the inclusive possibilities of open access data.
My overall takeaway from the Summit was that data can and should be used in more inclusive ways. RDAP imparted me with ideas, inspiration, frameworks, and models to apply in my own research. I particularly enjoyed the poster sessions, which allowed me to engage with other scholars on a diverse range of topics. I benefited from learning about how health sciences librarians are uniquely positioned to promote research reproducibility and was given tools on how to do so; this is a field I will be entering in the near future. There is something for everyone at RDAP, and I hope to present research at a future Summit that has been shaped by what I learned this year from scholars across the globe. I would like to sincerely thank the Sponsorship and Membership action committees and other donors for the sponsorship funds to attend the RDAP 2022 Summit.