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Scholarship winners reflect on RDAP22 - Chelsea Barrett

May 17, 2022 5:23 PM | Elena Azadbakht

The 2022 RDAP Summit was a phenomenal and informative experience for me. I was truly honored and surprised to have been chosen as one of the scholarship recipients and sought to learn as much as possible from this event. As a newer librarian who has become immersed in the Research Data Services (RDS) team at my university, I was truly intrigued by the various data-related initiatives that many institutions were implementing, and I fully intend to bring some of these ideas to my team as inspiration for our growing services. I attended nearly every talk I could, so I will speak on the few that touched on areas that affect my role on the RDS team.

I was truly impressed by the UC Berkeley Data Lab, headed by our Keynote speaker Claudia von Vacano. The Data Lab gave graduate students an opportunity to grow professionally in the data space. Students were able to develop programming skills and technical skills, both of which are very important when performing quantitative and even some qualitative research. Providing students with that type of training upon graduation is a fantastic way to prepare students for the job market, which is becoming inundated with a need for those with data-related skills such as these. This is an initiative which is like what our RDS team has tried to implement, but now we have somewhat of a blueprint to follow. What a wonderful talk that was! There was also a talk on the Data Fellows at Florida State University, which had similar threads to this talk. The fellows would be mostly graduate students, though there were also undergraduate fellows, and they would co-teach workshops, man the data ‘Ask Us’ service, perform Love Data Week outreach and then work on those projects throughout the semester. We (our RDS team) are always engaged in thinking about how to engage our students in a data-related capacity, and these two talks had me brimming with ideas!

There was a fascinating talk where researchers were to fill out a questionnaire on what data they wanted to use for research purposes and what potential risks data sharing may have. Then, those researchers would receive tips on how to avoid this. Our RDS team works closely with the Office of Grants and Research at our institution and would benefit highly from a form/questionnaire such as this. I was thinking that this form (or some iteration of this form) could also give the RDS team an idea of the training, workshops, and resources we need to provide to ensure researchers are given an easier avenue to follow proper protocol when doing research.

As the Data Visualization specialist on our RDS team, the one talk that sparked my personal interest was from Negeen Aghassibake who spoke on the "Best Practices to Inclusive Practices." Though I understand the mechanics of data visualization tools, this talk really opened my eyes beyond the technicalities and exposed me to the many ways that data visualization can be inclusive, but also non-inclusive if one is not careful and cognizant about visualization decisions being made. The solutions provided were very helpful, and I intend to incorporate some, if not all, of these practices into my work.

Overall, RDAP Summit 2022 was a success! I was so engaged throughout and was #1 for engagement! I met a lot of wonderful people and am now collaborating on a study with 3 other individuals from institutions I may not have communicated with otherwise. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at this summit, and I cannot wait for the next one!


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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