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  • May 19, 2023 11:36 AM | Elena Azadbakht

    Greetings, my name is Talisha, and I am an MLIS student at San Jose State University and a Library Public Services Assistant of 11 years at an academic library located in Central Florida.  A few years ago, I started learning about data science and data librarianship. While I was conducting my own research on these topics, I learned about RDAP, so when the organization announced their annual RDAP Summit, I wanted to attend. 

    As someone who is new to RDAP, I signed up for the RDAP Summit Buddy Program and was paired with a great mentor. We spoke via Zoom ahead of the summit and had a great discussion on various aspects of librarianship and we are going to continue to stay in touch. I recommend new members to sign up for the program when they get a chance. 

    I attended each day of the summit and had the opportunity to attend two of the workshops that occurred on Monday before the summit officially kicked off. The two workshops I attended were “Communication Skills for Data and Information Science Professionals” and “What if It [Didn’t] Happen: Data Management and Avoiding Research Misconduct.” Both were very informative and insightful. I also liked that we were able to break out into smaller groups and interact with other attendees. 

    Throughout the summit, I found myself learning about new things regarding data science and data librarianship. I will say that because I am still a newbie on these topics, there were many times where I was not fully understanding the terminology being discussed, but aside from that, I did enjoy the sessions I attended. It was hard to pick a session because of my curiosity regarding the topics presented, but I did appreciate that for most of the sessions, slides were available for almost each presentation. 

    One of the sessions that I found enjoyable was the “Social: New Members and First-Time Attendees” session. It was helpful in explaining more about RDAP and there was a game portion of the session which was fun! In every session, the presenters did an excellent job of conveying the information that they wanted to share with us. They were very passionate about what they were doing and even answered the many questions that came their way effectively. One speaker that I was inspired by was the opening keynote speaker Dominique David-Chavez-who spoke on “Indigenous Ethics and Data Stewardship: Enhancing Protocol, Policy, and Practice for Our Shared Data Futures” - as she was passionate about her work.

    Overall, I enjoyed the RDAP Summit, and I would like to attend next year. It was an excellent experience and it got me more interested in learning more about data science and data librarianship. I encourage RDAP members to attend. 

  • April 06, 2023 1:45 PM | Elena Azadbakht

    The deadline for both RDAP Executive Board nominations and action committee volunteers this year is April 14, 2023.

    Please consider running for a position on the Executive Board! The Treasurer and President-Elect positions are open this year. You can access the nomination form here.

    RDAP is also looking for volunteers to serve on - and in some cases, chair - one of our several action committees. Indicate your willingness to serve and your preferences by filling out the volunteer form.

    You must be a member of RDAP to run for a position or volunteer on an action committee. You can check your membership status on the RDAP website (under your member profile), or you can join today.

    If you have any questions about the RDAP elections or volunteer recruitment process, please email our current President-Elect, Rachel Woodbrook, at

  • September 13, 2022 5:23 PM | Elena Azadbakht

    The Research and Data Access and Preservation Association applauds the OSTP and the proposals put forward in the 8-25-2022 Office of Science and Technology Policy Nelson Memo to ensure immediate and free access to federally funded research outputs. RDAP has long advocated for free access to research output including data, and this memo is a needed step towards developing national policies that promote this access. The memo leaves out many details on how to accomplish the goals set in the memo, particularly with regard to needed infrastructure and metadata standards to achieve FAIR data. For example, currently there is not a national repository infrastructure to host all of the data generated through federal funding. Research data information professionals at many research institutions can advise on writing data management plans, using institutional repositories or finding other repositories, identifying metadata schema or enriching metadata, and much more. The many members of RDAP stand ready to assist researchers in complying with funder mandates that result from this memo. We hope that the national conversation continues in this direction of this memo toward an open research culture of excellence.

  • 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!

  • May 04, 2022 10:14 AM | Laura Palumbo

    As a statistics student and data fellow at Florida State University, not only is this the first RDAP conference I have ever attended, but RDAP 2022 was my first experience with any data conference. I was eager to learn some new things and expand my horizons as an aspiring statistician. While I am part of the LGBTQ community, it’s not a topic that would have struck me as notable for my professional development and career. I am not used to being addressed within the sphere of data analysis outside of the rare times where another researcher has considered inclusive survey design or times where LGBTQ+ data is the specific topic of a study. So, I was interested in what the theme of “Envisioning an Inclusive Data Future” would look like in practice with my personal goal for RDAP: gathering as many resources as possible to implement at FSU.

    One resource from RDAP 2022 that stuck with me is the book “Queer Data” by Dr. Kevin Guyan. I did expect LGBTQ+ data inclusive data futures — however, I was pleasantly surprised with how extensive this reference was. RDAP 2022 has been the first time I have seen something about LGBTQ+ data beyond a small footnote, and I would like to hope that an inclusive data future includes LGBTQ+ statisticians like myself who can step in and provide context for the data that impacts our lives.

    Another resource that stuck with me was the website Some of the work I do for my data fellowship in FSU Libraries involves work with data visualization and advocating for data literacy. Hence, the fact that Little Sis breaks down complex data and turns it into effective data visualizations for the general public is interesting. Additionally, the data that Little Sis works with deals with information that is relevant to populations that are different from me; namely, they have data visualizations on topics such as corporations that impact immigration rights and racial justice. Hence, I found it to be extremely important for making a more inclusive data future and seems like a way to introduce as many different marginalized groups as possible to data.

    One last resource that stuck out to me was the WAVE browser extension ( in the context of accessibility of academic databases. This was a resource I found interesting from the perspective of someone who is able-bodied but values inclusivity. When thinking about accessibility of resources, it made me think back to the accessibility of FSU Libraries research databases, and how that might be a useful tool for future work on our diversity and inclusion efforts.

    In conclusion, I would like to say that RDAP’s theme of “Envisioning an Inclusive Data Future” was surprisingly refreshing and informative. Not only did the conference provide me with the confidence to think of myself as included as an LGBTQ person in the field of statistics, but it also illuminated ways to include other groups that are also historically under-represented in the field.

  • May 04, 2022 10:08 AM | Laura Palumbo

    Open research data sharing is like a double edge knife. It has a lot of features and benefits of transparency and collaboration. However, it may bring other issues of ownership, license, and other trust challenges. Many scientists are divided over the pros and cons of open research data. I had those thoughts when I decided to come to the RDAP Summit 2022. RDAP Summit 2022 is my first conference that has focused on research data management (RDM). I’m currently in the process of writing my dissertation on open research data in health sciences research. Therefore, an event like RDAP Summit 2022 helps me to understand research data management, open data, and data sharing in various fields. RDAP Summit 2022 presented the dynamics of open research data in various environments. RDAP Summit 2022 was not only about serious discussions, however, but also loaded with some social and games events to make the event more fun and enjoyable.     

    From the very beginning, the RDAP summit 2022 hooked the audience and me with interesting talks and presentations. RDAP Summit 2022 is a single-track summit with some parallel sessions. On day 1, I joined the workshop “Workshop 1: Open Science Data Curation, Preservation, and Access by Libraries.” This workshop guided us on how to use the Internet Archive, which is a very easy-to-use platform for archiving and sharing data.     

    On the second day of RDAP Summit 2022 I found the first session interesting, learning about capacity building and skills needed for data professionals. I appreciated the new member event, where new members can join and have a chance to know RDAP better. This was useful to me since I’m new to the Summit, and I got to know the people behind RDAP, the committee, and other professionals and scholars who have similar interests as mine. We also played some games and quizzes about many things. Even though I was lost, it was super fun!     

    The third day of the summit was packed with even more interesting talks and discussions. The presentation was full of new interesting info and knowledge. The sessions were fruitful for me as I can learn a lot from experienced presenters who were doing a great job sharing that knowledge with the audience. All presentations in the second session Track A (Woodbrook, Wood, Hahn, and Loera) left me with the good impression that data management is also about community. How libraries support communities and individuals whom they served. The poster sessions are also as interesting as finished study presentations. The other sessions on the third day are also about increasing and expanding access to minority and bigger-scope audiences.     

    The fourth day is the last day of the RDAP Summit 2022. It starts with a social event to let participants get to know each other better with light everyday topics. The session was followed by the second poster session. This is where I learned a lot from one of the poster presenters, Andrew McKenna-Fosterone’s presentation of “State of Open Data 2021: Focus on Motivations for Sharing and Credibility of Open Data.” This study helps me with what is going on with open data, which is related to my dissertation study. The last session was the talk discussing the need for data support services.    

    I can’t believe the RDAP Summit 2022 ended so fast. I learned a lot from the presenters. Next time I go to the RDAP Summit, I would like to present as an author of a paper or as a poster sharing my ideas, thoughts, and even publications.  

  • May 02, 2022 4:26 PM | Elena Azadbakht

    I think about my experience with managing scientific data like I have been looking through a camera lens. When I started my degree in information sciences, I wanted to see the data science field with the widest lens possible. My view was far-reaching, encompassing numerous career opportunities, but the details were blurry. A year ago, I started working at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Data Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. I felt like I switched my wide-angle lens to a macro lens. I focused in on tiny details, soaking up the ins and outs of the repository, tools, and atmospheric research. 

    Participating in the RDAP summit has been beneficial to start widening my lens again.  Organizations that were in my periphery have taken clearer shape, exhibiting detailed priorities and technical expertise. The summit’s theme, “Envisioning an Inclusive Data Future,” was conveyed in many of the speeches and posters presented. I believe what connects research data professionals across academic and other environments is the desire to create a comfortable and inviting space for data storers and data finders.  The summit has inspired me to widen my definition of these groups to encompass individuals from varying backgrounds and with different needs. Therefore, I intend to seek out opportunities for the ARM Data Center to reach more data users.    

    I am very grateful for this opportunity to attend the RDAP Summit and participate in the RDAP professional society. I am looking forward to continuing to open my eyes to the industry, fine-tune my career, and become more active in the research data community.

  • May 02, 2022 4:24 PM | Elena Azadbakht

    My name is Josiline Chigwada, the Deputy Librarian at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) in Zimbabwe. It has been an honour to receive a scholarship to attend the RDAP summit in 2022. This was my first time to attend the RDAP summit and I am grateful to the sponsors who made this a reality and the conference organisers. 

    I have learnt a lot during the 2022 summit but of note is the issue of responsible and inclusive data ethics. Our library assists researchers with research data management services and as an author myself I also archive my research data in various data repositories as well as use the data for research purposes. I learnt that it is important to make data analytics ethical since there are bad ways of presenting graphs and charts when doing data visualisation; for example, the use of colour to represent ethnicities in communities. As a researcher, people should be wary of expressing racial discrimination during the process. 

    A topic that I had never thought of before was the extraction of data from graphs digitally. Previously, I thought graphs can only be done after analysing the data. As a result, the software tools that were created to automate the steps in the data extraction process can be very useful to accomplish such tasks. 

    The topic on embedded librarianship thrilled me where the presenter indicated the need to enroll in an undergraduate course of a school or faculty that a subject librarian is serving. This would help in bringing more knowledge and skills in assisting the students within that school/faculty. This quote was very useful to me: “For university data librarians, informally embedding in undergraduate coursework can help us understand our communities and be more effective librarians.” This shows that as librarians, we should have the knowledge of the subjects covered in faculties/schools that we serve. This was an inspiration and we will consider that in our institution through encouraging our subject librarians to enroll in courses within their schools to be specialists.

    The conference theme, from my own understanding and experience, speaks more about open data whereby researchers are able to access all data facets without restriction.

  • April 19, 2022 11:51 AM | Laura Palumbo

    The Research Data Access and Preservation Association (RDAP) and the Journal of eScience Librarianship (JeSLIB), pleased to continue their partnership for a fifth year, announce the forthcoming Special Issue published by JeSLIB for the 2022 RDAP Summit. See the official Call for Proposals for more information and to access the submission link.

    The 2022 Special Issue will focus on the Summit’s theme, Envisioning an Inclusive Data Future. In order to promote diversity and inclusion, we encourage submissions from presenters who focus on DEI-related topics or identify as a member of an underrepresented group. You can submit your work in a range of formats, from full-length papers to commentaries to video articles. All full-length and e-Science in Action papers are subject to double-blind peer review, while commentaries will be read and reviewed by the guest editors and editor-in-chief.

    Manuscript submissions are due June 3, 2022 for publication in the November 2022 special issue. Mentorship is available to support submissions. Please reach out to the guest editors at publications@rdapassociation.orgwith questions or if you would like to be paired with a mentor.

  • April 11, 2022 11:49 AM | Elena Azadbakht

    Attending my first RDAP Summit was an incredibly informative and valuable experience.

    As the Data Associate at Global TIES for Children, an international center dedicated to improving the lives of refugees and other children in crisis areas of the world at New York University, I work directly on managing, processing, and curating quantitative research data. On a day-to-day level, it is very easy to get lost in the technical aspects and not necessarily consider wider issues. The Summit exposed this gap to me, and I feel like I walked out with a whole new vocabulary, new resources, and the beginnings of a bibliography that will inform and strengthen my practice to make sure our published datasets are as inclusive as possible.

    Several talks and presentations stick out in my mind. Sara Mannheimer’s presentation on collaborating with the Center for American Indian and Rural Health Equity (CAIRHE) was a great example on how to responsibly store and set access procedures that respect data sovereignty. I felt that Subhanya Sivajothy’s talk about using counter-knowledges and crowdsourcing to create empowering data visualizations highlighted important lessons when choosing conceptual structures and controlled vocabularies in metadata. Finally, both Berenice Vejvoda and Negeen Aghassibake’s presentations concretely showed ways to mitigate the dangers and potential harm caused by data collection and publication. From these and other talks, presentations, posters, and workshops, I took away how important it is to incorporate the subjects' agency when creating and curating datasets. By making the metadata and documentation plural, we as data collectors, owners, publishers, and researchers can both protect and empower the subjects of the data.

    At the end of the Summit, I couldn’t help but to be excited about joining such a dynamic and thoughtful organization. RDAP opened my eyes to critical data theory and I can't wait to see what I learn and how I grow from RDAP in the future.


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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