New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum - Join the Collaboration

New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum

Join the Collaboration

Examples of Pilot Institutions Using NECDMC

Tisch Library, Tufts University

Tisch Library is one of the NECDMC National Library of Medicine (NLM) grant partners and has integrated numerous aspects of its data management services into developing the curriculum.

Since the debut of this instructional tool in Fall 2013, Tisch Library has been active in promoting and teaching best practices in research data management. The beauty of the curriculum is that it is easily adapted to institutional, group or individual needs. In November 2013, Tisch Library introduced the first module, Overview of Research Data Management, through its Savvy Researcher library workshop series. The module was customized to fit Tufts researcher’s needs and as a one-hour presentation. Attendance was good, with several staff from Tufts Research & Grant Administration participating. In Spring 2014 both module 1 and module 2, Data: Types, Stages, and Formats, were offered. Module 2 included using the File Plan and Folder Structuring Activity. This summer module 1 and the Simplified Data Management Plan Activity will be presented during Tisch Library’s Research & Instruction department’s retreat. This will begin the realization of the goal to educate subject/departmental liaison librarians in best practices of research data management.

In January 2014, Tufts Hirsh Health Sciences Library (HHSL) hosted the second instance of module 1, customized for Tufts Boston campus needs. May 2014 saw four presentations at HHSL, two each of modules 1 and 2, with the latter using the File Plan and Folder Structuring activity. Attendance and interest on the Boston campus was excellent and continues to grow.

The latest initiative is with the Tufts Office of Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) where a university-wide best practices in research data management curriculum is being developed. In process is a collaboration between Tufts Technology Services, Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts faculty and Tisch’s Research Data Management Services on a pilot project to identify and purchase an electronic lab notebook (ELN) software. NECDMC module’s 1 and 3 (Metadata) were customized and used as introductions to the pilot project.

These educational initiatives have led to many collaborations and more outreach opportunities for Tisch Library’s Research Data Management Services Group.

Regina Raboin
Research Data Management Services Group Coordinator
Science Research & Instruction Librarian
Research & Instruction
Tisch Library, Tufts University

Hirsh Health Sciences Library, Tufts University

While all of the Tufts libraries are focusing on bringing a standardized data management curriculum to the university, Hirsh Library has had the opportunity to give two special presentations. One was at Maine Medical Center, an affiliated hospital to Tufts Medical Center, and the other was at the World Forum of Biology in Savannah, GA to plant and animal cell biologists. Both presentations were approximately an hour and a half in length and followed the same case-based, interactive learning style.

The NECDMC module one was rearranged and modified to allow for the following structure:

  • ~20 min Intro, sticks & carrots, video, and introducing idea of a DMP
  • ~20 min Group work
  • ~30 min Discussion of group work and issues with best practices
  • ~10 min Final issue, more info & how librarians help
  • ~10 min Questions and evaluation

The group work is based on the Zebrafish case study, the simplified DMP, and reflective questions around one of the 7 issues. Six groups were created, with Group 1 answering questions about question 1 of the DMP and then reflective questions related to Records Management. Group 2 was answering questions to complete part 2 of a DMP and reflective questions relating to the issue of metadata, and so forth. Groups 5 & 6 were connected to the issue of long-term storage/retention. After 20 minutes of answering the questions in small groups, each group presented their findings and then we discussed the issue related to the group and best practices before moving onto the next group. The final issue became Data Stewardship since it was central and common to all of the other issues. The end of the session was spent pointing out some of the myriad ways librarians can assist in data management, directing participants to resources from MANTRA, DataONE and other sites, and answering any lingering questions.

Kathryn Houk (Katie)
Research and Instruction Librarian
Hirsh Health Sciences Library, 610
Tufts University

Oregon State University Libraries

I am currently teaching the first offering of a graduate-level, credit bearing course in research data management. The purpose of the course is to enable students to properly manage research data as a means to foster efficiency, ensure proper stewardship of data, and exceed funder requirements for planning, preservation and sharing. The 2-credit, graded course is open to students of all levels and disciplines. There are no prerequisites for the course, but students should have a good idea of what their M.S./Ph.D. research project will be, if not already be engaged in the work. This course is applied, so students need to understand how to relate the material to their research workflow.

I am drawing upon curricular materials from the NECDMC, DataONE Education Modules, and the MANTRA online course. The foundation for the course combines outcomes-centered course design with active learning techniques. My approach is predicated on the idea that getting the students actively engaged with the content and techniques of data management will be more effective than lecture alone. My hope is that after taking hte course, the students incorporate data management best practices into their daily work flow. Such behavioral change takes self-reflection ("How does this material relate to me?") and practice, both of which I strive to offer during our class meetings. More information about the course and all course materials (as they are developed) can be found here:

Amanda L. Whitmire, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Data Management Specialist Research Data Services Center for Digital Scholarship & Services
Oregon State University Libraries

University of Washington Libraries

I am working with Librarians Mahria Lebow and Joanne Rich to teach a seven-week course in research data management. Each week’s session is one hour, and includes a powerpoint from the NECDMC pilot materials, as well as a hands-on exercise. The presentations and exercises have been edited and modified to include additional information, as well as UW-specific context. Additional content has been provided from UW subject experts. We are using two sites on the University of Washington campus concurrently: one with live lecture and exercises, the other with live streamed lecture (using Adobe Connect) and a librarian present to conduct live exercises. Questions from the remote session will be handled via chat.

The exercises are intended to both illustrate what was covered in the lecture, and to provide students with hands-on experience with the topic, so they can see first-hand how the content relates to their research endeavors. The goal is that students will leave the non-credit class knowing how to manage their research data, as well as what resources are available on campus to assist in their work.

Jennifer Muilenburg
Data Curriculum and Communications Librarian
University of Washington Libraries

Carnegie Mellon University Libraries

As part of the development of a Data Management Services program at Carnegie Mellon University’s I have been tasked with training liaison librarians at the University Libraries in issues of research data management. The goal of this training is to expose the liaison librarians to the issues in data management currently faced by researchers and to anticipate future challenges researchers will face. By the end of this training, liaison librarians will be expected to field at least a basic level of data management questions from faculty in their area of liaison responsibility. In addition, liaison librarians will be knowledgeable of the types of tools and services the university offers around research data management in order to refer difficult data management questions to the appropriate individuals for resolution.

One major element of this training program is to offer training modules based on the New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum. The NECDMC will be augmented and revised with materials from other sources as is required to tailor the training modules to our local needs, but the core of these modules will remain the NECDMC. In addition to NEDMC modules, we will also be engaging the liaison librarians in a set of in depth data interviews with faculty at the university to help inform future research data management services, a course in research data management offered by the University of Pittsburgh iSchool, and a number of seminar opportunities given by faculty researchers, staff (e.g. Office of Research Integrity and Compliance), and external speakers.

Steve Van Tuyl
Data Services Librarian
Carnegie Mellon University – University Libraries Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Dana Medical Library, University of Vermont

I taught two classes during the spring semester of 2014.

Class 1

The first class was advertised only to librarians and was entitled Research Data Management for Librarians. There were 8 librarian attendees, 6 from the Dana Medical Library and two from the Bailey/Howe library, the main campus library. As a consequence of advertising the class, I had two other Bailey/Howe librarians express interest in working on data management instruction together. The session lasted 90 minutes. I altered the session to focus on what we librarians thought our role was and could be around research data management at the University of Vermont. Instead of an exercise, I had the IT security official from the College of Medicine (COM) talk about her experiences and answer questions for 15 minutes. The IT security official also provided lots of input on tailoring the slides for a UVM audience.

Class 2

Having practiced on my colleagues I was ready to present the class to actual researchers. The second class, called Creating the Simplified Data Management Plan, was 60 minutes long to fit into our brown bag lecture series. We had four attendees. Three were faculty and one was a clinical research assistant staff person. I also had two people contact me saying they wished they could have attended the class. I sent them my presentation notes and offered to answer questions. The class was modified to eliminate the discussion that the librarians had in their session and the guest appearance by the COM IT security official. I added an exercise. I handed out an example of a very complete NSF data management plan and had them identify where the different NSF elements were. Then I let them choose from a selection of data management plans (so they could look at one from a field close to their own) and identify what was done well in those plans and what was missing. We discussed their findings.

Donna O'Malley
Library Associate Professor
Dana Medical Library
University of Vermont

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