Research Data Management kickoff workshop draws large crowd

Seventy people crowded into a meeting room in Doe Library on Monday, May 11th for a Research Data Management (RDM) workshop on "Information, Input and Community." The first in a series of planned workshops was organized by the joint Library/Research IT/California Digital Library RDM service team, and was attended by librarians, information technology support staff, and research service providers. Intended to gather campus perspectives on the initial service design efforts of the RDM team, the workshop included presentations, small- and large-group discussions, and a concluding hour of information-gathering and follow-up conversations.

Participants included librarians from the Main Library and a cross-section of libraries affiliated with specific disciplines, schools, and projects, and representatives from a range of other organizations and units, including: Audit and Advisory Services; Berkeley Institute for Data Science; Berkeley Law (Boalt); Berkeley Research Computing; Berkeley Research Development Office; California Digital Library's UC Curation Center; Campus Shared Services - IT; the D-Lab; Digital Humanities at Berkeley; Educational Technology Services; Haas School of Business; Information Security and Policy (Office of the CIO); Information Services and Technology’s Database, Storage, Network, and bConnected teams; Institute for Transportation Studies; Office for the Protection of Human Subjects; School of Social Welfare; UC Berkeley Privacy Office; and others.

Erik Mitchell, Associate University Librarian and a co-sponsor of the RDM program, introduced the event, describing a rising need for data management expertise among campus researchers and the role of the library and other groups in providing support to researchers. Chris Hoffman, RDM Service Manager, laid out the scope of the newly-formed program and the products and services that it will deliver in its first year. Felicia Poe, Interim Director, UC Curation Center (UC3), and Susan Edwards, Social Science Librarian, presented initial findings from a pre-workshop survey of invitees. Poe and Edwards highlighted a number of results, and asked the participants to discuss aspects of RDM that are important in their respective domains.

Mary Elings, Head of Digital Collections at The Bancroft Library, and Chris Hoffman described the design for the RDM Service Guide that will be available in an early version by the summer. Harrison Dekker, head of the Library’s Data Lab, and Rick Jaffe, Research IT, described the what, how, and who of the RDM Consulting service being formed.

David Greenbaum, co-sponsor of the RDM program, posed a question to the audience about current re-use of data on campus. "How many people work in areas that have a well-developed model for reuse?," Greenbaum asked. A few hands went up. "As a marker," Greenbaum suggested, "let's see how many more hands are raised three to five years from now as Research Data Management begins to mature."