We are very excited and pleased to share this guest post by Kathryn Vela, the Washington State University’s (WSU) Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine’s (ESFCOM) Health Sciences Librarian. Kathryn was selected through a competitive application for professional development funding from the National Training Office (NTO), to participate in a mentoring opportunity having completed the NNLM online training course RDM 101: Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians. Welcome Kathryn!
As a health sciences librarian with an interest in data, I was extremely excited to be part of the first cohort of the online course “Research Data Management for Biomedical and Health Science Librarians” in early 2018. It was a delightfully educational experience, and as an unexpected bonus, I was eligible to apply for funding from the NTO to continue my research data management (RDM) education. I submitted a proposal for and received funding to visit the NYU Health Sciences Library and learn from their data services team. I wasn’t the only one with this idea; three other librarians from my cohort were also interested in an NYU site visit, and so we coordinated to plan the trip together.
The site visit was a two-day event, with a third day spent at a symposium at Columbia University. Much of this time was spent discussing how the NYU HSL data services have developed over the last few years, including the Data Catalog Collaboration Project. We (i.e. the visiting librarians) also shared how we were engaging in data services at our own institutions. These conversations gave us the opportunity to learn from some data experts, ask questions, and share ideas.
We also had the chance to sit in on two different classes provided by the NYU librarians. One class was part of a larger research course and provided an overview of basic RDM practices, and the other was about creating data visualizations in Excel. Since I would like to provide more data-related instruction, this was incredibly beneficial and gave me a lot of ideas to incorporate into my own work.
The symposium at Columbia University was called “Promoting Credibility, Reproducibility and Integrity” and featured a number of enlightening panel discussions on topics like transparency in scientific journals and bias in research. I enjoyed the opportunity to attend thissymposium while I was in New York because it gave me some interesting insights into the inner workings of academic research.
Overall, it was a whirlwind trip, but I definitely came back with a brain bursting full of new knowledge and ideas to try at my institution. Since most of my RDM learning has taken place online, it was nice to have the opportunity to talk to other like-minded people face to face, and to see RDM expertise in action. The NYU data librarians were welcoming and informative, and I greatly appreciate their support for this site visit.