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Cultivating Data-Savvy Services, Bit by Bit

Posted by on May 2nd, 2019

We’re back after a brief hiatus, and our guest author for today’s post is Sheila Green, Health Science Center – Bryan Campus Librarian with the Medical Sciences Library, Texas A&M University Libraries. At the beginning of this year, she was awarded a professional development award to advance her skills in research data management from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Training Office (NNLM NTO). As part of her award, she was encouraged to share lessons and outcomes from her experience. We are proud to have her in our region!

Sheila GreenI’m a subject liaison to a College of Medicine. I identify points of pain for faculty and provide library services to ease that pain. I knew research data management (RDM) services had potential, but I needed to understand researcher data processes and how they differed from my private industry background. I needed to know the questions to ask, how to listen for the pain points in their answers, and offer services within my capacity.

My first professional development course from the NNLM NTO resulted in a workshop for graduate students, faculty, and staff based on the Research Data Management Teaching Toolkit. Adapting existing tools helped me focus on issues at my institution and not the mechanics of building a workshop.

Feedback from the workshop and informal conversations unearthed interest in reproducibility and lab data processes. A casual email inquiry about RedCap support generated a response with bolded sentences from a research director – another unmet need identified. I wanted to know more to grow more services – again.

The next professional development opportunity from the NNLM NTO funded a trip to New York University Health Sciences Library to meet with the Data Services Team, observe RDM and visualization classes, meet with NYU Data Services, and attend a Columbia University Symposium Promoting Credibility, Reproducibility and Integrity in Research.

I’ve planted more RDM service seedlings since my return. The incoming College of Medicine graduate students will attend an adapted Research Data Management Hands on Workshop at orientation. The exploratory meeting with researchers about RedCap workshops is next week. Postdoc and Student Research directors are going to be exposed shortly to ways we can insert reproducible processes into their training programs.

“Data ready” isn’t just about gathering knowledge. It’s also about plowing new ground, planting ideas with researchers and leadership, cultivating opportunities that pop up, and sharing the harvest with each other.

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Funded under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012345 with the University of North Texas Health Science Center - Gibson D. Lewis Library, and awarded by the DHHS, NIH, National Library of Medicine.

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