From silo to systematic: a new approach to building research data management skills at Monash University

2016-08-31T01:41:56Z (GMT) by Neil Dickson

This poster describes the origins and aims of a Monash University Library project that represents a significant change of direction in efforts to build researchers’ data management skills.

The project aim was to position data management skills as core research skills and, over time, to embed the development of these skills within programs such as faculty-based PhD coursework and the Graduate Certificate of Academic Practice (the GCAP – for new academic staff). This will require active cross-divisional collaboration within the Library, between staff coordinating the data management portfolio and staff tasked with improving teaching and learning. The pedagogic models, tools (including e-learning) and educational expertise of contact librarians and learning skills advisors will  be applied rigorously to research data management in the same way as to other kinds of information research skills (e.g. database searching and bibliographic management).

This was within a framework of broader institutional partnerships with critical stakeholder groups. Engagement with faculties and the new Monash Institute for Graduate Research (MIGR) is essential and timely: new PhD program requirements from 2013 provide an opportunity to develop embedded and parallel units that can be taken by students as part of required coursework and professional training. Engagement with the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) (PVC(L&T)) has already resulted in data sharing and dissemination being included as part of a GCAP unit dedicated to research leadership. Over time, linkages with the Office of the PVC(L&T) enabled cohorts of Honours and undergraduate researchers to improve their data management skills.

Working together across divisions and broadly within the institution, Library staff deliver professional development opportunities that better meet researchers’ needs and that can be delivered in more effective and sustainable ways, to a greater number of researchers. The resulting wide dissemination of knowledge and experience within the Library and across Monash improves institutional capability, and provide a base for collaborating with other institutions with similar requirements to build research staff and students’ data management skills.

Published in November 2011