Conference in Croatia, Networking & Next steps

Week 2

June 23, 2012: Conference, Networking, Focusing

Introduction and Anecdote

This past week I spent in beautiful Zadar,  Croatia at the Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) conference.  This was the very first time I presented a paper at a conference– and my talk was very well received!  I presented on the research I did for my master’s thesis regarding the current data and research practices of scholars and other researchers at UCLA and the implications my findings have for a new data management tool called the UCLA Data Registry.  The Data Registry is an example of a type of new infrastructure that needs to be built in order to help support the existing and emerging forms of scholarship.  As I also stated in my talk, these tools are most effective when they are linked up with other tools to form an information infrastructure–that is, they do not exist as stand alone entities, but rather work in conjunction with other tools.  I see the Data Registry project and the Data Management Planning Tool project as tools that would well together in a number of different scenarios.  I think its important to consider the DMPtool in this manner, because there might be future opportunities to market the tool to other data management related tools, repositories, and other registries that already exist as a way to gain additional exposure.

Furthermore, I was not the only person giving a talk this past week who mentioned the DMPtool, which I was delighted to see.  Liz Lyon of UKOLN and the Digital Curation Centre, a visionary in data management and the issues surrounding data reuse, sharing, and preservation gave an excellent and inspirational talk about the role of data scientists/data librarians in advocating for data management.  As she has worked extensively with the DCC and their DMPOnline tool, she went into some detail about the kinds of supporting literature that can be found online about data management plans and about how to construct them.  To drive her point home about the necessity of considering data management, she also had a slide which had an image of the DMPtool, which argued that the DCC is not the only entity that has recognized this reality.

I was also able to make some good contacts including Liz Lyon herself and an outstanding and enthusiastic researcher who works at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who is happy to put me in contact with a researcher in environmental sciences.  I plan to follow up with her to get in touch with that researcher and hopefully begin to start recruiting researchers for my user testing, which should hopefully start next week or the week after at the latest.

Goals for this Upcoming Week:
Though I have taken some time to consider the DMPtool in general and think about its positioning with other tools and other communities, my main charge with this internship to consider the earth science community.  With that more focused and specific goal in mind, my goals for this week include:
1. Create a DMPtool “kit” to send to external organizations like ESIP, the Organization of Biological Field Stations, LTER, NEON, etc.
1a. Actually creating the tool kit, figure out which things I might want to include- could be guides on why DMPs are important, more specific areas of difficulty including metadata, ‘how to’ guides, maybe more institution specific information–ie.. cater the tool to each institution more
1b. Create a list of email addresses of granting offices to send said kit to
1c. Concentrate on the new partnership arising with DataBib to  find better ways to position DataBib recommendations within DMPTool template tracks that are of interest to the earth science community

2. Hammer exactly what other aspects of the DMPtool I want to try to improve and obtain user feedback about

3. Continue collecting willing users to conduct the user tests

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