Week One – Getting Started! (DataONE Introduction and IRB Application)

Jessica running the 4 x 400m relay.
Jessica running the 4 x 400m relay.

This is my very first blog post at NCEAS, so let me begin by introducing myself! My name is Jessica Maree Bragg. I am a fourth year undergraduate student at University of California, Santa Barbara majoring in Communications. I am thrilled to implement the skills I have acquired over the past couple years to my intern position at NCEAS, and I am eager to learn more about NCEAS, the projects that they are involved in, and more about science in general. Fun fact about myself: I was an intercollegiate track and field athlete my first two years at UCSB! I competed in the 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, long jump, and the 4x400m relay. I’ve attached a picture 🙂

I began my first week on this project by getting myself familiar with DataONE and DataONE’s Community Education and Engagement (CEE) working group. I read articles about DataONE in Innovation magazine, on their website, and in their newsletters to get a better understanding of their mission, goals, and activities that they have completed and are currently working on. I also familiarized myself with the CEE’s ‘education modules’ to get a sense of data management and sharing topics and information, which will be the centerpiece of this project.

The evaluations that the CEE working group gathered of the CEE ‘education modules’ display a consistent theme: People wish to see more real stories related to data management concepts and best practices. This, I learned, was the inspiration behind this project! We will be targeting DataONE primary stakeholder groups to hold focus groups and interviews to gather such stories. From these stories, we will put together narratives to enrich the education products created by DataONE, and as blog posts that help to raise awareness of the issues and successes revealed through the stories.

This week, as the first part of our project’s process, I help put together the application for the Institutional Review Board for approval to conduct research with human subjects. I also helped to create the consent form that our participants will be required to fill out before the start of each focus group and interview. Next week, while we are waiting for IRB approval, I will be looking into the kinds of equipment and software that would be ideal to use to record and transcribe our focus groups and interviews. A post about this information, along with an update about the IRB application will be coming soon!

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