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Positioning record
keepers as data
management
professionals
ARA 2018: People Looking After Records
31 August 2018
Rebecca Grant, Sarah Ramdeen, Laura Molloy
Archives and research data management
◎Currently undertaking PhD at University College Dublin on the
connections between research data management and archival
science.
◎Literature review published in 2017 on the connections between
archivists and research data (http://hdl.handle.net/10197/8769)
◎Recent developments include the publication of a new handbook by
Geoffrey Yeo, “Records, Information and Data: Exploring the role of
record-keeping in an information culture”
Do archivists really see themselves as having a role in
managing and preserving research data?
2
What is “research data”?
Data which is the
subject or product of
research: lab
notebooks,
spreadsheets, genome
sequences, field
notes, oral histories,
survey files, maps…
3
What does data look like?
4
Capture-mark-recapture data modelling survival rates of Microcebus
murinus in relation to glucocorticoid level, parasite infection and body
condition: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.5259415
What life-cycle does research data have?
◎Similarities to the
records life-cycle
◎Data are created during
research and need to be
stored/have metadata
and context included
◎At the end of a research
project, researchers are
often compelled to share
their data publicly, and
to ensure that it’s
preserved indefinitely 5
What kind of actions need to be taken when
looking after data?
Create metadata and provide adequate
description and context so that it can be
understood by others
Select which data are relevant for publication or
long-term storage
Identify any rights issues associated with the
data
Select a suitable repository to store or publish
their data
Ensure that their data will be preserved for as
long as it is needed
6
Who can help? Librarians? Research support staff? Archivists?
Others?
But.. do (UK/Irish) archivists see a role for
themselves?
7
◎Data taken from the Archives-NRA
(Archivists, conservators and records
managers) mailing list archive
◎Any email which included the term “research
data” was downloaded for inclusion
◎A total of 144 emails were downloaded
◎Coded according to the topic being discussed
Data analysis
8
24
19 19
18
7
4
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
RDM
vacancy
RDM
training
RDM events RDM news Call for
papers
RDM query
Number of emails (n=91)
Data analysis
9
6
2
1
2
1
2
1
6
2
5
7
4
11
22
13
6
0
5
10
15
20
25
Number of emails (n=91)
And do others see a role for archivists?
10
◎Data taken from the Research-Dataman email
list
◎Any email which included the term
“archivist” was downloaded
◎197 emails to the list
◎First sent in 2010, most recent was July 2018
◎Coded according to the topic being discussed
Data analysis
11
37
8
3
1
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
From archivists Archivist vacancy Seeking
archivists'
feedback
Archives as data
Number of emails (n=49)
Growing discussion on
research data happening
on the Archives mailing
list
Conclusions from this piece of research
Archivists are also
participating in
discussions on research
data-specific lists
12
How can we position ourselves as data
management professionals?
◎ Advocate for professional bodies to publish guidelines and
recommendations to support records professionals in addressing the
challenges of managing research data.
◎ The ARA Specialist Repositories group has published an overview, “What to
think about when you are confronted with managing research data”:
https://tinyurl.com/ycbmtghw
◎ Develop guidelines and documentation aimed at users outside of the
records management and archival professionals, demonstrating the
application of records management and archival theory and practice
to research data curation.
13
Rebecca Grant, (2017) "Recordkeeping and research data management: a review of perspectives",
Records Management Journal, Vol. 27 Issue: 2, pp.159-174, https://doi.org/10.1108/RMJ-10-2016-0036
An Interest Group for archivists and records
managers
14
https://tinyurl.com/nyc24v6
◎ Records professionals already working in research data management
roles can engage with the scientific and data science communities
through channels such as the Archives and Records Professionals for
Research Data group of the Research Data Alliance. This in turn can
raise the profile of records professionals as data experts in the
broader scientific community.
Thanks!
Contact:
@beck_grant
Beck.grant@gmail.com
Mailing list dataset available at:
https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.7007903
Rebecca Grant, (2017) "Recordkeeping and research data management: a
review of perspectives", Records Management Journal, Vol. 27 Issue: 2,
pp.159-174, https://doi.org/10.1108/RMJ-10-2016-0036
All CC0-licensed images available at www.unsplash.com
15

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Positioning record keepers as data management professionals

  • 1. Positioning record keepers as data management professionals ARA 2018: People Looking After Records 31 August 2018 Rebecca Grant, Sarah Ramdeen, Laura Molloy
  • 2. Archives and research data management ◎Currently undertaking PhD at University College Dublin on the connections between research data management and archival science. ◎Literature review published in 2017 on the connections between archivists and research data (http://hdl.handle.net/10197/8769) ◎Recent developments include the publication of a new handbook by Geoffrey Yeo, “Records, Information and Data: Exploring the role of record-keeping in an information culture” Do archivists really see themselves as having a role in managing and preserving research data? 2
  • 3. What is “research data”? Data which is the subject or product of research: lab notebooks, spreadsheets, genome sequences, field notes, oral histories, survey files, maps… 3
  • 4. What does data look like? 4 Capture-mark-recapture data modelling survival rates of Microcebus murinus in relation to glucocorticoid level, parasite infection and body condition: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.5259415
  • 5. What life-cycle does research data have? ◎Similarities to the records life-cycle ◎Data are created during research and need to be stored/have metadata and context included ◎At the end of a research project, researchers are often compelled to share their data publicly, and to ensure that it’s preserved indefinitely 5
  • 6. What kind of actions need to be taken when looking after data? Create metadata and provide adequate description and context so that it can be understood by others Select which data are relevant for publication or long-term storage Identify any rights issues associated with the data Select a suitable repository to store or publish their data Ensure that their data will be preserved for as long as it is needed 6 Who can help? Librarians? Research support staff? Archivists? Others?
  • 7. But.. do (UK/Irish) archivists see a role for themselves? 7 ◎Data taken from the Archives-NRA (Archivists, conservators and records managers) mailing list archive ◎Any email which included the term “research data” was downloaded for inclusion ◎A total of 144 emails were downloaded ◎Coded according to the topic being discussed
  • 8. Data analysis 8 24 19 19 18 7 4 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 RDM vacancy RDM training RDM events RDM news Call for papers RDM query Number of emails (n=91)
  • 10. And do others see a role for archivists? 10 ◎Data taken from the Research-Dataman email list ◎Any email which included the term “archivist” was downloaded ◎197 emails to the list ◎First sent in 2010, most recent was July 2018 ◎Coded according to the topic being discussed
  • 11. Data analysis 11 37 8 3 1 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 From archivists Archivist vacancy Seeking archivists' feedback Archives as data Number of emails (n=49)
  • 12. Growing discussion on research data happening on the Archives mailing list Conclusions from this piece of research Archivists are also participating in discussions on research data-specific lists 12
  • 13. How can we position ourselves as data management professionals? ◎ Advocate for professional bodies to publish guidelines and recommendations to support records professionals in addressing the challenges of managing research data. ◎ The ARA Specialist Repositories group has published an overview, “What to think about when you are confronted with managing research data”: https://tinyurl.com/ycbmtghw ◎ Develop guidelines and documentation aimed at users outside of the records management and archival professionals, demonstrating the application of records management and archival theory and practice to research data curation. 13 Rebecca Grant, (2017) "Recordkeeping and research data management: a review of perspectives", Records Management Journal, Vol. 27 Issue: 2, pp.159-174, https://doi.org/10.1108/RMJ-10-2016-0036
  • 14. An Interest Group for archivists and records managers 14 https://tinyurl.com/nyc24v6 ◎ Records professionals already working in research data management roles can engage with the scientific and data science communities through channels such as the Archives and Records Professionals for Research Data group of the Research Data Alliance. This in turn can raise the profile of records professionals as data experts in the broader scientific community.
  • 15. Thanks! Contact: @beck_grant Beck.grant@gmail.com Mailing list dataset available at: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.7007903 Rebecca Grant, (2017) "Recordkeeping and research data management: a review of perspectives", Records Management Journal, Vol. 27 Issue: 2, pp.159-174, https://doi.org/10.1108/RMJ-10-2016-0036 All CC0-licensed images available at www.unsplash.com 15