The twelve weeks visit in Australia is behind. And it was time to go home. I write this blog post in the train heading to Liminka (near by Oulu). Aim of this trip is to bring our cat’s home. My younger son Kuutti game as companion. He takes a couple of days leave from a school to recover from a jet leg. The real reason is that he wants to be the one cats meet first.Picture 1: In the train on the way to Oulu.
In the end I did tick all the boxes on my task list (see the blog post https://blogs.helsinki.fi/mkuusnie/2015/08/25/eighth-week/). On my last week at work, I got the project report ready (the funder’s approval needed before I can share it), the research data management plan checklist was pratically approved and we had first workshop of the data policy.
Delivery of the data policy
How was the first workshop? I think it was like those are always. What happens if you put around the table an IT boss who is not familiar with RDM, a patient record database expert, a biostatistician, a manager of ethics unit, a research director, a library director and me? Well, a lot of things can happen, but it’s very unlikely that first meeting can give a lots of results.
This meeting was on my last workday. So it was very easy for me just wait while they talked mostly about relevant but also irrelevant things, like format of data policy. 🙂 My mission was to start the conversation of data policy. There was no chance to get it ready in 12 weeks. Even though the data policy draft we wrote is very close from the one they need. It follows the ANDS outline for data policies. And it’s based on an interview study and follows the data management policy tradition of Australian research organizations.
There are no lack of information how to build up a data policy. See the DCC collection here: http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/policy-and-legal/policy-tools-and-guidance/policy-tools-and-guidance
Like in many cases, when people need to agree something, it takes some time to ingest the new things and information, before we are ready to make decisions. And that is challenging when writing a policy, not the facts but how to handle situation where some people need more time to think than others. I hate pondering, therefore I’m not the right person for this job, and I happily gave policy negotiations for others to handle. 🙂 The library director Ann can carry on from here.
I bet this process will end like it ended in Univ Helsinki. Where the final data policy did not differ very much from the first draft, but a couple of meetings were needed before all could be happy about the policy. It took about 7 month in Helsinki. We’ll see how long it will take in Barwon Health. I hope, they will write a fine policy which gives researchers a guidance and support they need in a form easy to find, read and implement.
The glory of a visiting scholar
It was nice to have an opportunity be a visiting scholar for a while. It’s not the same thing than you start as a new person in a new organization. No, you have a some kind of glory around you. If you are visiting scholar, sure you must be an expert of something, right? So, even you are new in organization you get a head start to build a professional status. It’s also challenging, while you should be the expert like everybody expects. But you can only be you, and I could only be me. Not perfect but hopefully good enough. 🙂
Today my son did use English in a bus while buying a ticket, just by accident. It was a reflex. Then he complained about staff in markets here are not so nice than they are in Australia. They don’t say hello when we enter the shop. Just after, we walk in the pet shop (to buy treats for the cats) and clerk said hello, and Kuutti happily said hello back. See, there are nice and polite shop keepers in Finland as well. But in grocery stores they don’t ask: how are you or where are you from, or how long you will stay, etc. Maybe in Easter Finland they do, but not in Helsinki.
While we were in Australia boys complained because not all thing were like in Finland and here they see very clearly the difference as well. Let’s see how many times I’ll find my self telling others how things were so much better in Australia! 🙂