This is my blog of my trip to Australia where I work as a volunteer in Barwon Health, University Hospital which is located in Geelong nearby Melbourne. I’m going to tell my family, friends and colleagues my experiences here, both professional and personal. I’m writing this in English, but I’ll not check my language or typing. Let’s hope my English improves in these 12 weeks I’m spending in Australia.
(My sister in law is English teacher and she will be very frustrated while reading this.)
First work week
I found out the hospitals are like the same in this part of world and in Finland. In a hospital people are busy, cafeteria is noisy place, building(s) is/are like a labyrinth and always under construction. I felled like home when I for the first time stepped through the Barwon Health’s door.
Researchers in the Barwon Health are conducting clinical research (~75%). I need to keep that in my mind, because I more usually work with more academic medical research. This remains me about the article I got from my colleague (Minna Ahokas, from dmpTuuli project). In this article the findings about different demands of RDM services in different research fields are interesting, but I find the most interesting how they put different kind of research groups to four domains: art&humanities, social sciences, basic science and medical science. Research groups from the Medical faculty they put to three different domains: social sciences, basic science and medical science. Because of the variety off the research subjects. As soon I read about their methodology I thought: “These guys knows what they are doing!”
I think in Barwon Health’s clinical researchers are conducting mainly medical science, but some of them can do more social science type research. I can also find some basic science among those who do more academic type research, but I doubt that. I can be wrong though.
Something differs though compared to Finland. Here is many different kind of informative poster in the walls and everywhere else like the one in picture 1. This is located in toilet, where you can read it while sitting there. Maybe there is also similar health information posters in our hospital (Helsinki University Hospital), but I’ve not seen those.
What I’m going to do here? They are starting research services in the library of Barwon health with the research administration. The research librarian is hired, but she’s not experienced research librarian. No, she has worked in a school library. I should help her to start research support services of this clinical library, while somehow mentoring her. I mean research services including a research data management support, implementation of a DMP tool, research evaluation assessment (bibliometrics) as a service to research administration, etc.
In these 12 weeks I also help with developing an educational program for clinical researchers and physicians. And if there is not enough, while discussing with research director, I happened to mention ORCIDs we should get for all researchers in hospital (~120). And in the same discussion we came to the conclusion that we need the Data Policy for the Barwon Health. We can’t do DMPs if there is no Data Policy. True.
Well, I have a feeling that from day 1 I’m starting to act like I used to act back home. I’m the one who keeps me very busy all the time. Even I sometimes try to do only what I’m told to do, not suggesting something more I think is important all the time (like ORCIDs and the Data Policy this time). But this is just how I work. [Sigh]
Here the nature is very exotic for a Fin. We have seen Rainbow parrots, palm trees, sea star, huge pelican, small herons and much more. Food is good here, but it’s difficult to find healthy choices. Here is easy to find low fat products, but sugar and salt levels are very high. Even so called nature yogurt can contain 15% sugar, ham contain salt 10 times more than in Finnish ham (I prefer Snellman’s ham). But kiwi fruits are excellent. I have never ate so sweet kiwi fruits than here. Australian Afternoon tea (Twinings) I’m going to take home when we are leaving. It’ tastes heavenly with milk.
Tomorrow we travel by local train to Melbourne to see the big city. I’m sure it will be an adventure!
Mari Elisa Kuusniemi
 Akers, Katherine G., and Jennifer Doty. “Disciplinary differences in faculty research data management practices and perspectives.” International Journal of Digital Curation 8, no. 2 (2013): 5-26. [http://ijdc.net/index.php/ijdc/article/view/263]