Eighth week

Sydney Opera House

We visited Sydney last weekend. We went to see the opera house, of course. We participated on the tour to see inside the building. There we heard that the architect was Danish Jørn Utzon, the roof is covered by ceramic tiles from Höganäs of Sweden. And who actually choose the modern expressionist design of the opera house? According to legend, he was Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen. So, thanks to Nordic collaboration, Sydney got a world famous opera house. 🙂 It feels sometimes that earth is only a tiny rock where we live together, interacting each others. Even we don’t notice it.

The opera house was not the building project with the accurate plan or budget. The project was completed ten years late and 1457% over budget in real terms [Wikipedia]. But no worries, they covered the budged by lottery. They needed to sell quite a few raffle tickets, but two years after the building project, all costs were covered. Why can’t we find so brilliant ideas to cover the costs of library’s projects? Maybe we could try harder.

Opera house

Picture 1: Sydney Opera House (CC 4.0 BY Mikael Niku)

Australian data management atmosphere

This week I took part (or listened) in a data librarians catch up webinar organized by ANDS. There were 60 participants. The webinar was encouraging. That especially brings to my mind, how much I enjoy being here, because of a very nice “research data management atmosphere”.

I have met and interviewed researchers and research support providers, in order to develop research data management (RDM) services of the library and the research policy for the hospital. We are exploring the existing services, researchers need and the gaps we need to fill. Most of the people I have met, really understand the need and importance on good RDM practice and need in policies, guides and education. It has been pleasure to discuss these topics with them all.

One reason why the atmosphere is different is because the driver is not funding. It’s the Code: Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines-publications/r39. Section 2 (about data management) is our guide, not easy to follow, but the mission is clear. It’s clear to researchers (at least seniors) and support providers.

Australians are so much ahead of us in the RDM business. ANDS has done wonderful job, their webpages are a treasure chest I use almost daily. It was quite easy to write a data policy for organization when there are dozens Australian policies to take a cue from. Let see how soon they will agree the final policy paper in the hospital, but the draft was not hard to write, even Australian policies differ from European ones (I’m used to) a great deal.

Unicorn librarian

ANDS also tries to build up the networks of data librarians. Because we need network to survive. In the webinar, we were discussing the concept Unicorn librarian. They are librarians you can meet in the job descriptions of data librarians. When you need to be something unreal and do daily basis something that  nobody really understand, it’s nice to know that you are not alone. There are other data librarians out there (on this tiny rock).

In addition to nice conversation, we got a long list of readings (here only selection of those). I so loved these I printed and took those to Sydney with me. I read prints in the plain and felt so relived. There is something that really resonates me.

  • Joanna Richardson, Rebecca A. Brown, Malcolm Wolski (2015): Developing new skills for research support librarians. Routledge.
  • Data Librarians and a Stacked Deck by Jake Carlson, Research Data Services Manager, University of Michigan to eScience Community Blog, July 2015. (This blog post leads you to many other nice blog posts)
  • DataQ – a new, collaborative platform and community aimed at addressing research data questions in academic libraries. (All tools should be made like this, in )

Work list right now

My work list is little shorter than last week.

  • The publication list and bibliometric analysis for the annual report is finally ready.
  • We decided that we will not arrange the HLA seminar with the ANDS after all. (I was disappointed, but you can’t get all in the three-month period of time.)
  • The data policy is more or less out of my hands. I handed the draft over the director of research department.
  • The plan how the library will start staff training (of researchers and clinicians) is almost ready.
  • We improved the workflow of the publication repository (we can now import the metadata of hundreds of articles at the time from PubMed instead of copy-paste one line at the time).
  • I started to make a report of our findings (meetings with researchers and other staff). I’ll give a presentation about that next Monday. So thumps up, I’ll manage with that.
  • I found the model I’ll make a DMP check list for hospital. It has to be quick to make and easy to maintain. And this one is: https://lib.asu.edu/data/plan. I’ll need to add some resources link to each points, but that’s it.
  • Plus some little things. Like we really need to make decision about which reference management software we’ll choose.

I have plenty of time to finish everything. Almost four weeks!

All the best for you all,
MEK

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