ASERL Summertime Summit – Breakout Session 1 – Data Management Tools

After a rousing keynote, we had the choice of 4 topics for the first breakout session.  I chose “Practical Data Management Tools – Step-By-Step Guide, DMPTool, DataBib” presented by Aaron Trehub (Auburn U) and Lizzy Rolando (Georgia Tech).  To help us gauge what the various tools did, Aaron gave us a quote to help think about the tools (they actually covered more than mentioned in the title of the session)..

“I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.”
Rudyard Kipling

As we looked at descriptions of the various tools provided by their web sites, filtering with what, why, when, how, where, and who helped get to the meat of the tool.

We were all given a print copy of “A Step-By-Step Guide to Data Management” from ASERL/SURA It is an easy to use handout that covers best practices and should be an excellent tool to use during data interviews. The guide is based on DataOne life cycle best practices

DataOne was also mentioned because of their Investigator Toolkit and their education modules which are CC0 and can be used and adapted any way you want. Of course DataOne is also a big repository for environmental science data.

DMPTool is being used by several of the libraries represented in the session so we discussed the need to customize the tool for your institution.  Most people found that researchers leave data management plans until the end of the grant writing process so having correct and complete information is important.  Often researchers will share DMPs and this just propagates incorrect information. The Webinar Series on DMPTool was recommended for those who use or are thinking of using the tool

Tools to find repositories to store and share data were covered as well.

DataBib  is a collaborative, annotated bibliography of primary research data repositories.

OpenDOAR – The Directory of Open Access Repositories

Simmons list of data repositories

Before depositing, researchers will need to add metadata.

DCC Disciplinary Metadata listing

Science Data Literacy Project (Syracuse U) listing of metadata

Since the meeting was about liaisons’ role in data (and scholarly communication) some training sites were suggested.


DataONE modules

UK Data Archive Also look over site for all other data needs.

RDMRose is specific to information professionals.

Another useful ASERL/SURA document is the Model Language for RDM Policies

You can’t mention policies without mentioning the OSTP policy that will require open access to federally funded research and the upcoming August 22 deadline for agencies to outline how they will comply. Will it be CHORUS or SHARE or something else (this blog post has good information )

Of course this led to the discussion of funding since data storage is an unfunded mandate in most cases, so having policies in place that require deposit and access are problematic for everyone.  It was mentioned that there is a difference between open and available when looking at the NSF mandate, so not all data needs to be open access.

And we also discussed how much liaisons need to know about data.  One person suggested that they need to know enough so they don’t get a deer in the headlights look when a faculty member brings up data.  So communication with liaisons to keep them up to date on trends is important.

All in all, it was a great session.  I learned about some new tools and even though there weren’t many answers about funding, it was a good discussion.

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