NWU held an RDM workshop for all stakeholders on 23-24 June 2016. Twelve librarians from NWU Libraries attended the workshop. Speakers included Johann Van Wyk (UP), Martie Van Deventer (HSRC), and Lucia Lotter (CSIR) who are part of Network for Data and Information Curation Communities (NeDICC).
On day one of the workshop Johann Van Wyk and Isak van der Walt took us through the journey UP underwent in setting-up RDM. Those include: carrying out a survey of existing RDM practices at UP, interviews with research faculties to determine the type of research data that must be managed, and conducting five pilot-projects from 2013-2016. Further, a task team was formed at UP to assess the readiness of UP for RDM. In a rather playful manner, Martie Van Deventer, showed us the pitfalls of not sharing research data by playing a data sharing and management snafu. She further warned us to expect resistance from sharing data from some researchers as experienced at HSRC.
Day two of the workshop focused on the identification of roles and responsibilities with regards to the development of a Research Data Management Plan. The RDM team from UP gave a preview of what they are doing there by opening their RDM platform. Participants worked in groups to benchmark RDM at the NWU and to work on a roadmap for RDM at the university.
The participants learned about and discussed issues regarding Research Data Management with colleagues from the E-Research Initiative, Research office, IT services and researchers from all campuses At the end of the workshop, the way forward was discussed. Some of the suggestions was the need to establish a taskforce to drive the way forward, the need to present at the Deans Forum and to appoint an individual to drive the process. All stakeholders recognized each other’s’ role in RDM.
By Siviwe Bangani, Sabelo Chizwina and Erika Rood