How to Up Your Research Data Management Game

October 7, 2016 Natasha Simons


23 Things image.jpgAre you someone who cares for -- and about -- research data? Do you want to learn more about research data management, discover new resources and connect with others who care for data? If so, then the 23 (Research Data) Things may be perfect for you!

23 (Research Data) Things is an online, self-directed learning program for anybody who wants to know more about research data. It is ideal for those who care for data (Librarians, Managers, Data Custodians), those who create data (Researchers, Early Career Researchers, Research Assistants) and those who are looking to incorporate data into their future careers (PhD students, Librarianship and Information management students).

The Australian National Data Service (ANDS) launched the 23 Things program in March 2016, designed to build capability and a community of practice around research data management. If you choose to participate, you will be challenged to "do" 23 Things that will build your confidence and experience with research data management. For example, you may be asked to critique a video, comment on a short paper, explore a data repository or try out a free online tool. To accommodate a variety of capabilities and learning styles, a choice of three activities is provided for each Thing: "getting started," "know more" or "challenge me." Some people choose to complete all three!

The 23 Things program is paced for participants to undertake one Thing per week and to complete all 23 Things over several months. The Things are grouped into several topics including rights, ethics and sensitive data, repositories for data, metadata and crosswalks, data citation and impact.

23 Things is intended to be a hands-on learning program. As you work through each Thing, you will be encouraged to share questions, ideas and learnings with others involved in the program through a dedicated online discussion forum, local community groups, webinars and social media. With over 1,500 people participating in the program from countries around the world, the forum discussions are rich and varied. There are over 50 community groups you can choose to join, an ongoing conversation on Twitter and 23 online credly badges to claim.

As we near the conclusion of the 23 Things program, ANDS has developed a re-purposed toolkit to encourage you to take the 23 Things and adapt it for your situation, adopt it as suggested training for all staff, contextualize it for your discipline, or extend or contract it to meet your specific research data knowledge needs. One example of an adaptation of the 23 Things is a creation of the top 10 research data Things for Medical and Health.

Courses in research data management can be hard to find, expensive or part of a larger degree program. 23 (Research Data) Things is free, online, self-paced and available now. What are you waiting for? Game on!

Natasha Simons is a Senior Data Management Specialist with the Australian National Data Service.

Image credit: Natasha Simons


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