03 June 2014

Work-in-progress abstract for eResearch Australasia

The deadline for eResearch Australasia submissions is this Friday and as usual I have left it to the last minute to start pulling something together. I've been to this conference every year since it started but I haven't delivered a presentation for a couple of years at least, focusing instead on posters and workshop contributions. The budget is pretty tight this year for conferences so only staff who are presenting are likely to be able to attend. This puts the pressure on (in a good way!).

I won't bore you with the page-and-a-half extended abstract but here's the gist (for now):

As awareness increases of the role that librarians can play in facilitating improved research data management, so does the need to provide university library staff with professional development opportunities. Cox et al (2012) argue that learning needs to be “exploratory, discursive and reflective, providing a space in which librarians can explore developments as they relate to their individual/team role” and that “hands-on practical activities with documents and tools in real or realistic scenarios are important” [1].
This presentation will describe the positive outcomes of incorporating a component of scenario-based learning into introductory research data management workshops for librarians at two Australian universities. An overview of the benefits of scenario-based learning will be provided, along with practical advice on how to develop scenarios and use them as part of an institutional staff development program.
(The article referred to here is: Cox, Andrew, Eddy Verbaan, and Barbara Sen. 2012. Upskilling Liaison Librarians for Research Data ManagementAriadne (70) (November). I highly recommend it if you haven't come across it already.)

I had been thinking that my new role in change management might be worth talking about but I haven't managed to find an 'angle' on that topic yet. Maybe it's too soon.

The eResearch conference is always attended by a lot of people with an interest in skills development, yet there is usually a real scarcity of training-related presentations; at most there may be one or two papers that touch on skills development, which is not a lot out of three days of discussions. There is always a very well-attended Birds-of-a-Feather session on training and education but it tends to be quite high-level, whereas this presentation (if it gets up) will be very very practical. I think it would be of interest to the other librarians there, but also anyone involved in other types of data management training too. Fingers crossed!