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Follow-up Report on the RDM Network Meeting in April

April 27th, 2023 | by
The photo represents the key points such as date, topic, etc. for the open meeting oft he RDM network on April 12, 2023

Source: Own illustration; Freepik

The last Open Meeting of the RDM network, unlinke past network meetings, was held in Presence on April 12, 2023. Above the rooftops of the city in the conference room of the University Library of RWTH Aachen University, data stewards, RDM managers and RDM interested parties from the university met for the RDM network meeting and to get to know each other.

Mini-BarCamp and networking

The meeting started with a short round of introductions of the participants followed by a Mini-BarCamp to collect discussion topics for the network meeting in plenary. Afterwards, the collected ideas were evaluated on the whiteboard and two topics were selected for the meeting through a short voting. One was the discussion topic “Benefits and successes of research data management for users” and the other was “The role of data stewards: Actual and Target” was chosen. The first round of discussions could thus start.


Ideas and voting on the whiteboard

Source: Own illustration

Advantages and successes of RDM

Research data management (RDM) should be easy and comprehensible for researchers and, as a standard, can be integrated into their respective work without much thought. Nevertheless, for many there are hurdles to overcome, especially in the beginning, to get started with RDM. In the roundtable, the participants of the network meeting therefore discussed the advantages and success stories of RDM and why RDM should be made even more familiar to researchers.

Thus, RDM should be integrated as early as possible into the project workflow of researchers and data publications should be made as attractive as possible. To this end, the possibility of directly motivating researchers who participate in conferences to do their own marketing on their collected datasets and to encourage subsequent use of these was pointed out. Even if the re-use of research data is generally aimed at, it is still necessary to specify which data can really be re-used in a good and meaningful way and serve for publication and dissemination. The goal is to integrate RDM as a standard process among researchers.

The role of the data stewards

The second discussion topic of the day revolved around the role of data stewards at RWTH Aachen University and the current and target state. How do the respective data stewards see their role and which frameworks are running well and which are not? At RWTH Aachen University, there are many different data stewards who have different areas of responsibility and topics and are deployed, for example, in the area of National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). Typical tasks of the data stewards mainly represent trainings for researchers, e.g. chemistry-specific trainings. In general, the data stewards would like their role to be more specific and to work more closely with researchers so that they can be more specific about the researchers’ respective methods. For example, they could envision being responsible for research data management at a specific institute rather than in interdisciplinary projects. In addition, they would like to see an even more in-depth supportive role as a data steward, and also a more active role in the service area.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all participants of the Open Meeting of the RDM network for the exciting discussions and the lively exchange. We are already looking forward to the next upcoming network meeting.

The next network meeting – Save the date

Date: May 10, 2023
Time: 10am to 12 noon
Location: Zoom – Registration
Topic: FAIR and FAIRplus Cookbook

Learn more

If you also want to become a part of the RDM network at RWTH, then subscribe to the mailing list “DataStewards@RWTH”.

If you have any questions about the RDM network or RDM in general, just write a message to the IT-ServiceDesk. The RDM Team looks forward to hearing from you.



Responsible for the content of this article is Lina-Louise Kaulbach.

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