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Connecting people and resources

On 25 November 2019 the GO FAIR office hosted a workshop on “FAIR training and skills” at the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics. 28 professionals, including data stewards, research data managers and trainers from Germany, the Netherlands, UK, Switzerland and Greece came together to exchange experience, concepts and materials.

As FAIR data management becomes mandatory by more and more funding agencies, also the need for advice and training increases. Whom to address with which formats – where can we use e-learning – where do we need hands-on training or byod? Do we want to train data stewards, junior or senior scientists, librarians or management staff? These are just few of the questions to discuss. Some countries have very well organised communities already sharing resources and experiences, with a pool of experts, such as the Netherlands and Germany. The participants brought a lot of own resources and experience. The willingness to share, exchange and learn from each other is large and a wonderful starting point to make it happen.

The day started with a presentation of Erik Schultes (GFISCO Leiden), who introduced the activities in the GO TRAIN pillar. The GO FAIR International Office supports and coordinates two broad activities within GO TRAIN: 1. The development of canonical training curricula focused on FAIR Data Stewardship. 2. The development of certification schema’s for competencies in FAIR Data Stewardship and other FAIR related services.

Angus Whyte (University of Edinburgh) presented results from Terms4FAIRskills, developing a terminology for data stewardship and its use cases in training from the FAIRsFAIR project and Elixir. A growing body of generic learning resources are available to meet the capacity demand for training in FAIR data stewardship. At the same time many relevant learning resources are in domain or institutional silos, hard to find and to reuse. Are the competences stable enough for consensus on a community-driven terminology? What difference would it make to your community if learning resources about FAIR were more FAIR themselves?

Karsten Peters (German Climate Computing Center – DKRZ) reported about the activities of the dini working group on RDM-Training in Germany. Karsten Peters explained the current situation of RDM Training in Germany and evolvement of communities. Results from the FDMentor project taken up by the RDM community, are an important building block for the current activities in the dini working group, cataloguing existing training materials as well as trainers and competences.

Cord Wiljes (University Bielefeld) reported about lessons learned in Bielefeld with teaching FAIR RDM for students. The course objectives, format and structure of content were presented. What helped to get more students participate in the course was switching to English and implementing the course as a module. The question whether the course could be mandatory was discussed: It would put pressure on the already complete course formats, at this moment in Bielefeld it is a voluntary module. More information on the course can be found in the slides or in the paper.

Jasmin Böhmer (UMC Utrecht) presented about Data stewardship in the Netherlands. The Netherlands are very advanced concerning data stewardship within organisations, but also in forming a national community. Jasmin Böhmer explained what helped in the Netherlands to achieve this and what different types of data stewardship can be seen in different research organisations. Further Jasmin spoke about professionalizing data stewardship with a particular example from the life sciences and explained how a data steward community has formed in the Netherlands with the DTL Data Steward Interest Group.

Participants who are involved in existing GO FAIR Implementation Networks also presented their activities in relation to training:

In the afternoon we had a knowledge café session with four tables:

  • How can FAIR data management be integrated into the academic curriculum?
  • For what and how are you searching for FAIR training materials?
    • Data Stewards – role or function?
  • For what and how would you like to find collaborators nationally, internationally, (inter-) disciplinary?

Summarizing notes of the discussions in the knowledge café sessions can be found here.

What participants are looking for is to have one repository or database where you can find what is already available. How do I know which resources are trustworthy, valuable, what are the licenses of reusing them. Collaboration and networking was regarded a very important asset of such a workshop. Joining existing of forming new Implementation Networks is an opportunity.

Here is an overview about the materials and resources the group brought to the workshop.