In this presentation, we discussed a team-based workshop on data management and curation organized by librarians from the five liberal arts colleges in the Northwest Five Consortium: Willamette University, Whitman College, University of Puget Sound, Reed College, and Lewis & Clark College. The consortium supports collaborative sharing of experience and expertise in support of the core value of integrating teaching and scholarship.
Liberal arts data management support faces many of the same challenges, such as issues of scalability and outreach, that other innovative projects face in such environments. We envisioned this workshop as a place to take advantage of the close-knit community structures of liberal arts colleges and bring many of the stakeholders in research data management together to collaborate at a broader consortial level. The model for the workshop was a team from each institution connected to a specific research project: a faculty researcher, one or two student researchers, a librarian, and, optionally, a representative from IT or other technical support. Pre-workshop preparation in the form of a Data Curation Profile interview was used to elucidate the data issues of their team and to help shape the workshop structure. The workshop presented the big-picture challenges and best practices of research data management, and then allowed teams to work on applying these ideas to their own projects.
Central to our conception of this workshop was the involvement of undergraduate student researchers in the discussion and implementation of research data management within their groups’ research projects. By involving undergraduate students as well as researchers, IT/tech support, and librarians in a collaborative, cross-campus discussion of research data management best practices and their applications for current research projects, we hoped to improve the research data management infrastructure and implementation on our campuses and to consider new avenues for collaboration.