ANDS data workshops 16 July 2015

Some takeaways from two recent workshops organised by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS): RDM101: Research data starter for research data support staff and Hip topics: What’s trending in RDM in Victoria?

Trying to find datasets online is not a completely straightforward process. Multiple searching methods are required in different data ‘portals’, and ANDS lists a few:

One interesting point that was discussed after investigation of the portals was that mobile-compatible websites are few in this space – this is a major drawback if researchers want to upload datasets from the field using mobile devices. If the death of the PC comes to fruition with the majority of the populace switching to mobile devices in the near future, it would be good to see mobile compatibility developments hastened for data portals.

A group note-taking session documenting reasons data is valuable resulted in a collaborative Meeting Words document.

Skills
The changing skill set of librarians was examined. Data librarians need to be across many different areas to do their job well – research data management, open access and copyright issues, datasets and dataset management, and increased IT skills.

Socio-informatician is the name given to two new information management roles at Melbourne University, adding yet another term to the librarian job titles lexicon.

A constant re-evaluation of skills is required to be successful in the fluid environment that is research data management.

Tools
A metadata group tool called Redcap was discussed.

ORCIDs
So far there hasn’t been an end-to-end roll out of ORCIDs in Australia, and the ORCID consortium model currently being drafted by the ORCID working group (CAUL, ANDS, ARMS, CAUDIT, AAF, UA – with input from ARC, NHMRC) was discussed. A minimum of 20 members will be needed to implement, and more information on this will be forthcoming in the next month or two.

It was good to hear that the Wellcome Trust is now mandating ORCID IDs for research grants – it does seem that mandates are needed from the top so that they trickle down and become embedded in processes.

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Kaizen

This website presence has been shaped and inspired by ‘kaizen‘ – the practice of continuous improvement.

The Kaizen Institute explains that kaizen was introduced to the West by Masaaki Imai, ‘organisational theorist’ and management consultant (Wikipedia), from his text Kaizen: The key to Japan’s competitive success, back in 1986.

Kaizen has been applied to workplaces in many different industries (and quite extensively after WWII in Japan to help rebuild the country) with an aim to standardise business operations in order to eliminate wasteful processes and improve productivity.

The Kaizen Institute provides some stellar guiding principles for following the way of kaizen, all of which can be applied to the world of information management:

Good processes bring good results

Go see for yourself to grasp the current situation

Speak with data, manage by facts

Take action to contain and correct root causes of problems

Work as a team

Kaizen is everybody’s business

And much more!

One feature of kaizen that may appeal to archivists and archivally minded folk is the idea that ‘big results come from many small changes accumulated over time’ (Kaizen Institute).

Kaizen can be applied on both a personal and professional level, on a daily basis, and in many different ways. I believe the principles behind it can potentially be used in innovative ways, depending on the individual or business need at any moment in time.

Kaizen could have the power to shape the vision of new and emerging leaders and personalities involved in this fluid space that is information management, as well as to change information management processes and practice for the better.