You are here

Daily Tech Tools – Key players in embedding the culture of good Research Data Management (RDM) practice in student’s environment

The rapid expansion of technologies has changed the way students interact with the process of learning and thinking. Concomitantly, regulations and a call for excellence in research integrity and continuity in Australian universities are shaping the research ecosystem. However students are not familiar with the expectations around RDM. The daily use of cutting edge RDM tools (e.g. eNotebooks) in a learning context is a proactive way of providing this training. Its use for collation of information and support of collaborations prepares the students for a new era of research life-cycle: from data collection, through storage and to dissemination and re-use.

In our 21st century connected environment students can readily gather information from several sources on personal devices. Any gaps or misunderstandings in this acquired knowledge are augmented through our peer networks, both informal (social media) and formal (e-learning).

The higher education technological environment is replete with tools to collate and record information but the culture and discernment of using the appropriate tools is still developing. Added to this, the environment in which students from different disciplines gather, manage and analyse their data is widely variable. Because RDM can mean different things within different disciplines, formal education in data management tends to get lost in the curriculum. Sadly current coalface RDM skills remain based on old habits which often do not comply with new regulations or offer best approaches for research continuity.
Embedding the use of RDM tools in the undergraduate curriculum will set up a culture of best RDM practices in the new generation of researchers.

The acquisition of an enterprise licensed eNotebook (LabArchives) at the University of Sydney is giving our undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to interact with modern collaborative RDM tools. The daily habit of collecting, collating and managing their data in a platform that allows them to contextualize, consolidate and share their work is training them to manage their information not only for themselves now but for a future re-use and collaboration. In this session we will show how the eNotebook allows genuine research focus in teamwork, discussion, criticism, analysis and hypothesis testing. The use of this safe and secure tool supported by the University systems is helping the students to recognize the importance of RDM in the research process.