Full-Length Paper

Grassroots Professional Development via the New England Research Data Management Roundtables

  • Thea P. Atwood (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • Patricia B. Condon orcid logo (University of New Hampshire)
  • Julie Goldman (Harvard Medical School)
  • Tom Hohenstein (Boston University)
  • Carolyn V. Mills (University of Connecticut)
  • Zachary W. Painter (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth)


Objectives: To meet the changing needs of our campuses, librarians responsible for research data services are often tasked with starting new endeavors with new populations without much support. This paper reports on a collaborative effort to build a community of practice of librarians tasked with addressing the research data needs of their campuses, describes how this effort was evaluated, and presents future opportunities.

Methods: In March of 2015, three librarians found themselves in a situation of serendipitous professional development: one was seeking to provide a new method of mentorship, and two more were working on an event, hoping to broadcast it to a wider community. From these two disparate goals, the Research Data Management (RDM) Roundtables were created. The RDM Roundtables planning committee developed a low-cost professional development day divided into two parts: a morning session that detailed an idea or solution relevant to our practice, and an afternoon roundtable discussion on practical aspects of research data services. Evaluations from these events were coded in NVivo and we report on the common themes.

Results: Participants returned sixty-one evaluations from four events. Five themes emerged from the evaluations: learning, sharing, format, networking, and empathy.

Conclusion: The events provide a valuable professional development experience for attendees, and the authors hope that by providing a description of the events’ development, others will establish their own local communities of practice.

Keywords: Professional development, research data management, roundtable

How to Cite:

Atwood, T. P. & Condon, P. B. & Goldman, J. & Hohenstein, T. & Mills, C. V. & Painter, Z. W., (2017) “Grassroots Professional Development via the New England Research Data Management Roundtables”, Journal of eScience Librarianship 6(2): 2. doi: https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2017.1111

Rights: Copyright © 2017 Atwood et al.

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Published on
06 Oct 2017