eScience in Action

Dinner and Data Management: Engaging undergraduates in research data management topics outside of the curriculum

  • Cameron Cook (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Tobin Magle (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Heather Shimon (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Trisha Adamus (University of Wisconsin-Madison)


Researchers are faced with unprecedented challenges due to the size and complexity of data, and libraries are stepping in to help by providing guidance on research data management primarily to graduate students and faculty. Currently, many universities are encouraging an undergraduate research experience where students engage in research projects in the classroom and in research labs, yet research data management is often not included as part of these opportunities. At UW-Madison, we piloted researchERS (Emerging Research Scholars), a program for undergraduates from all disciplines to learn data management skills. Focusing on core concepts as well as data ethics, reproducibility, and research workflows, the format of the program included seven evening workshops, two networking events, and one field trip. Each workshop invited campus and community speakers relevant to the workshop’s theme as a way to introduce the students to the network of available resources and data expertise and provided food for attendees. The workshops also built in customized activities to show students how to incorporate best practices into their work. Local businesses provided a tour of their facilities as well as a talk on how they leverage data. This paper will describe this program as well as the benefits and drawbacks of tailoring a research data management program toward undergraduates.

Keywords: research data management, data information literacy, undergraduates

How to Cite:

Cook, C., Magle, T., Shimon, H. & Adamus, T., (2020) “Dinner and Data Management: Engaging undergraduates in research data management topics outside of the curriculum”, Journal of eScience Librarianship 9(1): 5. doi:

Rights: © 2020 Cook, Magle, Shimon, and Adamus. This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Published on
10 Sep 2020