eScience in Action

Lessons Learned From a Research Data Management Pilot Course at an Academic Library

  • Jennifer Muilenburg (University of Washington)
  • Mahria Lebow (University of Washington)
  • Joanne Rich (University of Washington)


Setting and Objective:

From January-March 2014, three librarians from the University of Washington (UW) taught a course in research data management as a pilot for the New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum (NECDMC). The goals of the workshops were to a) pilot the NECDMC curriculum to see how effective it was as an out-of-the box solution for teaching research data management (RDM), and b) to gauge interest in an RDM class among certain UW student populations, and c) to teach UW’s first RDM workshop offered to non-librarians.

Design and Methods:

The NECDMC consists of 7 modules that can be taught independently or as a series. UW decided to teach all seven modules consecutively, as one-hour long weekly workshops. Each module included a lecture and activity or discussion. We taught at one location on upper campus, and live-streamed the lecture to another location in the Health Sciences Library. Each module was assessed at the end of the class.


Interest in a research data management class is high; however, retention for a non-credit, 7-week class is low. Individual assessments show that students thought the content was important and well-delivered.


Based on registration, graduate students at UW in many disciplines are interested in learning research data management skills. A non-credit, 7-week class had low retention; another type of class structure might increase retention. The NECDMC curriculum is an excellent framework, but modification to individual modules are necessary to provide a thorough and localized curriculum specific to one institution.

Keywords: research data management curriculum, academic libraries, instructional design

How to Cite:

Muilenburg, J., Lebow, M. & Rich, J., (2014) “Lessons Learned From a Research Data Management Pilot Course at an Academic Library”, Journal of eScience Librarianship 3(1): 8. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2014 The Author(s).

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