Full-Length Paper

Building A National Research Data Management Course for Health Information Professionals

Authors: ,


Background: In August 2017 the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Training Office (NTO) was awarded an administrative supplement from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to create training for librarians in biomedical and health research data management (RDM). The primary goal of the training was to enable information professionals to initiate or enhance RDM at their institutions.

Case Presentation: An eight-week online course was developed to address key concepts in RDM. Each module was organized around measurable learning objectives using existing subject resources, such as readings, tutorials, and videos. Within each module, an expert in the field co-facilitated relevant discussions, created and graded a practical assignment, and answered questions. Thirty-eight participants were selected for this initial cohort. Mentors were assigned to each participant for guidance in completing a required project action plan to further their RDM goals at their institution. The course was evaluated through pre- and post-tests and an online questionnaire.

Results: Thirty participants successfully completed the online course work and project, and gathered at the National Institutes of Health for a Capstone Summit. Students demonstrated improved knowledge of RDM concepts between the pre- and post-tests. Most students also self-reported increased skill and confidence. Practical assignments with individual feedback from experienced data librarians were the most valued aspect of the course. Time to complete each module was underestimated.

Conclusions: The initial offering of this training program improved the RDM skills and knowledge of participants and enabled students to add or enhance services at their institutions. Further investigations are necessary to determine the longer-term impact on the individuals and their libraries. While many of the participants will need additional training to become part of the data-ready workforce of health information professionals, completing this training is an important step in their professional development.

Keywords: research data management, training

How to Cite: Van Der Volgen, J. & Zhao, S. (2019) “Building A National Research Data Management Course for Health Information Professionals”, Journal of eScience Librarianship. 8(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2019.1160