Research Data Access & Preservation Summit Interview

Interview with our Research Data Manager, Rebecca Grant

Originally published on 07/03/2018 on the Research Data Access & Preservation Summit blog:

The Annual RDAP Summit wouldn’t be possible without our generous sponsors. This year we’ve asked each organization sponsoring at the contributor level or higher to introduce one (or two) of their staff members to the RDAP Community through a short interview.  Take a moment to get to know some of the faces you’ll see at this year’s summit.

Today’s interviewee is Rebecca Grant, Research Data Manager for Springer Nature.

photo of Rebecca Grant.

Rebecca Grant, Research Data Manager at Springer Nature.

Q: Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Rebecca Grant, and I’ve been working as Research Data Manager at Springer Nature since July 2017.

I work in the Open Research Group, and two of the biggest projects I work on are the roll-out of standard research data policies across our journals, and a new service providing hands-on curation assistance to researchers who want to share their data in repositories. I’ll be speaking about both of these projects during the Intersection of Publishing and Data panel on Wednesday 21st.

I’m a qualified archivist and part-time doctoral candidate at University College Dublin, where my research is investigating the connections between archival skills and training and research data management. I also co-chair the Research Data Alliance Interest Group on Archives and Records Professionals for Research Data.

Q: Have you ever attended an RDAP Summit before?

This will be my first RDAP Summit!

Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Summit?

The session Data quality: Curation services, Metadata, and Metrics. I saw Amy Koshoffer speak on this topic at the International Digital Curation Conference 2018, and I think it’s an area that’s both fascinating and important. As an archivist I’ve been trained to create metadata with a focus on context and how records will be interpreted, but we require researchers to describe their own datasets – what is the impact on metadata quality?

If resources and support are channeled into the creation of metadata, we should be able to assess and quantify what constitutes good quality metadata, and why it’s important.

Q: What data-thing or project has you the most excited right now?

I’m a member of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), and I manage the roll-out of standard data policies at Springer Nature journals, so I’m most excited about a new RDA output that’s currently under community review – the Journal and Publisher Research Data Policy Master Framework.

At Springer Nature we started rolling out our standard data policies in 2016, and since then a number of publishers have produced similar standard policies. The RDA output is the product of an Interest Group which included publishers, researchers and other stakeholders, and aimed to create common standards for developing data policies. The resulting framework facilitates the creation of different policy “levels” which are appropriate for different communities and disciplines.

Involving the community is a key aspect of the RDA’s work and the framework is currently open for review and actively soliciting community feedback.

Q: What else should the RDAP community should know about you and Springer Nature?

The RDAP community may not be aware of the breadth of the work we do to support researchers in sharing their data. As well as providing consistent research data support policies, we also advocate for the use of data availability statements (allowing data to be found and reused), and standardised data citations (ensuring researchers get credit for their published data). We have also published a curated list of recommended data repositories to support data archiving in discipline-specific, community-recognised repositories. To help authors and editors to understand all of this, we also provide a Research Data Helpdesk. Finally, we have recently launched a new service to provide hands-on assistance to researchers who want to publish their research data – I’ll be presenting on this, and our data policies, on Wednesday 21st.