From 2011-2013, members of the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Data Stewardship Committee (the Committee) worked together to produce the “Data Management Short Course for Scientists” (Short Course). The current Short Course consists of 35 modules, organized into four sections: The Case for Data Stewardship, Data Management Plans, Local Data Management, and Responsible Data Use. Together, the modules cover a wide range of topics relating to the practices and tasks of data management. The main goal of the Short Course is to provide a syllabus of complementary data management information with each module being a stand-alone topic, so that users can personalized their learning experience based on their data management skills, knowledge, and experience.
In order to encourage and to ensure easy access and use of the Short Course, the Short Course can be found as “Data Management Short Course” under the Quick Link section of ESIP homepage (https://www.esipfed.org/). Additionally, to raise awareness of the Short Course beyond the ESIP community, the Short Course has been demonstrated and presented at various conferences by the Committee members. However, to further promote the Short Course, during the 2015 ESIP Winter Meeting, the Committee members expressed the desire to explore additional methods to enable the use of the Short Course by communities beyond Earth scientists and the data stewards who support them. As the Committee’s Student Fellow who is currently in the Master of Library and Information Science program with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I decided to volunteer to write and submit an article to be refereed by the Issues of Science and Technology Librarianship (http://istl.org/) in order to advocate the use of the Short Course by academic librarians.
Since this article was going to be my first solo article to be refereed, I asked the Committee Chair (Justin Goldstein) and three other members (Ruth Duerr, Nancy Hoebelheinrich, and Matthew Mayernik) who had been closely involved with the development of the Short Course to be my advisors. The advisors helped me in making sure that I would present the Short Course accurately and represent the Committee appropriately.
I started the article in January after I returned from the ESIP Winter Meeting. My focus for the article was to emphasize the increasing need for both academic researchers and the librarians who typically assist the researchers with their information needs to be familiar with data management knowledge and to gain the related skills. However, with the various requirements and trainings that are being developed by different agencies and organizations, it might be challenging to pinpoint the exact resources in a timely, efficient manner. As a result, the article also summarized the benefits of using the Short Course as a key resource for academic librarians as both personal training and reference to be recommended to others that the librarians collaborate with.
After seven editions, the article was submitted for referee in April; by May, the preliminary acceptance for publication and the comments by two separate referees were returned by the ISTL referee editor. With a few more rounds of editions, the article was finally submitted and officially accepted for publication by the referee editor in June. The published article can be found using the following DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.5062/F42805MM
While having earned a refereed article is certainly very exciting, being able to write an article for the Committee was definitely a great learning experience as well. The process allowed me to understand the Committee’s collaborative activities better, especially in terms of the Short Course. It also gave me the opportunity to understand a journal’s referee procedure, so that I would be better prepared for any future peer reviews. Finally, I was able to work with four advisors who are great mentors and gave me very valuable advice. As a result, I am glad that I got the opportunity to write the article regarding the Short Course on behalf of the Committee and would be happy to contribute other articles for the Committee again soon.