Spotlight on: Elisa Rodenburg
Every other week, the Thematic DCCs and the Data Steward Interest Group (DSIG) put the spotlight on one research data steward working in the Netherlands, to stimulate knowledge exchange and peer-to-peer learning.
What drew you towards the research data management field?
I’ve been in this role since 2020. I’d had a student job that involved supporting researchers of a historical library and archives institution and I'd always really enjoyed working there. After working in a different field for a while I wanted to return to academic libraries and I started to orient myself towards the main topics in academic libraries. That's when I started learning about RDM and realised that it was an exciting and new-ish topic for academic/research libraries where many aspects were yet to be developed. This really drew my interest.
What is an activity/task of your role that you find yourself looking forward to?
I very much enjoy visiting academic departments across the university and giving presentations about our services. From the library, we serve every faculty and department in the university, so we hear so many interesting questions and perspectives from all fields and disciplines, that such a visit is also always a moment where I learn a lot, besides spreading information.
What is something unexpected that you can offer help with, if a colleague reaches out to you?
I can read music quite well! So if you ever have a question about something to do with sheet music, feel free to reach out.
What do you think your community of research data professionals is missing?
Some IT skills for building tools and/or connections between tools. We do get help from the university's IT department, which is great! But it would be even better if we had a dedicated IT professional who can build tools/applications, etc.
What is a topic you would want to collaborate on with others?
For a few years now, I've been working on an overview of all research support in the university, aka 'the wasstraat' (carwash) - that name has a pretty logical story behind it - outlining all the steps a researcher may have to take in the research (support) process. Steps to be taken can obviously differ per project; but now this 'wasstraat' just lives as a massive spreadsheet that confronts researchers with ALL potential steps, also ones that aren't relevant for them. I'd like to build this into some kind of interactive tool, but this is a big thing and not that easy to achieve on my own. I can also imagine that colleagues at various institutions are working on something similar and would love to compare notes and work together on this. We probably won't have the exact same steps, because each institution is different, but to find/work on a generic functionality together - I daydream about that.
Can you share with us a story from your work that was a highlight for you?
In 2020, 2021 and 2022 I was part of a team that built Escape Rooms on data management topics - Data Horror, Open Science, and Software Horror, respectively - and this has been an enormous joy and a learning opportunity. We've worked together with colleagues from several different institutions and, besides learning from each other, met new colleagues and made friends through this process as well. I presented the Data Horror and Open Science Escape Rooms at the iPres conference in 2022 and received a prize for the Best First-Time Contribution for that. That was an enormous honour - but I'm even prouder that the initiative is continued each year and that more and more colleagues nationally have expressed their interest to contribute.
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