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This panel will explore one academic library Research Data Management Group’s attempt to understand both the fundamental skill set needed to competently work as part of a research data management team, but also the hidden skills required to truly be successful. In response to grant requirements and the increased demand for aid in writing data management plans, Boise State University’s Albertsons Library formed a Research Data Management Group (RDMG) in 2014 to provide support to campus researchers seeking grant funding. As the group shifted in membership and grew in scope, competency conversations became a frequent topic of discussion. With consultation from several existing competency documents for other aspects of librarianship, the RDMG drafted a set of competencies deemed appropriate for a member of a research data management team. As with all competency documents, no one person will possess all characteristics, and indeed will not be an expert in each area. The resulting list provides each team member the opportunity to individually rank their skill set based on their own perceptions, and identify areas in which they should seek professional development. After self-assessment, the team can evaluate the perceived gaps in skills within the group and either seek members with those competencies or focus more heavily on education.

Not only does a competency document provide internal and external benchmarks under which the team can operate, it also provides a mechanism for reducing bias within the membership recruitment. Establishing easily identifiable and measurable aspects of all work allows growth opportunities for those who are unfamiliar with both the apparent and hidden measures of success, particularly in a rapidly evolving field. By providing explicit expectations, all members of a team are positioned for success in the research data management field of librarianship.

The RDMG who designed the competencies will discuss the process of creation, as well as the impact of having a clear competency framework under which members of the team can continue to grow and serve the research community. Participants will reflect on their skill building experiences within their own research data management teams and engage in a group discussion on potential biases and/or knowledge gaps.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.