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Skills for eResearch

The eResearch Coordinating Committee in its Final Report in April, 2006 "that there is a nation-wide lack of skills to support the rapid take-up of eResearch" (page ix). At the same time there is little formal training on offer in the area and a need to identify the precise nature of the skills requirements to support eResearch, recognizing the different roles engaged in this activity.

The Skills for eResearch Project being undertaken by APSR provides an opportunity to provide a strong basis of understanding of sector needs in developing an outreach program for the proposed Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and to provide recommendations for the higher education and VET sectors.

The Project will address the needs of three groups: researchers, particularly those engaged in data-intensive research, data managers of institutional repositories, data archives and discipline-based data centres and their support staff (of particular importance in this group are those who liaise between depositors the repository), and systems developers, data scientists and other technical staff.

The Project is designed to be undertaken in several separate forms, each designed to target the need of one or more of the groups identified above.

  • An analysis of the selection criteria for positions advertised as supporting repository management. This relates most closely to repository managers and associated IT professionals.
  • An analysis of existing training being offered through JISC, APSR and other training bodies. This training is most often targeted at repository managers.
  • Interviews with a small number of key researchers and identified through the ORCA Support Network. The focus here will be on academics engaged in data-intensive research
  • A survey of participants in eResearch Australasia 2007. APSR evaluates all its events as a matter of routine. It would be appropriate for a new conference such as this to include, in its evaluation, questions relating to skills development for the sector.
  • An examination of one research unit in depth. This would relate to the needs of researchers and those who provide technical support within the disciplinary context. This examination could be undertaken as a stand-alone study at a later date.

Contact: Margaret Henty

Completion date December 2007
Report Margaret Henty, "Developing the Capability and Skills to Support eResearch", Ariadne, Issue 55, April 2008
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