Engage, connect, collaborate: rethinking research data management support at Curtin University

Ms Janice Chan1

1Curtin University, Perth, Australia


Findings from a 2019 eResearch Survey indicated that Curtin researchers are not fully aware of good Research Data Management (RDM) practice and the support and services available to them. Such lack of awareness can negatively impact their efficiency and experience doing research at Curtin. Improving RDM practice is a challenge because the Curtin research community has diverse needs, and good RDM practice differs between disciplines. With limited resources, a more structured and sustainable model needs to be developed to meet the demand for data management training and support in our community.


To address this challenge, Curtin University Library developed the Research Data Champions (RDCs) Program. Working in partnership with 10 academic staff from various disciplines, the Library provides training and connects RDCs with other research support staff across the University. The objective is to embed RDM knowledge and establish connections at School level, and the Library to gain further understanding of discipline-specific needs and knowledge gaps through the RDCs.


The inaugural program is currently in progress and will conclude in December 2020. It is expected that the program will improve RDM practice by increasing awareness of infrastructure and support available to researchers, advocating and promoting the FAIR principles and research reproducibility, and establishing a diverse and supportive network in the Curtin research community.


This presentation will cover the design process of the RDC program, the progress we have made so far, and finish with lessons learned and next steps.


Janice Chan is a Coordinator, Research Services at Curtin University Library. She and her team provide support to researchers on research data management, metrics and impact, and author identifiers. She is the executive officer of the Curtin eResearch Special Interest Group, and the Research Data Champions Program Coordinator.

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