Meet the Mendeley Data advisory board: Rebecca Koskela

Sharing research data has the potential to make research more reproducible and efficient. When developing Mendeley Data – an ecosystem that enables data to be stored, shared and re-used – we worked with a board of librarians and research leaders from across the research data management community.

In this series of interviews, we meet some of the members of the Mendeley Data advisory board and get their thoughts on the role of research data management (RDM), and how Mendeley Data can contribute to this.

Rebecca KoskelaName: Rebecca Koskela

Job Title: Executive Director of DataONE at University of New Mexico

Bio: Rebecca Koskela is responsible for the day-to-day operation of DataONE—coordinating all technical, management, reporting, and budget issues.

Prior to her current position, Rebecca was the Life Sciences Informatics Manager for Alaska INBRE, and the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Core Manager for the Center for Alaska Native Health Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In addition to her bioinformatics experience, Rebecca has over 25 years’ of experience in high performance computing, including positions at Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Cray Research and Intel.

What motivates you each morning?

In addition to duties at DataONE, I’m a volunteer for other projects, such as EarthCube and Research Data Alliance, which are also concerned with research data management. The collaboration with these other projects moves them all forward.

What challenges do you want to see RDM fix?

There are two main challenges that I’d like to see addressed more quickly.
It’s great that more and more funding agencies are requiring data management plans, but I think we’re lagging in the development of tools to help people do the actual planning.

I also still see problems today around data discovery and the need for adequate documentations to re-use data. In 2010, we carried out a survey at DataONE which found that researchers had limited understandings of metadata standard. Unfortunately, even with the emphasis on FAIR data, we still have a long way to go to highlight the significance of metadata.

What excites you most about Mendeley Data?

The thing that stands out to me the most about Mendeley Data is that, contrary to what people may think, Elsevier doesn’t own the data – it remains in the control of the researcher. I love that.

Mendeley Data 5 factsI also really like the fact that users can pick and choose which modules they’d like to use. This means that you can get started somewhere, and have the option to expand into other RDM tools when it suits you, instead of having to start using everything from the offset.

What value does Mendeley Data bring to the space?

Mendeley Data is all about education – it helps people learn what is meant by RDM, and then provides the tools to do it.

I also like the fact that you can manage different metadata standards with Mendeley Data. It’s a good quality product built on strong coding.

What do you think the future holds for RDM?

I hope that people will pay attention to the need for quality metadata. I’d like to see better tools being developed that will speed up change here.
I also think that education needs to play at important part in RDM – it should go hand-in-hand with tool creation. I also want to see some success stories that show how added effort can really pay off.

 

Find out more about Mendeley Data here.

Meet other members of the Mendeley Data advisory board here.

 

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