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.
Name: David Groenewegen
Job Title: Director, Research, Monash University Library
Bio: David Groenewegen is the Director, Research. He is responsible for Library client services to the science, technology, engineering and medicine disciplines at Monash University, as well as the contribution the Library makes to the University’s research activity.
David has wide-ranging experience working in the areas of electronic information provision and related technology. Before returning to Monash University Library in 2013 he spent four years as a Director of the Australian National Data Service, where he was involved with the development and implementation of data management solutions across the Australian university sector.
What motivates you each morning?
The thing I most love doing is trying to find ways to help our researchers do their job better, which in the library means giving them the tools, training and resources they need, at the time they need it, and in ways that simplifies their life, not complicates it. I’ve been lucky to have the chance to try lots of new and cool things in my career, and I’m always looking for the next one.
What challenges do you want to see RDM fix?
I want things to become frictionless. I’d like to see software that’s smart enough to understand the subtleties of where data is stored and create that connect with other software and processes throughout the researcher lifecycle. This would really help to overcome the messiness caused by having information all over the place.
What excites you most about Mendeley Data?
One valuable thing that Mendeley Data is trying to address is how to bring data together, and manage it in a consistent end-to-end way. But for me, the modular aspect of Mendeley Data is the most exciting part. You’re not locked into one solution, instead you’re able to plug in different Mendeley Data modules into your own workflows – it’s the way universities like ours want to work
What do you think the future holds for RDM?
The need for RDM is well known, but there are still a lot of people struggling with finding the most frictionless way of doing things. Bespoke software might appear to be the best solution, but often this won’t work fantastically well, as integrating new processes into existing workflows isn’t easy. RDM isn’t as simple as storing data in a repository. I’m seeing growing recognition of the need to curate data and package it up for later use, so that others can get a decent answer out of it. Most of the tools currently available don’t support this very well.
Following on from this, long-term curation and management of shared data is also a key area I’d like to see develop. What was considered a lot of data 10 years ago isn’t now, but it’s not feasible to continue buying more storage so that we can keep everything just in case. Improving metadata goes a long way towards addressing this as it enables you to make quick decisions later on, but I’d like to see new processes developed that help us to identify if we no longer require to hold certain data.
Find out more about Mendeley Data here.
Meet other members of the Mendeley Data advisory board here.