Name: Wouter Haak
Job title: VP Research Data Management
Wouter is responsible for research data management at Elsevier, specifically the Mendeley Data platform. This is an open ecosystem of researcher data tools: a data repository, an electronic lab notebook, a data search tool, and a data project management tool. Aside from his work for Elsevier, Wouter is part of several open data community initiatives; for example he co-chairs the RDA-WDS Scholix working group on data-article linking; he is part of the JISC Data2paper advisory board; and his group participates in the NIH Data Commons pilot project. It is all about the ‘R’ of FAIRdata: focusing on data re-use.
Prior to Elsevier, Wouter worked in online product and strategy roles. He has worked at eBay Classifieds, e.g. Marktplaats.nl, Kijiji.it – in roles varying from business development to overall responsibility for the classified’s businesses in Italy, France, Belgium and Turkey. Furthermore, he has worked for the Boston Consulting Group.
When did you join Mendeley?
What do you love most about your job?
I love speaking to researchers, about their projects and visions. Going to universities and learning about the things they do, I’m proud that I can contribute a tiny piece to this amazing world.
What book did you most recently read?
I read the Cicero trilogy by Robert Harris. Amazing how something that takes place during the Roman empire is still actual today. The main character is not Cicero but his slave: Tiro. Tiro – quietly working in the background – is actually the hero of this story.
What’s the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
That Mendeley is becoming more than a reference manager. I would like to see Mendeley grow to becoming a daily virtual partner of researchers.
How would you explain your job to a stranger on a bus?
I help researchers and universities with re-using the data and measurements that they create better.
What’s the most exciting part of your job?
In my direct team of about 50 people, I find it exciting that we have more than 10 nationalities. I have lost count and that is fun.
What keeps you awake at night?
Nothing keeps me awake at night. Having gone through raising young kids, I have learned that problems are best tackled during the day.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?
I learned that the European Open Science Cloud project is starting to have areas that are going to be very real and helpful for research overall. My plan is to see if we can contribute to this. Less so to the infrastructure but more likely on the ‘tools’ or ‘commons’ side.
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