Two Days of Skills Workshops
When we learned that Belinda Weaver was coming to New Zealand to deliver a Library Carpentry roadshow to academic libraries in New Zealand, we decided to run a second ResBaz of the year in Dunedin, involving librarians and expanding the ResBaz community at The University of Otago. Mik Black, Murray Cadzow, and Jonah Duckles worked to put together a three-day event. Two days of workshops, and a day of community-building talks.
The workshops run were from a mix of topics in three parallel streams, Data Carpentry Social Sciences (Mik Black, Greg Gimenez, Murray Cadzow), Research Project Management (Fabiana Kubke), The 21st Century Academic: Smart, Savvy and Social (Christy Ballard and Justin Farquhar), Open Refine for Humanities (Fiona Tweedie), Digital Lab Notebooks (Riku Takei) and Library Carpentry (Belinda Weaver and Jonah Duckles). The workshops were well received, but with less attendance than we had hoped from the signups. Without a budget for food and social activities, the first two days had less of a cohesive feeling than the previous event held in February.
On Friday we hosted an engaging slate of talks, led off by The Honorable Clare Curran sharing with us her perspective and goals as Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media. Fabiana Kubke’s morning keynote address then helped us to think about our own research project management and encouraged the community to think intentionally about the ways in which they choose to work with others.
We then heard from Gabrielle Davie about the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) available in NZ. The IDI is a world leading set of New Zealand government data and records about citizens. These data are made available for research activities that advance the public good. There are thoughtful safeguards and oversights in place to ensure the information is not misused. Belinda Weaver then spoke about the community building work of The Carpentries and invited others to become involved.
We had a very energetic morning tea time with quite the buzz of conversations and introductions taking place, all fuelled by the stimulating talks of the morning. After morning tea, we heard from Emma Burns of The Otago Museum about managing digital records and physical research collections at the museum. Michael Lascarides presented the work of the National Library of New Zealand, inviting us all to use the open APIs and tools produced to share NZ cultural artefacts. Then Fiona Hely of AbacusBio walked us through her development pathway of learning Python and R to develop simulations of agricultural systems.
At lunch, the buzz continued with a full hour of nibbles and engaging conversations happening throughout the venue. Many connections and collaborations were formed over delicious food. After lunch Fiona Tweedie of the University of Melbourne took us on her journey from studying classics, to learning Python, and transforming herself into a data scientist. Georgina Rae of NeSI shared with us the success of NeSI’s training efforts over the past few years.
Then Michelle Barker of ARDC in Australia helped us interactively think about the ways in which we use, create and/or promote digital tools with a human Venn-diagram (we physically moved into groups). Sina Masoud-Ansari gave us background on his work at the Centre for eResearch at the University of Auckland. Finally to close the day, we had small group discussions, followed by a large group discussion about the obstacles we encounter with regard to using, creating and promoting digital tools for researchers.