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Drexel University Libraries Selected for Research Data Management Pilot  

September 6, 2017

Drexel University Libraries has been selected as one of five libraries across Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania to participate in a research data management (RDM) pilot program funded by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) Middle Atlantic Region (MAR).

The project, as described by the NNLM MAR, prepares librarians to understand and subsequently teach RDM at their institutions, offering a “holistic approach to developing data services that focuses on building the requested knowledge base, understanding and connecting with researchers, promoting effective outreach strategies and integrating with the broader institutional data community.”


At Drexel, Elizabeth Ten Have, Director for Library Academic Partnerships, and Deb Morley, Director for Data & Digital Stewardship, will coordinate the University Libraries’ involvement in the pilot, and they will guide a team of librarians who liaise to Drexel’s health sciences departments to align the pilot’s learning activities with the Libraries’ own initiative to advance the research data management infrastructure on campus.

“With an increased trend in sharing and publishing data to enable research to be reproduced and research data to be reused, having the skills and knowledge to provide research data management support to one’s research community is a key competency for liaison librarians in all subject areas,” explained Deb Morley. “This pilot is a great opportunity for our librarians who liaise to the health sciences departments to hone these skills and be exposed to data management issues specific to the biomedical research community.”

 The Libraries has been developing both its services and its partnerships with other organizations for several years now, ensuring Drexel researchers and administrators have the tools they need to meet emerging funding requirements and that these University-generated research outputs contribute to global scholarship. Though numerous national efforts focus on discipline-based communities, the Drexel Libraries is committed to supporting campus research, regardless of College or School. The Drexel emphasis on interdisciplinary research challenges librarians to learn the nature of multiple research methods and diverse disciplinary context.

 “Although participation in the NNLM MAR Research Data Management pilot will focus on health sciences librarians, at Drexel, we will extend the training to the full liaison librarian team as an opportunity to develop individual skills and Libraries services for data research management in all disciplines,” Beth Ten Have added.

The pilot consists of a series of online training modules and other tools to assist in implementing research data management services, including a data interview template with guidelines for outreach and engagement with researchers, a teaching toolkit with slides and evaluation materials and promotional materials for developing a data class series.

Two project managers -- Kevin Read and Alisa Surkis from NYU Health Sciences Library – will provide ongoing support for all pilot sites over the course of the program, including regularly scheduled webinars to discuss strategies and challenges of developing research data management services.



The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) is a nationwide program coordinated by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The mission of the NNLM is to advance the progress of medicine and improve public health by: 1) providing all U.S. health professionals equal access to biomedical information and, 2) improving the public's access to information, enabling them to make informed decisions about their health and health care.

The Network is the core of NLM's outreach program to reduce health disparities and improve health information literacy. Funded by NLM, through cooperative agreements, eight Regional Medical Libraries and five National Offices provide a variety of NNLM outreach services such as project funding, training, presentations, exhibits and other types of public programs. The University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) serves as the Regional Medical Library for the Middle Atlantic Region (MAR) which includes Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

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