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Pilot Project Helps University Librarians Assess and Improve Drexel’s Research Data Management Practice

March 7, 2018

As part of their ongoing efforts to understand and improve Research Data Management (RDM) practices at Drexel, the University’s librarians have been utilizing assessment tools made available through a pilot project sponsored by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine/Mid-Atlantic Region (NNLM/MAR).

Launched in September 2017, the pilot prepares librarians to understand and subsequently teach RDM at their institutions. It is designed to help librarians assess the challenges its researchers face throughout the entire data life-cycle, from collecting and managing data to storing and long-term data preservation. Drexel Libraries is one of only five universities invited to participate in the NNLM/MAR pilot.

The program consists of three components to help information professionals implement research data management services:

  1. Online Training Modules that include research data management training courses and sessions to help prepare information professionals to teach RDM at their institutions

  2. Data Interview Templates to facilitate direct discussions with Drexel researchers about their data management practices

  3. A Teaching Toolkit that includes PowerPoint slides, an evaluation form and a lesson plan for providing instruction to the Drexel community in at least one session on research data management

Elizabeth Ten Have, Director for Library Academic Partnerships, and Deb Morley, Director for Data & Digital Stewardship, coordinated the local pilot at Drexel, and three liaison librarians for the health sciences—Abby Adamczyk, Janice Masud-Paul and Kathleen Turner—have actively participated in the pilot program and used the NNLM/MAR tools.

The teaching toolkit is being used to enhance and improve ongoing research data management instruction at the University. Janice Masud-Paul, Liaison Librarian for Health Sciences Research, taught a 50-minute Research Data Management class to all three sections of Drexel’s course An Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR): A Short Course for Investigators in winter 2017. Required for all graduate students who will be conducting research, the RCR course introduces students to major ethical and policy issues in research. John Rossi, VMD, M.Bioethics, Assistant Professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health, invited Drexel librarians back to teach this important topic during the next RCR course offering. 

Abby Adamczyk, Liaison Librarian for Medicine, is designing a similar Research Data Management (RDM) class for the College of Medicine’s Responsible Conduct of Research course. Adamczyk’s class is scheduled for the end of March and will include a presentation on data-related issues most relevant to researchers in the health sciences and a hands-on learning activity. 

Since September, Adamczyk, Masud-Paul and Turner have interviewed 13 Drexel researchers representing all different areas of health and biomedical sciences to learn more about their data management practices. They plan to complete the interview process by the end of March 2018 and will use aggregated results from their conversations to provide Drexel’s Data Stewardship Forum—a cross-campus group of senior administrators whose offices have a stake in the management of Drexel's research data—with more detailed information about Drexel’s research data management practices. The results of the interviews will also inform and expand the Libraries’ RDM support programs and resources, ensuring that Drexel researchers have the resources they need to manage their data effectively.

For more information about RDM support at Drexel, contact


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.


Media Contact

Abby Adamczyk

Liaison Librarian, Medicine
Phone: 215.762.7632

Janice Masud-Paul

Liaison Librarian, Health Sciences Research
Phone: 215.762.2092