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Announcing Frameworks for Data Management Curriculum and Evaluation of User Needs for Repository Software

Recognizing a pressing need for data management education in the sciences, the Lamar Soutter Library at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the George C. Gordon Library at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have collaborated on an IMLS National Leadership Planning Grant, “Planning a Data Management Curriculum  and Requirements for a Collaborative Repository,” to develop frameworks for a case based data management curriculum for science, health sciences, and engineering students at undergraduate and graduate levels, and to identify user needs for repository software for storing data sets.

The purpose of this grant has been to develop:

  • a flexible, case based curriculum that teaches data management best practices to students enrolled in a broad range of scientific disciplines
  • an evaluation of user requirements for open source software for storing data generated by student research projects

The libraries have worked with faculty, curriculum, evaluation, and instructional design consultants to develop Frameworks for a Data Management Curriculum, a modular case-based approach for data management instruction. Included in these frameworks are lesson plans for seven course modules, real life research cases, readings, assignments, a simplified data management plan, a prototype of developed content for one module, and assessment questions and answers.  The modular design of the curriculum allows faculty to pick specific course module(s) that are relevant to their courses.   The curriculum could be delivered by faculty or librarians in a variety of ways:  face-to-face classes, as self-paced online modules, or a hybrid format.

The Research Computing and Academic Support Group at WPI conducted testing of three open source software programs to evaluate user requirements for storing data.  A summary of the testing process and a matrix of the results of the software testing are available on the project website below the heading “Project Deliverables.”

For further information, contact Donna Kafel, Project Coordinator at

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