Increasingly, Data Stewards play an essential and functional role in data management and making data FAIR, helping and accompanying researchers throughout the research process. Data Stewards also interact with many stakeholders including policymakers, researchers, data scientists, IT personnel and technicians.
To help Data Stewards provide the best support and guidance to researchers, the CODATA-RDA Data Steward Training team organise training series for data stewards in a variety of settings. The goal is to equip Data Stewards with the foundational skills they need to enable FAIR data practices. The courses provide an introduction to Data Science and a solid grounding in responsible research practices.
In 2019, the schools started a partnership with FAIRsFAIR, an EU network with a focus on enabling FAIR practices. In this partnership Data Steward instructor training events were organised. An initial pilot ran as a physical school in parallel with the Trieste summer school in 2019. Virtual events have since been held for Data Professionals in Manchester, San José, Gaborone, Ghent, Ireland and Gdańsk as well as two openly run events. In additional partnership with EOSC-Synergy a Moodle version of the training has been developed.
The training places a strong emphasis on teaching practical skills with team learning and ample opportunities for reflection and discussion. It also demonstrates the importance of partnership between the different roles in the research lifecycle and building communities of data stewards and researchers to encourage them to work more closely with each other.
The curriculum covers a range of topics, including:
- Research Data Management, Open Science, and FAIR Principles
- Data Stewardship
- Development of Research Data Management Policies
- Promoting and Archiving Data
- Open and Responsible Research