1. Why was the DMT Clearinghouse created?
The three organizations that have initially gotten together to develop this data management training clearinghouse are all concerned with management of scientific research data as part of their missions. Because each organization has noted the lack of understanding and knowledge about best practices for managing data throughout their lifecycles, each has seen the need to share those practices with scientists in the field who are producing and using research data, and with data professionals. As a result, each organization has invested much effort in creating online training materials, producing educational events and developing other learning resources on these topics. Each organization has also found, however, that members of their target audiences are not finding the learning resources, nor are they able to easily ascertain whether a learning resource is right for them. Together, these organizations have strategized that developing a single “place” where learning resources can be found and described will help inform their shared communities about what training materials are appropriate and available to them.
2. What is a “learning resource”?
A learning resource is, basically, any tool that helps teachers teach and students learn. It is a term used more often by educators, and publishers of educational materials than by the research data communities at present. In the DMT Clearinghouse, the online tutorials, webcasts, short courses, and other “learning resources” are described using descriptive fields from a schema that has been developed by the educational community called the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI). LRMI has been endorsed by the big Internet search providers’ organization, Schema.org, and is now supported and maintained by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative.
3. What is an “educational framework” and why are many learning resources associated with one?
An “educational framework” is an intellectual structure that indicates the perspective that is being used when teaching a subject. It is a term more often used by educators than by the research data communities at present. Within the context of the DMT Clearinghouse, a learning resource is associated with a given educational framework when it comes from a community that has developed an approach to teaching members of its community about data management. For example, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Community for Data Integration (CDI) has developed a “Science Support Framework” (SSF) that provides a conceptual architecture into which data integration efforts can be placed. Within the SSF, a model called the “Science Data Lifecycle” identifies the steps through which data move and upon which USGS learning resources may be focused. If a researcher needs to know more about how to publish or share their data after it has been created, processed and analyzed for example, he or she could search or browse within the DMT Clearinghouse for learning resources associated with the USGS Science Support Framework Publishing / Sharing step.
4. What are the educational frameworks that are currently included in the DMT Clearinghouse?
There are three educational frameworks to which a learning resource can be associated at present. They are: The U.S. Geological Survey’s Science Support Framework, DataONE’s Data Lifecycle, and the ESIP Federation’s Data Management for Scientists Short Course. If you have an educational framework that you would like to have included in the DMT Clearinghouse, please contact the Clearinghouse Editor.
5. Where does the information about the learning resources within the DMT Clearinghouse come from?
The DMT Clearinghouse is designed to be a hybrid of crowd-sourcing and community support that enables anyone to submit information (content) about learning resources, but provides a mechanism for assuring the quality and currency of the information. A person who wants to submit content to the Clearinghouse does need to register and login. The information that is submitted then is reviewed and approved by community reviewers and editors before being accepted for public view. The timeline from submission to publication is designed to be short. If you have questions about submitting content or are interested in volunteering to be a reviewer and/or editor of the DMT Clearinghouse, please contact clearinghouseEd@esipfed.org.