Research Data Services program enhances university research capabilities with technical workshops
By Mariah Rosales
The University Libraries’ Research Data Services (RDS) program offers an ongoing series of workshops aimed at boosting research capabilities at the University of New Mexico. These workshops introduce and provide hands-on experience with tools like R and Python for data management and analysis; Git, GitHub, and LoboGit for version control; and the effective use of Excel in research. The workshops, which include two-hour Coffee and Code workshops and multi-day Software, Data, and Library Carpentries workshops, promote research reproducibility and effective communication of findings. They are designed to bolster technical expertise, streamline research practices, and cultivate a community of adept researchers.
RDS Director Karl Benedict and Data Curation Librarian Jonathan Wheeler lead these workshops, with various collaborators bringing additional expertise to ensure comprehensive guidance. Todd Quinn, a University Libraries subject librarian, has been an integral part of the Coffee & Code workshop series and the Carpentries workshops, fostering a multidimensional learning experience.
The Carpentries is an organization dedicated to advancing research capabilities through technical workshops designed to build data analysis and computational skills. The program hosts a number of open-source Software, Data, and Library Carpentries lessons. These lessons allow for certified instructors like Benedict and Wheeler to teach hands-on, participatory workshops where learners immediately get a chance to try out the concepts they are learning.
Center for Advanced Research Computing Research Assistant Professor Matthew Fricke recently became a certified Carpentries instructor, and two more CARC staff members have completed the two-day training course and are in the process of completing certification. This expansion of training capabilities is the result of a partnership between CARC and RDS to coordinate research-related training opportunities for the university. Both CARC and RDS workshops can be found on calendars available on CARC and Libraries web pages. The partnership aims to make it easier for UNM researchers to discover and attend workshops that will support them in their research goals.
The workshops offered by RDS primarily cater to novices and progressively build upon prior concepts. Early career faculty, post-doctoral researchers, graduate students, and professional staff can find substantial value in these workshops. The workshops are structured to cater to the varied needs of the attendees with both the Coffee & Code and Carpentries workshops focused on enhancing technical skills crucial for efficient and impactful data-driven research.
The Coffee & Code workshop series is scheduled to take place in-person in Fall 2023. Most Data and Software Carpentry workshops and all Coffee & Code workshops are open to the public. The doors are open even to high school students and community members, ensuring a diverse gathering of minds and ideas.
The Coffee and Code workshops are conducted within the workshop room of the Centennial Science and Engineering Library, situated on LL1 – DEN2. This room is located across from the library's circulation desk. To browse upcoming offerings or to register for a workshop, please visit our Workshops & Seminars page.