I decided to do the Melbourne_MANTRA program rather than 23 (Research Data) Things, as I have already completed and reflected on the latter for my portfolio and so I wanted to learn something new and try a different program. I found the MANTRA program was interesting and informative and the modules were short enough to do in short periods of time. It is made up of different learning formats such as text, videos, reflections and quizzes. It differs from 23 (Research Data) Things in that it is aimed at researchers rather than information professionals. I found this particularly useful as I am currently in the process of completing a coupled research project for my MIS(LIP) which will involve data collection management next semester if I get ethics approval.
The program contained a lot of detail about data storage and management about which I was previously not aware. For example, I thought it would be safe to store my data on my laptop, backed up on a USB, but the program advises against using these as the main form of storage, instead recommending storage on an institution’s network such as the university’s with password protection. I also did not realise that data stored electronically deteriorated over time and that important data could become irretrievable if its format becomes obsolete. The legal aspects of data management were interesting and although I do not feel I learnt anything new, it was presented in such a way as to be understandable and could easily be presented to researchers. There were links provided at the end of each module for further reading, which I did not take advantage of due to a lack of time at this stage, but I plan to follow them up in the future.
I found it valuable to learn about data management from a researcher perspective both for my current situation as a student researcher and for my potential future as an information professional providing research support services to clients. I feel that it complements 23 (Research Data) Things in this respect by providing a different perspective. I will definitely be dipping into MANTRA’s resources next semester when I commence the data collection and management stage of my project as it made me realise that my knowledge in this area of research was limited. It is difficult to know exactly how I will use this resource and the things I have taken from it in my future career as I do not know where it will take me when I graduate. However, it is a resource that I am now aware of and which I plan to revisit on a regular basis in the future along with 23 (Research Data) Things. If I find myself providing research support services in the future, it is a resource that I will recommend to researchers as it is straightforward and can be dipped in and out of as required. It is an excellent resource for both researchers and information professionals offering research support services.