During 2017 Tampere University Library presented a whole new online course directed to doctoral researchers. Managing Research Information course (2 ECTS) consists of topics such as scientific information retrieval, research data management and Open Access publishing. Also different aspects of visibility and impact, such as bibliometrics and altmetrics are discussed on the course.
The course tries to capture a wide range of issues crucial to researchers’ work. It’s important to acknowledge these issues even though they might not seem so relevant at the beginning of the research career. For example, research funders have started to emphasize the importance of opening the research data. If you aim to open your data, it’s essential to take that into consideration already in the planning phase of data collection.
44 doctoral researchers from various disciplines completed the course during autumn 2017. The Library Blog interviewed one of them.
Please, introduce yourself.
Moi! I am Tomomi Hisasue, and I originally come from Japan. I am a first-year PhD student in nursing science, in the Faculty of Social Sciences. I completed my first master’s degree in public health in the University of Tampere in 2011. Then I completed my second master’s in health economics and management (Norway, the Netherlands, and Austria) in 2017. Finally, I returned to study in Tampere!
My research topic is “Impacts of family violence against women on well-being and costs related to the utilisation of health and social services in Finland”. My research will cover a combination of different disciplines, including not only nursing science, but also health economics and health policy.
What are your impressions on the Managing Research Information course in general?
The course was well-organised in terms of several types of activities; I liked the balance between readings and viewings. During the course, we received a specific task every week. It usually started by needing to understand some concepts through watching YouTube videos, then we had discussion with other students, readings, or wrote a short essay. The workload was suitable and didn’t overwhelm me.
Did the course help you tackle some practical or specific problem?
My answer is a definite “yes”. During the course, I learnt how to write data management plans with good structures and make sure all needed information is included. I am sure my research grant proposal has developed.
In addition, before taking this course I thought that I would conduct my research first and then I choose a relevant journal. But I realised that increasingly a publication plan is required at the beginning of research. After the course I can now make a more appropriate study plan.
Are there some contents that should be included on the course? Or some topics of which you would you like to get a deeper insight?
I think it depends on your previous experience. If you have already published an article, you know something about how to proceed in the process. I found out that Open Access is a huge topic and quite challenging to understand. I would like to continue learning more and get a deeper insight of it.
Have you discussed about the things you learned on the course with your colleagues?
One of my colleagues took the course during the same period, and we brought some topics up in our regular weekly coffee-break meeting. It stimulated and promoted our discussion about our data management issues (e.g. Creative Commons licenses, Open Access, etc. in our field).
The course also helped me to discuss possible target journals with my supervisor. Nowadays, the JUFO level seems to impact on some funding decisions in Finland. It is not the only important factor when deciding a target journal, but we likely need to understand, or convince co-authors or funders, why we will choose a particular journal to publish our research.
Would you recommend Managing Research Information course? To whom?
Yes! My colleague recommended me to take this course at an early stage of my PhD studies. I was very glad to take her advice. I recommend this course for first-year PhD students because the course helps you to understand how to publish a research paper in a journal, from many perspectives, and that is not a simple task. However, even if you are a second- or a third-year student, it is probably a very useful course to take in order to update your skills and to better understand publication procedures.
The next Managing Research Information course will be held on March 2018. Welcome along, researcher!
Text, interview and more information: Information Specialist Tomi Toikko, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Esa Hakala