In this series, we introduce the team members who make up Research Data Services (RDS). This interview is with Brianna Marshall, RDS Chair and Digital Curation Coordinator at the General Library System.
Describe your role at the General Library System.
My position is a newly created role meant to explore the library’s role in data services on campus. In a nutshell, I lead Research Data Services and manage UW’s institutional repository, MINDS@UW. A lot of my job is strategizing for the future – where are we now? where do we need to be? – and trying to gather necessary resources.
What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on recently?
It’s hard to pick just one, especially because one of my favorite parts about my job is how varied my days are! On any given day I will be doing a consultation with a researcher, giving a presentation, or tinkering with the repository. One current project that has captured my attention is a toolkit RDS is developing to pinpoint tools that support research data management. We are still in the prototyping phase but I am incredibly excited about having the chance to really clarify what tools are out there for different aspects of data management.
What excites you about supporting research data management on campus?
The University of Wisconsin is one of the top tier research institutions in the country. Being in a position to help support that incredible research is a big deal to me. I’ll be the first to admit that effective data management can quickly become overwhelming, so I love having the chance to say, Here are three small steps you can implement today that will make things better. As a native Wisconsinite, I’m also a proud advocate of the Wisconsin Idea – I know that the research coming out of UW benefits the entire state.
If you had an unlimited budget, what would you institute on campus?
Without a doubt I would invest in a data repository. Understandably, this is a huge financial investment that would need to be driven by campus. In my mind it’s an appropriate middle ground between on our existing repository, MINDS@UW, which is well-suited for publications, and the storage and backup options offered through DoIT. There needs to be an extra layer that allows for critical research data generated at UW to be archived and made discoverable. This will help researchers comply with federal funding mandates and allow UW to remain involved in an important piece of the research process.
Do you have a favorite UW building or landmark?
I’m partial to Science Hall. I was lucky enough to get a behind the scenes tour from the building manager when I started my job, and boy is it an interesting place. From the massive topographic maps on each floor to the old anatomy department (where they used to push bodies down a slide located in one of the towers!) to the secret attic, there’s a lot of intrigue there. If I ever write my mystery novel, I think I know the setting!
What do you like to do outside of work?
I make things: I’m a quilter, scrapbooker, and photographer. I enjoy seeking out adventure whenever possible. In the image included in this post I’m at the Apostle Island Ice Caves in my natural state: behind the camera.
Do you have a question for Brianna or the rest of the RDS team? Contact us today.