Love Your Data Week 2017

This post was contributed by Renaine Julian from Florida State University.

What is Love Your Data Week?

This week (February 12 – 19, 2017) is Love Your Data Week (LYD), a social media event coordinated by data professionals, mostly working in academic libraries, archives, or centers. The purpose of the LYD campaign is to raise awareness and build community around topics related to research data management. This includes things like data sharing, preservation, reuse, and library-based research data services. During Love Your Data Week, we strive to share resources, stories, and practical tips to make researchers better stewards of their own data.  Love Your Data Week is quite similar to Open Access Week, and ScholComm professionals are well-positioned to make a positive impact through their participation.

This year’s theme is data quality, and our target audience is early career researchers. Each day of the week will have a specific focus. For example, Monday will center on getting researchers to think about the quality of the data they’re working with and/or creating. On Tuesday, data documentation will be the focal point, including metadata creation and techniques for describing data like data dictionaries and README files.

What does this have to do with Scholarly Communications?

LYD has a whole lot to do with Scholarly Communications (ScholComm)!  Anna Gold of MIT has said “data is the currency of science” (Gold 2007). And the ability to exchange data, reuse it, and review it is crucial to the productivity of all scholarship.  At Florida State University Libraries, we’ve always treated research data management as a form of ScholComm. There is a logical intersection between ScholComm work and the efforts of data specialists. The recent success of FSU’s data management program is bolstered by this collaboration.

#LYD17 @ FSU Libraries

Being involved with LYD is easy and doesn’t require huge preparation. Last year, we found out about LYD about a week before the event. I knew we wouldn’t be able to do much, but we’re fortunate enough to have a marketing director who manages our libraries’ social media accounts. I introduced him to the concept of LYD, and we went from there. I used the LYD website to find some canned messages that we could deliver, and he was kind (and brave) enough to let me do a takeover of our libraries’ Twitter account on that Monday. Throughout the week, my colleagues and I also used our personal accounts to tweet our thoughts as well as tips and tricks based on the theme of the day. There was positive engagement, and we were glad that we made the last minute effort to participate.

This year, we’re trying to ramp up our involvement. Since I managed to not burn the place down last time, I get to do another Twitter takeover this week. Our team will engage folks based on each day’s theme. The primary difference between this year and last are our efforts outside of social media to engage researchers. Our outreach specialist made an engagement board for our engineering library so that our patrons could post notes on how they document their own data.

Love Your Data Engagement Board @ FSU

LYD Engagement Board

At FSU, we teach workshops regularly on best practices in research data management and creating data management plans. The LYD 2017 theme, data quality, provided a timely opportunity to do our first workshop on data documentation and organization best practices. Since Tuesday’s theme is data documentation, that’s when we’ll host the workshop. It also happens to be Valentine’s Day so I plan to shamelessly encourage participants to give data the tender love and care that it deserves!

How can you get involved?

The participation of the ScholComm community is sure to enhance the success of this year’s LYD Week.  LYD has a low barrier to entry; it’s simple to get involved. When you’re ready to get started, you can find out more by visiting the LYD site and registering your institution! Also, don’t forget to use the hashtags #LYD17 and #loveyourdata.

And don’t forget to share your plans with ASERL:  Use the link to share the kinds of activities that are happening on your campus to promote Love Your Data Week.  And check out the responses below: