Introducing Erin Robinson, New RDM Advisor

by | Nov 13, 2020 | News

Hello, my name is Erin Robinson and I am thrilled to join the FAIR Island team as the new Research Data Management Advisor. In the last ten years of working with the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) and the last six leading ESIP as the Executive Director, I worked with the data management innovators and early adopters in this space, so while I feel new there are parts that are very familiar.

I have seen my own career evolve in the direction of being a bridge between the data management community and researchers as I built partnerships with data repositories and American Geophysical Union (AGU), the largest society for geoscience researchers in the world. Through this partnership, we formed COPDESS, the Coalition for Publishing Data in Earth and Space Science, where we have worked with data repositories and publishers through the Arnold funded project, ‘Enabling FAIR’ to provide a consistent experience for researchers publishing in this space, but this is still a stop gap – if researchers only think about data management and a relationship with their repository when they are publishing, it’s too late.

Currently, the research community is slowly being pushed by funders for data management plans when they submit proposals and to publish and cite their data when they want to publish articles. While funders and publishers are trying to move the needle, to most researchers this feels like extra work and the benefits aren’t clear. Sometimes, I think the community is coming along and we are reaching a tipping point, but recently I have realized that tipping point is the edge of a data management chasm we need to collectively cross.

The FAIR Island project offers a unique opportunity to quickly cross the chasm in a controlled environment. In this capacity, I am looking forward to being able to build bridges with the data management experts at CDL and beyond to support increased adoption of FAIR workflows by the Tetiaroa research community from the data management plan to the publications. My first activities will be to come up to speed with current data management activities happening through CDL and in practice through a series of conversations. My approach is to not let perfect be the enemy of good, so I hope to move the data management policy forward relatively quickly and begin to see the implementation of those plans. I also am an avid adopter and hope to integrate existing tools and methods like the iSamples community.  With the team, we know that if we can show success on Tetiaroa, there are partners through the 4Site Pacific Transect project and the broader UC system that would be willing to adopt too.

When data is FAIR and teams orient toward open, new questions can be answered and science is transformed. It is great to virtually say hello through this blog post and I am looking forward to getting to know you and your work over the next several months. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with your ideas and how we go farther together!