VALA2022 CC1 Splawa-Neyman

Researcher Engagement Framework: when your boss tells you to promote RDM, how do you do it?

Wednesday 15 June 2022, 09.15-09.45 and 09.55-10.25

Patrick Splawa-Neyman
  • Health Data Librarian
  • Monash University Library

Please tag your comments, tweets, and blog posts about this session: #vala2022 #cc1


The Researcher Engagement Framework was developed due to the growing requirement for librarians to engage with researchers to promote library services. The Researcher Engagement Framework is a tool primarily for librarians who do not have a research background, and aims to improve the likelihood that a promoted library service will be valued and supported by academics. It is a guide to assist with interactions, not a replacement for thorough preparation.

The Framework was developed based on experience in libraries in higher education. Librarians and research support staff in institutions across Australasia are expected to use existing skills to promote unfamiliar data management tools and services. The problem that often arises is that librarians are left directionless in an unfamiliar environment without a clear directive to follow. The Framework was developed to provide librarians with structure for researcher interactions specifically when discussing research data management. It has not been formally evaluated except empirically by using it in interactions with researchers. The feedback and observations from these interactions have then been used to update and modify the Framework.

This Framework has not been extensively tested therefore I hope to gain valuable insight from the participants into how it can be implemented for data management, how it can be implemented beyond data management and any other factors that have not been taken into consideration.

The Framework is composed of three components:

1. Categorisation – aims to place researchers into one of four quadrants based on their data management knowledge and desire for data management knowledge. This answers the question of what level of support librarians can expect to receive from researchers. Categorisations include advocacy, learning, disinclination and ambivalence.

2. Considerations – aims to ensure that what is important to researchers is taken into account. This will assist librarians to be aware of all aspects of research and help uncover why a library initiative might meet with resistance. Considerations include cost, time, restrictions, value and pitfalls.

3. Metrics – aims to measure from an institutional perspective which researchers are the most successful and valued. This may help to uncover reasons why a proposal might meet with resistance. Metrics include completions, publications, grants and citations.

The Critical Conversation will also include the advantages and limitations of the Framework.


As a project manager in data management Patrick has a proven track record of deeply engaging with researchers, raising the profile of open scholarship and open data, and successfully working collaboratively across institutions. His unique blend of skills from pharmaceutical sales, and sales and marketing for an open data vendor has led to the practical application of research data management support. He is motivated to support researchers and support staff to make informed, data-driven decisions.

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