Due to the global pandemic COVID-19 we held the 3rd annual Data Curation Network “All Hands Meeting” virtually this year! We hoped to ensure optimal attendance and participation this way and were very conscious of the added stress, distraction and fatigue we’ve all been experiencing lately.

Therefore, instead of 2+ full conference days, we opted to keep it low-key and spread events out over the course of one week (July 14 – 17, 2020), with no more than two hours of virtual meetings each day as well as an additional (optional) meet-up hour for DCN members to break out in small groups based on various themes and interests.

Despite the virtual limitations we still managed to pack a lot in! Here are some highlights:

  • Hannah Hadley led a primer hackathon where primers from the first specialized data curation workshop were extended by original authors and DCN curators. Groups met throughout the week (and may continue to meet) to update and refresh primers on: geodatabases, Microsoft Access, WordPress, SPSS, Microsoft Excel, and Jupyter notebooks.
  • Mara Blake, Tracy Teal, and Lisa Johnston facilitated a brainstorming session about racial justice where we identified multiple paths for DCN members to better educate ourselves, be better advocates, and take definitive actions.
  • We heard updates from two of the curator special interest groups that have been hard at work since last year’s All Hands Meeting – Jen Darragh presented on behalf of the human subjects group (new sensitive data primers will be published soon!) and Sophia Lafferty-Hess and Jake Carlson presented the work of the campus outreach group. 
  • Wanda Marsolek facilitated an engaging session on the challenges and successes of building a data curator community within the DCN. 
  • Wendy Kozlowski led members through a fun activity comparing and contrasting DCN partners’ local data curation workflows and identifying opportunities for more collaboration and learning from each other. 
  • Liza Coburn gave her annual status update covering metrics and trends from the past 18 months of piloting our shared data curation service. 
  • Lisa Johnston provided an overview of what priority areas we would like to accomplish in Year 3 of our implementation phase grant. 

We were pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the virtual meeting went, and we had between 20 and 30 people attend each session. We tried to keep slide presentations to a minimum and make activities as interactive as possible by utilizing breakout rooms, polls, and short breaks. 

We also welcomed our two newest partners at the meeting this year – the University of California Santa Barbara and Virginia Tech. To onboard our newest members (and provide a refresher for everyone else!) we held a DCN curation training mini-workshop and a Jira software training before the main meeting began (July 13th).

Thanks to presenters and everyone in the DCN for their attendance and active participation! And finally, a very special thanks to our planning committee – Liza Coburn, Hannah Hadley, Wanda Marsolek, Alexis Logsdon, Wendy Kozlowski, Katie Wissel – whose creative and agile approach made this year’s meeting just as impactful and memorable as if we were all together in person! See you next year!

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