Research Bazaar 2018 – Highlights, insights, and what can we learn from each other?

Research Bazaar (ResBaz) is a worldwide digital literacy movement that aims to equip researchers with next generation digital tools and skills. ResBaz originated at The University of Melbourne and soon became a global event with Research Bazaars happening every year at several universities around the world. ResBaz provides a collaborative environment where researchers come together, share their knowledge and skills, form and develop connections, support each other and in the process, develop a strong research community. The centre for eResearch has organised ResBaz at the University of Auckland since 2016 - a year following the inaugural event in Melbourne. Since then, we have seen our audience numbers grow each year with 115 researchers attending ResBaz 2018.

Our approach to the organisation of ResBaz 2018 was different from the previous years. We made this decision based on our experiences and observations from previous events. As an example, instead of fullfledged software carpentry lessons in core digital tools (such as R programming language, Python and Git) we offered close to 40 “taster sessions” where audience had the chance to learn about the digital tools they were interested in. This was done in order to help the researchers make an informed decision on which tools will benefit them the most before embarking on a software carpentry course. As such, the software carpentry lessons followed two weeks after ResBaz. In this session, I will share with the audience my experiences organising ResBaz 2018, highlights of the festival, outcome of the changes we implemented and the attendees’ feedback. I welcome the audience who have organised similar programmes to share their experiences, ideas and thoughts.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Dr Dharani Sontam is an eResearch engagement specialist at Centre for eResearch, University of Auckland. A trained molecular biologist, she joined Centre for eResearch in 2017 following the completion of her doctoral studies at the University of Auckland. She is involved in projects aimed at supporting researchers’ data management needs from planning through to publishing and sharing.

Yvette Wharton is the eResearch solutions lead at Centre for eResearch, University of Auckland, working on research data management services and researcher enablement projects. She has extensive experience in University teaching, research and IT environments and is passionate about using her broad knowledge to facilitate people to achieve their aspirations.

Dr Cameron McLean is the eResearch engagement lead at Centre for eResearch, University of Auckland. His background is in molecular biology and computer science. With a strong focus on researcher enablement, his current work revolves around digital scholarship and helping researchers utilise digital tools in a manner that links with the core values of research and scientific enquiry.

Laura Armstrong is a research services advisor at Libraries and Learning Services, University of Auckland, with experience in designing and delivering research data management services including data publishing, and digital research skills development. Her primary interests are: researcher enablement; engaging researchers and other stakeholders in the design and delivery of services; exploring roles for libraries and librarians/information professionals in contributing to researcher and institutional success by leveraging our relationships, skills, knowledge and experience.

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