Because good research needs good data

Highlighting research infrastructure roles and their leadership: Reflections on participating in the The Turing Way book dash in May 2022  

Reflections on participating in the The Turing Way book dash in May 2022

Patricia Herterich | 25 May 2022

It has been a while since I actively contributed to The Turing Way community. I was a core member of the initial project team in 2019 but since then, I have only followed the community’s activities and not actively contributed content due to a lack of time. For the book dash running from 16 to 20 May 2022 though, I managed to block time in my schedule to dedicate to co-working and writing. I decided to apply to be part of this book dash, intending to contribute some of the roles highlighted in the Hidden REF to the chapter on research infrastructure roles (data stewards, research software engineers, project managers and so on). 

The book dash was a hybrid event with local hubs in London, Bristol and Amsterdam that allowed some of the attendees to meet in person. I joined remotely only. Attendees were able to join any of four co-working sessions per day depending on what suits their time zone and working hours. Organisers encouraged participants to take regular breaks and a budget was provided for attendees to spend on snacks and drinks and share purchases or other topics in social catch-up sessions.  

The organising committee kindly invited me to facilitate one of these slots as a discussion session and I invited other book dash attendees to discuss how research infrastructure roles can lead on open research aspects. With career paths in that area not being as well defined yet, leadership might happen in places that are more hidden and individuals leading in less formal leadership roles might encounter different challenges than established leaders. The discussion was summarised by the Scriberia artist that had joined the event: 

open discussion_resized.jpg

This image was created by Scriberia for The Turing Way community and is used under a CC-BY licence.  

The discussion was so inspiring that I decided to write it up as my contribution to the book. I added it as some general content to the section on creating leadership opportunities and added my personal story and reflections on leadership. I hope that others will add their own leadership stories and thoughts as the shared experiences can be quite validating and the personal touch sets The Turing Way apart from other resources summarising recommendations on leadership and collaboration. 

Thank you to the book dash committee for accepting my application. Special thanks to Esther Plomp, Malvika Sharan, and Anne Lee Steele for reviewing my contributions that week.