The UCT Data Stewards & Champions form a community of practice around good data practices within research by developing and maintaining a vibrant, sustainable data culture  at UCT. The community is part of driving innovation at UCT in the areas of Open Science, Digital Scholarship, Digital Curation, and Research Data Management.

The members of our community represent a wide spectrum of knowledge domains and skills, highlighting UCT’s interdisciplinarity. While the Data Champions showcase the need for good research data practises within their research domains, the Data Stewards take on more hands-on tasks within these communities. DLS assists the Stewards with curating and publishing data (ZivaHub ), creating and reviewing Data Management Plans (UCT DMP ), performing Data Curation Profile interviews, and more (see below). 

The idea for creating a community such as this one was inspired by the wonderful initiatives of colleagues at the University of Cambridge  (James Savage), and TU Delft  (Marta Teperek) - thank you for showing us the way! 

Why do we need a community? 

The UCT Data Stewards and Champions community serves as an important network between the researchers and the digital librarians. We combine disciplinary expertise with an understanding of good data practices. While the Stewards provide domain-specific knowledge to assist the libraries and their colleagues with the processes of curating research data from various fields, the Champions are (typically) more high-ranking academics who advocate for good data management practices within their departments - such as the DVCs with ZivaHub stickers on their laptops. 

Digital Library Services drives this community by sharing relevant resources, holding training sessions, and providing ongoing support related to data activities within all research disciplines. We meet informally once every month to share ideas, stories and news around working with data at UCT. We are always present on a dedicated group in Microsoft Teams , where the sharing of questions and ‘pro tips’ is warmly encouraged.

How to Join 

If you are interested in joining our Data Steward community please complete this form to tell us a bit about yourself. We will then invite you to our monthly Data Steward meetings to meet the rest of the community. 

What can you do? 

Data Stewards can help to promote the data culture of UCT by doing some of the following, with assistance from DLS as needed: 

  • create / review DMPs  with/by members of your department/group - see DMP compliance Rubric;
  • digitally preserve selected data  from your department/group on Izolo;
  • perform a Data Curation Profile interview with your department/group;
  • showcase  selected digital collection(s) from your department/group on Ibali;
  • create a customised DMP template on UCT DMP for your department/group;
  • write a Figshare case study with DLS about how your department/group uses ZivaHub;
  • contribute relevant suggestions from your department/group to the UCT eResearch Centre;
  • review data submissions on ZivaHub within your department group, to ensure FAIR standards are met.