10 ways to use the OBERRED framework and badges to recognise competencies in the field of Research Data Management and Open Science in your project

How many of us have valuable competencies and/or know experts with competencies needed for the management of research data, but just don’t know how to communicate these competencies to the public and make them stand out in media?

The OBERRED project designed the RDM Framework with 8 competency areas and 22 badges to recognise skills in the area of Research Data Management and Open Science. We have summarised the most important information for you on this website: https://oberred.eu/badges/

Here are the 10 ways you can use Open Badges we designed in the OBERRED project to recognise competencies in the area of RDM / Open Science:

1. Issue Open Badges on behalf of an RDM / Open Science Community

We are all participating in different academic/research communities. You can join forces and decide to issue Open Badges to recognise competencies in the area of RDM / Open Science to people who have been working in the area and are part of your (local/thematic) community. As a community you can set up your own badging page on the BADGR badging platform, just like we did in the OBERRED project: https://eu.badgr.com/public/issuers/9uLa_VbUTFC4-GDywzEsGw/badges You can use OBERRED badges as inspiration to create your own badges to reflect the identity and values of your community.

2. Be a researcher in finding gaps in RDM competency recognition

In the OBERRED project we have identified a number of gaps in RDM competency recognition. For example, currently there are no mechanisms for the recognition of competencies related to the publication of Open Source hardware. In our collection of Case Studies as part of the Practical Guide, we have proposed an Open Badge which can be used to recognize contributions and competencies of Open Source hardware creators. Think about other areas which require high-level competencies which never get visualised and recognised.

3. Get inspired by the data lifecycle stages in the OBERRED RDM Framework

Models and frameworks help us think about processes in a structured way. Have a look at the OBERRED RDM Framework with the eight stages of the data life cycle to get inspired to think about which competencies in which areas of the lifecycle are worth recognising and communicating in relevant communities: https://view.genial.ly/622f633001af97001a893dcf/presentation-oberred-badges

4. Embrace different ideas for visual badge design

In the OBERRED project we have used specific colour schemes and titles of badges to create visual badge design with the aim of making it recognisable, which competencies and badges belong to which phases of the data life cycle. Be bold and embrace different ideas for the visual badge design for your project. You can use the visual design from the OBERRED project but also get inspired by other designs such as Open Science Badges https://www.cos.io/initiatives/badges

5. Focus on the criteria and evidence

When issuing badges to recognise competencies it is important to communicate both to receivers and well as the public which criteria was used to issue badges and if there is any evidence that can back the claim that a badge is recognising a specific competency. In our collection of Case Studies, which is part of the Practical Guide we have listed examples of issuing criteria and evidence for each badge example. You may find it useful to get some first ideas on how to focus on the criteria and evidence for issuing your badges in the area of RDM / Open Science.

6. Decide in advance about your audience

When you issue Open Badges it is important to strategically decide in advance who the audience of your Open Badges will be. The same competency will have to be communicated through a badge in a different way to the academic audience of researchers and practitioners and in a different way to the world of work outside of academia. Get some ideas who the audience for your badges recognising RDM / Open Science competencies will be from our collection of Case Studies, which you can find in the “Practical Guide” section on the OBERRED website: https://oberred.eu

7. Badging platforms are important

In the OBERRED project we used the BADGR platform to set up our badging website with 22 badges. We chose this platform after thoughtful consideration. This platform enables us to create a bading website for free. It is a global platform but at the same time offers an EU server location. We can use this platform to describe the metadata, such as issuing criteria and alignment with other frameworks in an easy and clear way. For your own project you can get inspired by the way we used BADGR or choose to use another platform such as Credly, Open Badges Factory or your Moodle LMS. Remember, that the choice of the bading platform is important for managing, communicating and issuing your badges to recognise competencies in the field of RDM/Open Science.

8. Ask yourself “Why?”

Finding the rationale for using the OBERRED framework and badges in your context and/or project may be important to justify your choice against other frameworks and methods. In the OBERRED project we created a new framework with badges because other frameworks seem too complicated for the use of badges and would require us to make multiple badges and sub-badges. This would make the system too complex to understand. Also, in our approach we wanted to focus on the pedagogy and help other practitioners initiate an own project to recognise competences in the field of RDM / Open Science / Open Research Data. Think about your “Why?” for issuing badges based on the RDM framework. Which value added do you want to create?

9. Communicate your idea right

The power of communication cannot be underestimated. In the OBERRED project we created academic publications about the RDM framework and badges for the academic community. While these documents may be appropriate and appealing to academics they may seem lengthy and boring to practitioners. Therefore we presented the outputs of the project in a more compact and visual way using https://genial.ly In your project, be aware to use different ways to communicate your idea for using the RDM framework and badges, so that different audiences can benefit best from what you want to communicate. It is also advisable to communicate step-by-step, explaining your rational, methodology and finally the design of your badges.

10. Consolidate different elements of the puzzle Once you start doing research and analysing the field to recognise the competencies, you end up with very many ideas, references and information pieces. In the OBERRED project we grouped different RDM and Open Science competencies and corresponding badges using the skills grouping method. The OBERRED framework and  badges were created using a Google Spreadsheet to create the matrix of all competency groups, competencies, possible badge metadata (which can be adapted and detailed according to the discipline, area of work and/or project), as well as possible validation criteria and tasks. For your own project, you may apply a similar approach to consolidate the different elements of the RDM/Open Science competency puzzle. Good luck!