Open educational resource developed to help students find data

Published: 2024-04-22

“Att hitta, bedöma och citera forskningsdata” (Finding, assessing, and citing research data). That's the name of the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) that is being developed by a working group within the SND network.

Portrait of Olivia Ekman
Olivia Ekman, librarian at Umeå University library.

“We hope to create a habit already at the student level of searching for data to reuse in student theses and later also in research for those who continue their studies,” says Olivia Ekman, librarian at Umeå University and one of the participants in the working group.

The origin of the course was a workshop at SND’s network meeting in Uppsala last autumn, where Olivia, together with Iris Alfredsson, Senior Advisor at SND, guided participants through questions such as ‘Why do researchers use other researchers’ data?’ ‘What are the differences and similarities between a search for literature and a search for research data?’ and ‘How do you make a search?’.

Appropriate module for a methodology course

“After the workshop, we felt that we wanted to take the theme further and create a course primarily for master level students, where a module like this can be included at an appropriate time in a methodology course,” Olivia explains.

Through the course, students will learn how to:

  • find research data and limit the search results;
  • assess whether the results they obtain are relevant to the task at hand, such as an essay or exam;
  • cite and credit data correctly.

The course will be in the form of a MOOC, which participants can study remotely at their convenience. It is primarily aimed at students in the social sciences but will be open to everyone, free of charge. Initially, the course will be in Swedish, but it will later be translated into English. It will not be a course that leads to a certificate or academic credits, but it will include quizzes and exercises so that participants can assess their level of knowledge and what they have gained from the course.

The course is launched for the autumn semester

In addition to Olivia Ekman and Iris Alfredsson, the group developing the course also includes Johanna Österåker, a librarian at Umeå University; Ilze Lace, teacher of methodology in social and educational sciences at the University of Gothenburg; Karin Westin Tikkanen, training coordinator at SND; and Rufus Latham, research data advisor at SND. The goal is for the course to be ready for launch for the autumn semester.

“We hope that the course will be useful for both students and methodology teachers. We will stick to a basic level. The idea is a simple and comprehensive course that is linked to the tasks students have ahead of them,” says Olivia.

Umeå University Library continuously works on developing open educational resources. If you want to know more about the work done in Umeå, you can read a previous article on our website about one of these projects.