Researching the Repositories… Get Involved!

Team ReOps
Dec 12, 2019 · 4 min read

By Mark McElhaw, Holly Cole and Brigette Metzler

To get involved sign up here

Research insights coming to a city near you


As we come to the end of the year, we’ve also reached the end of our preparation phase for the research repos project. It’s been an interesting journey, exploring how we, as the ResearchOps Community, can add value by framing the fast-changing field of research repositories — or customer experience knowledge management — depending on what lens from which you take a look at them. And bearing in mind the holiday season, we wanted to reflect this change, where we take stock of what we’ve discovered, who we’ve met and look ahead to the next chapter. Hence our hemispherically inclusive solstice edition! Note whilst technically secular, we will be applying some seasonal magic.

What have we learned so far

Gosh so much! Where do we start?

  • First of all, a consent form is not something you get people to sign and file away for reference. It’s a living distribution license that needs to be referred to over time. And we have a tool you can use to create your own! (we’ll add a link as soon as we have it, it’s not far away!)
  • Secondly, there isn’t a shared user research taxonomy to date. While there are countless taxonomies for every field imaginable, the obvious one, namely user research, seems to have been omitted.
  • Thirdly, it seems extremely rare to have mapped out primary and secondary research as a journey map in terms of repositories. We’re sure these will start to appear once we say this, but we’ve put a stake in the ground and started there.
  • Finally, the ResearchOps needed to keep this massive effort going has been fascinating, humbling, and exciting. Trying to strike the right balance between managing the expectations of enthusiasm with the realities of bandwidth, superimposed over one of the most diverse ranges of experience, maturity, availability, location, and ability, has been both fascinating as well as challenging.

While the field is vast and the project in many ways is an ongoing evolving organism, we’ve reached the point where we feel we can finally get going and involve the greater ResearchOps Community-at-large. So, we are announcing our schedule of activities.

What it is:

A series of research activities, both online and in-person, to understand how people gather, store, and share their research insights.

  • The Pilot before Solstice — an online workshop to prepare everyone who is running workshops in the new year
  • One to One Interviews — interviewing repo owners and admins, as well as researchers who contribute primary research to a repo of any type
  • Experience Mapping Workshops — for all comers, whether owners, admins, researchers, PWDRs (People Who Do Research), and people who deal with the outcomes of the research (Librarians, Product owners, etc)
  • Diary Studies — for Researchers and PWDR
  • Survey — Everyone!

Why is it important

We need to map out the current experience to:

  • Gather the terms people use for the different research methodologies
  • Identify pains and delights in; setting up and managing a repository, as well as, conducting primary and secondary research
  • Establishing good governance principles
  • Benchmark the state of research repositories

Who is invited

Everyone is currently using a research repository; they simply may not think of it in this way, as a “research repository”. Everyone is welcome to take part. However, the project focuses on certain groups of people:

  • Researchers, research managers, research operatives, research administration/coordinators
  • Information managers, knowledge managers, digital librarians and taxonomists
  • Heads of Business, Operations, Sales and Marketing, Research & Design, Technology
  • Research participants as people with a role to play in what research is shared and with whom.

Where will it be

Same time, same place

As a team, the ResearchOps Community is going to hold a series of 2-hour workshops in locations around the globe between January and March of 2020. We’ll be asking you, and anyone who wants to join in, to run their own workshop in the new year. The purpose is to create experience maps for primary and secondary research methods.

Same time, different place

As well as that we are going to be conducting 1-hour interviews with people who either own or administer research repositories or do primary research.

We are also holding the pilot before the holidays for everyone in the working group. It will serve as a test run and briefing for all those who want to run their own workshops in the new year.

Different time, different place

Alternatively, you can fill in a weekly form on our slack diary study channel.

Finally, we will be conducting a questionnaire to test our findings and insights with an even bigger audience.

When are the key dates

  • The Pilot before Solstice — closed group briefing for the working group 18th & 19th December 2019
  • One to one Interviews — already started with a plan to wrap-up by February 2020
  • Experience Mapping Workshops — January to March 2020
  • Diary Studies — December to February 2020
  • Survey — April 2020

In conclusion

Thank you, again, for being such an amazing community. We are so excited to be bringing another round of truly exciting projects and workshops to you, our community around the world. It is always a labor of love and we couldn’t do any of this without each of you. We’re all looking forward to seeing many of you in meetings and workshops around the world soon!

Again, to take part sign up here.


Talking about how to operationalise research

Team ReOps

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Talking about how to operationalise research

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