Gustav Nilsonne has been appointed coordinator of SND’s domain specialists, a position that includes coordination of the national domain specialist activities, as well as being a bridge between SND’s headquarters and the domain specialists in the SND consortium universities.
SND’s domain specialists are experts in various scientific domains. Their role is to support researchers as well as the local research data functions in the Swedish universities in matters of research data and open science. Physically, they are located in SND’s seven consortium universities, but the intention is for them to be national resources for all Swedish universities.
In his role as domain specialist coordinator, Gustav Nilsonne will support and guide the domain specialists in their work, and establish routines for communication between the various parties. Gustav is a domain specialist in medicine, and an acknowledged champion for open data. He comments that he looks forward to developing the domain specialist activities on a strategic level.
—Open research data are fascinating, and the domain specialists have a wealth of knowledge in their fields. The role of coordinator is new, and I hope that I will be able to contribute to outlining a more strategic way of using and making the most of the domain specialists’ competencies.
A main task for the domain specialists is to contribute with data related expertise from their respective scientific fields. Gustav thinks that they could also be influential in a larger context:
—The domain specialist work is interesting in the sense that it is close to a researcher’s perspective. It concerns how to find the right standard among specific standards, how one field can learn from another field that has come further in their work, and so on. But it is also a matter of changing researchers’ behaviours; not only in technical aspects, but also in understanding how an ecosystem such as the research community functions, with its incentives and practices. How do you achieve change in a prevailing culture and create better incentives for publishing your data?
Gustav Nilsonne’s appointment as coordinator began formally when the domain specialists met on 29–30 August.
What does a domain specialist do?
SND’s domain specialists are experts in various scientific domains – a term used to describe different research disciplines as well as more interdisciplinary fields that concern research data. The domain specialists are a national resource for Sweden’s universities and perform activities for the research community, within SND, and toward the universities’ research data functions (Data Access Units, or DAU).
A part of the domain specialist’s assignment is to stay updated on the latest developments in their domains, to support and communicate with researchers and research data support functions on matters of data management, and to contribute to a better understanding, use, and publication of open data.