UK Research Data Discovery Service: phase 2 workshop

The second phase of the UK Research Data Discovery Service (RDDS) pilot work moved forward on 23rd April 2015 with a workshop in London.  Attended by a number of interested UK HEIs and data centres, the day was introduced by Jisc’s Catherine Grout.  Chris Brown, also Jisc, then outlined the aims and objectives of the current phase of activity.  Following these introductory presentations, I outlined some of the findings from HEI liaison in phase 1, including findings of our landscape survey which are available on the phase 1 webpage, and the scope and activities of the HEI liaison work in this second phase.  Veerle Van den Eynden of the UK Data Archive described the parallel track of data centre liaison activities, emphasising the multi-disciplinary richness of participating centres in this phase, and listed the activities and opportunities with which we hope participating institutions will engage.  Alex Ball then described the metadata standards work from phase 1, including activities and findings, and our need in this current phase to hone our understanding of which metadata elements are required for the purposes of the project; he also outlined the rest of the ‘to do’ list for this second phase.  Team presentations were completed by David Wilson’s explanation of the progress in phase 1 and the scope of the technical work in the present phase, particularly the appraisal of candidate software platforms resulting in the selection of a sustainable, extensible and configurable option, and the identification and prioritisation of use cases for the resulting service.

The afternoon session provided an opportunity for structured discussion in groups to identify and discuss potential use cases, building upon requirements-gathering work from phase 1, and to check the ongoing validity of these previously gathered requirements.

We are keen for interested institutions to interact with the various user groups outlined in the project plan.  We also reiterated that issues such as the selection, quality checking and accuracy of datasets and their identifying metadata are issues that should continue to be dealt with at the level of individual repositories.  The UK Research Data Discovery Service will not be harvesting or storing datasets, or making checks on the quality of data or its appropriateness for public discovery.  Instead we aim to work with those repositories who have this expertise, and the researchers for whom we hope the service will be helpful, to increase the visibility and discovery of research data assets through improved exposure of available metadata.

Many thanks to all who attended. The slides and notes from the day will be made available on the phase 2 webpage, noted below. More information on phase 1 is available from the dedicated webpage at and the phase 2 webpage is at    

Laura Molloy, RDDS DCC coordinator/HEI liaison

e: laura.molloy AT