Category: RDM services

Come learn with us, part 3

In week 3 we looked at Data Management Plans (DMPs), existing services, and asked you to reflect on example DMP services and advice. 
“I also agree with some comments that in most (not all) projects the DMP at inception cannot be as detailed as it needs to be because there are too many unknowns.  This would mean that part of the original DMP should be a commitment to appropriate updates at intervals during the project. It might be wise to date the updates in advance”. Lesley Mostert
We examined ways to develop your own DMP webpages, and got lots of great input from learners! We are glad to see that many of you are inspired to engage with your institutions on implementing similar practices. 
“I was impressed by LSE and Utrecht website on DMP. Both are very clear on their here, now and future aspects of the data”. Lucy N. 
“As many have already mentioned, what I really like about the University of Wisconsin-Madison page is that it really makes getting in touch with the Research Data Services a no brainer. There’s just enough info, and many incentives to contact them”. Eve Paquette-Bigras
“Our organisation doesn’t have a RDM support page. I would advise our organisation to make a website, that just for RDM (like Utrecht and Bath) and not a website where other library services (such as bookservices and information literacy courses) are offered, together with RDM. Researchers are the ones most visiting your website to get information, so make sure they can find the information they need easily by infrastructure and content (Bath). You can use open information from other universities as well (CC BY) on your website. Graphical appearance should be taken into account”. Ingrid van Gorkum
We also looked at ways to develop your own RDM training, and asked learners to share dos and don’ts from their experiences with running training sessions. Many of you have provided excellent ideas and feedback, and we are glad to see that the resources on the MOOC are useful. 
“To start with thank you for these resources. I love how MANTRA is so well structured and detailed. Lots of information to find and use. I also found the NECDMC good to use, the resources in their modules section are really good and i think i would easily work with them.”  Abel M’kulama

Come learn with us, part 2


Image: MOOC tutors. From left to right: Sarah Jones, Rene van Horik, Alexandra Delipalta, S. Venkat, Ellen Verbakel.
In the second week of the Delivering Research Data Management Services we focused on “Finding the gap” in yo…

Come learn with us!

Image: MOOC tutors. From left to right: Sarah Jones, Rene van Horik, Alexandra Delipalta, S. Venkat, Ellen Verbakel.
Just over a week in and we all continue to be overwhelmed by responses to our new MOOC* on Delivering Research Data Management Services. We have over 1400 learners from 116 countries and they have been very active in the discussion forum. Literally hundreds of comments and questions – and such insightful responses.
Ellen and Sarah moderated the first week of the MOOC and have been inspired to do more online teaching as a result. This week you have Rene, Sarah and Ellen answering your questions. In the first week we learnt about the basics of RDM services, the data lifecycle and making the case for support. Participants watched various videos and read case studies, then reflected on the priorities at their own institution. Forum comments show that participants found the inputs from people we interviewed useful:
I agree with Gavin that ‘well managed data leads to higher quality research’.
Dorothy Byatt
I liked the summary by Tanita Casci (Head of Research Policy at the University of Glasgow) of what good research is like: “Good research is research that is well-planned, well-executed, well-documented, and widely shared.” 
Philipp Conzett
Data Management Planning and data stewardship were key discussion points. Many funders and organisations worldwide are encouraging DMPs but there are concerns about ensuring requirements are realistic and support researchers’ practices. The data stewardship approach at Delft also raised a lot of discussion. People appreciated their emphasis on open science and found the model a great way to bridge between the various services available in the institutions, as well as between data services and research communities.
The discussion on the stakeholders provided us with lots of insights from the institutions you all work in. The overall conclusion was that there is often a lack of engagement from senior management. Many people wanted to raise awareness, especially amongst researchers. Services could also be unconnected across the institution so support staff wanted to join up provision to offer a coordinated set of RDM services.
We have a few learners from a research background too. Our course is aimed specifically at those delivering RDM services. Some lessons will be transferable to other contexts, but those wanting to learn how to manage and share data should check out parallel courses such as those noted below:
Our MOOC runs until 14th October and will run again later in the year or early 2020. Find out more at:
* A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course. Our MOOC is available on the FutureLearn platform and is free to all.

Capturing the state of play on UK institutions’ research data management support

Driven by the need to better manage their digital assets, research institutions are building links between research information systems and other platforms. There’s a large appetite for linking research data catalogues, publications and data repositories. Doing so can help institutions to support research, promote its visibility and track impact.

The range of platforms and capabilities is constantly evolving though, and as we found in for example in last November’s Research Data Management Forum (RDMF12), it can be difficult for institutions to navigate the options, feel confident they are making the right choices, and identify where shared solutions may be more effective.  

Jisc and DCC are committed to offering more assistance to institutions on RDM support. So we are surveying the sector to allow us to make better information available on what institutions are doing, and to inform what further steps we can take to help.

First up is Jisc’s survey on Services and Systems for Research Data.  This survey is aiming to help scope Jisc’s response to a need that we have heard increasingly frequently; for shared storage and repository services.  As John Kaye’s blog post sets out in more detail, the questions are grouped around six categories of platform:

  • Active research data storage and archival and preservation storage for research data
  • Archival and preservation solutions
  • Current research information systems (CRIS)
  • Institutional repositories
  • Research data catalogue or registries
  • Research software

The responses will identify what is already in place, what plans institutions have, and what issues need attention.

Just when Jisc’s survey closes on May 15th, DCC will be launching our second annual Institutional RDM survey. Where Jisc’s survey focuses on platforms the DCC questions take a broader service development view.  The questions closely follow last year’s to aid comparison, with a few improvements to reflect last year’s responses (which are available here). Our main goals for this survey are: –   

  • Understand how institutions are supporting research data management (RDM) through policy and organisational change
  • Identify how far RDM policies have been ratified, and how far policy implementation has progressed towards service delivery
  • Help prioritise Jisc and DCC provision of support in this area

The survey is also timed to coincide with the EPSRC’s first step to assess institutions’ compliance with its policy expectations; a questionnaire survey of Pro Vice Chancellors for Research in those institutions EPSRC funds. Sarah Jones’ blog post recently outlined the guidance currently on offer from Jisc and ourselves on this.

So are all these surveys really needed? We believe so, but appreciate the concern about overload this flurry of RDM-related questionnaires may raise. The justification we believe is this:

  • Jisc’s survey and ours have complementary but different sets of questions, and different people may have the knowledge to answer them
  • The EPSRC survey asks institutions to report to them on meeting the funding body’s expectations. While the DCC survey also asks about progress, it is aimed at managers responsible for RDM services. It is geared to finding out their expectations of support, and is an opportunity to share views confidentially. It is also going to a wider set if institutions- all those participating in the REF2014 research assessment.

We believe the sector really benefits from having an up to date picture of it’s own activity. Like last year, DCC will be providing our respondents with early access to the results.

Final Results from the DCC RDM 2014 Survey

Several months ago we carried out our 2014 survey of senior managers in UK Higher Education Institutions who are involved in decision-making about their institution’s Research Data Management services.  The survey gave us a snapshot of progr…

RDM in Public Health: Reporting from the NHS-HE Forum

The boundary between academic research and the UK National Health Service is an interesting place to be. There is a large and valuable pool of data held within the NHS that could prove to be a powerful driving force for research, provided that access c…