Last Thursday we hosted Joy and Sarah from the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) and held two separate RDM awareness events for the UoN community. The first event was for professional services staff (library, IT services, and Research and Graduate Services) who have been identified as key to delivering support to our research community with their research data management queries. The second event was for researchers who were invited to a ‘drop-in’ RDM surgery and clinic.
Attendance at the events was very good (65 overall) and the feedback received from participants has been very positive. We initially approached the DCC in August 2012 and asked them if they could provide UoN with RDM support and advice as part of their institutional engagement activity. We knew that the DCC RDM expertise would bring significant benefit to UoN and support us in trying to build RDM capacity, awareness, and skills capability. However, we postponed the event until 2013 as it was felt more appropriate to host such an event once the UoN RDM Policy had been approved by Management Board and we had launched the UoN RDM website.
Session for library, IT services, and Research and Graduate Services
This was a ‘closed’ session which lasted two and a half hours and around 50% of the audience were made up of staff from IT services. We had four presentations, and the programme schedule included:
- Joy from the DCC – Introduction to RDM
- Sarah from the DCC –What are other universities doing to support RDM?
- Tom from ADMIRe – ADMIRe and DCC event
- Drew from IT services – RDM event
We also had a discussion hour where participants were encouraged to define priority areas, workflows and what each of the key services could contribute to a RDM service. Some of issues raised and comments made included:
- The importance of data management at the planning stage of a research project
- Preservation of data – who is responsible for this?
- Heavy workloads and huge pressures – are we expected to track RDM compliance with funding body requirements?
- RDM is really up to the researcher – its just good research practice isn’t it?
- RDM service costs- where does the funding for the infrastructure and additional activities come from?
- Data selection and handover – this doesn’t happen very often and is not really addressed
- Try and track how many RDM activities/queries you deal with – this will help with service delivery planning for any future RDM service
- Collaboration is key for the delivery of a robust RDM service and remember to exploit the current relationships you have with colleagues across services
My main take-away points of the morning session were:
- Make the most of local support and don’t go it alone
- RDM support can stimulate new networks and collaborations
- A DMP can help you anticipate a problem before it actually happens!
- A DMP should be an inventory and implementation tool – its not just about planning
- Don’t forget to advocate the benefits that aren’t solely related to compliance with the funding bodies – this helps with advocacy
Tomorrow I’ll update this blog with some of the key issues raised by the researchers in the RDM drop-in clinic and surgery.
Many thanks to Joy and Sarah for an excellent day and the event really helped raise RDM awareness at our institution.