Category Archives: Project work

University of Nottingham Research Data Management Website

We recently launched the University of Nottingham Research Data Management (RDM) website, which provides a single location for authoritative RDM information and resources for our research community at UoN.

This first phase of the development of the website provides both generic and UoN specific information and phase two development (2013 -2014) will include subject-specific RDM information, more content added to the ‘research data showcase’ and the site content will be refined and enhanced based on further feedback and input from the research community and key stakeholders.

From the onset we wanted a site that would sit within the UoN research domain and adhere to the UoN brand look & feel. The collaboration with the UoN Web manager was crucial and he was very keen on the idea of creating a RDM website for academics at UoN but also using the site to showcase UoN research data.

There are two main audiences for the site:

  • Researchers – both University researchers and interested external researchers (site content will be instructional and used as a tool by researchers)
  • General Public – community active people (site content will promote UoN research and data sets) and our JiscMRD programme partners

Creating the site content was a collaborative effort and it took a while to identify key stakeholders and assign responsibility for authoring and ownership of individual pages. Bringing it all together was quite a challenge and we had to delay the launch until the UoN RDM policy was approved.

There are 50+ pages on the site and deciding on the site hierarchy was heavily influenced by other RDM sites, specifically the University of Glasgow data management site for researchers, which we thought was an excellent RDM site.

In the UoN RDM survey we asked the respondents (366) to select areas where they would like to receive help with RDM, and having a UoN website was one of the tools that they indicated would be useful:


In the next few weeks the team will be raising awareness of the RDM site using a variety of internal communication channels, and we welcome any feedback from both the UoN research community and our JiscMRD programme partners.

Adapting, using, and re-using RDM training materials

It was quite timely when I returned to work today that I saw the JiscMRD Evidence blog posting Jisc MRD project materials: use and reuse for RDM training outlining how outputs from the programme are being used and re-used in DCC training events.

Here at ADMIRe we have adapted, used and re-used the excellent Research Data MANTRA and the Training for Data Management (TraD) supportDM for two different UoN audiences, postgraduate students/early career researchers and support staff (library and IT support). In both instances we have embedded these training resources in Moodle, using  valuable outputs from the wider Jisc MRD Programme.

University of Nottingham short course on research data management

We collaborated with the Graduate School during 2012/2013 and adapted and embedded the University of Edinburgh Research Data Management MANTRA online course in Moodle. Christine from the Graduate School did all the technical work in Moodle and I adapted the content of MANTRA for the UoN audience. This standalone online (self-study) online course is delivered entirely online via Moodle and is aimed specifically at postgraduate research students and early career researchers and was made available in April 2013. It now forms part of the UoN short course portfolio and the postgraduate students can gain training points by completing an optional assessment questionnaire (only two questions).

The collaboration with the Graduate School worked really well and it is hoped that this ‘RDM’ collaboration will improve RDM capacity and capability at UoN.

supportDM course for research data management support services

Last week I embedded the first module of the University of East London (UeL) Training for Data Management (TraD) supportDM course in Moodle, aimed specifically at those involved in research data management support services (at UoN this is currently library staff and IT support).

The SupportDM course presumes no prior knowledge of data management or digital curation and is designed for use in a blended learning environment with group meetings and individual tasks to complement the Xerte online elements. It is also suitable for standalone self-directed learning using the Xerte modules.

It has been really useful having these high quality training materials available for adaptation and re-use, many thanks to EDINA and Data Library, University of Edinburgh, and the University of East London for making their project outputs available for re-use and adaptation.

I recently circulated a brief paper on RDM Training to the head of professional development at UoN – providing an overview of what is currently available nationally and what has been done by the ADMIRe project in the area of online RDM training.

Jisc Managing Research Data Programme Workshop

The ADMIRe team attended the excellent Jisc Managing Research Data Programme Workshop this week and we presented on our progress made and some of the challenges we have faced thus far around two themes, business cases and plans for sustainability and data repositories, portals and institutional systems.

The workshop provided a platform for the JiscMRD projects to consider and reflect on the progress made, highlight successes, and reflect on some of the challenges that still remain when considering RDM, especially within a very complex UK HEI context.

Tom’s presented on Data catalogues and data repository and I presented on our work around ADMIRe RDM service models.

There was plenty of time to share experiences and in particular how challenging it is trying to deliver and build institutional RDM capacity and capability.

The keynote from Professor Geoffrey S. Boulton, University of Edinburgh really made me think about the broader ‘data’ context and in particular that RDM isn’t just about compliance with the data expectations from the funding bodies, we need to remember that researchers want to exploit the growing data resources that are available.

University of Nottingham Research Data Management Survey results

The results and analysis of the University of Nottingham Research Data Management survey are now available and the full-text report is available here:  ADMIRe Survey Results and Analysis 2013

The survey covered several key components of research data management (RDM) practice and provides a benchmark to measure progress against the RCUK principles on data. We do hope that the research community and all our Jisc Managing Research Data Programme partners will find something of interest in these results.

The survey was disseminated (using a variety of internal communication channels) to researchers across the University, and was an important part of the requirements gathering phase of the ADMIRe project. This served multiple purposes:

1. To baseline current RDM practices

2. To gather the researchers requirements for RDM

3. Raise awareness for the prospective service and gauge interest levels for the proposed service.

4. Identify areas where support, training, and advocacy were required.

We had 366 respondents, which was a very positive response rate and allows some valid conclusions to be made. Some interesting observations are:

  • The diversity of data types and the strong presence of non-digital data such as lab notebooks
  • Multiple locations for the data and therefore, the ad-hoc strategies of back-up
  • RDM training is high on the agenda
  • Low awareness of the expectations from research funders
  • Low awareness of funding requirements regarding data sharing

We welcome any comments on the survey and if you are interested in having access to the anonymized raw survey data, please do contact  us at <>


ADMIRe RDM survey at the University of Nottingham

The more we become embedded with all things research data management (RDM) at the University of Nottingham the less time we seem to have to update this blog with our ADMIRe JISCMRD activities. I know how beneficial I find all the JISCMRD blog postings, especially learning from some of the projects which are at a more advanced stage than ours, so hopefully this posting will provide you with some idea of the work we have been doing.

July was a really busy month, so this is the first in a planned series of updates of some of our key activities that the ADMIRe team have been focusing on recently.

Research Data Management Survey

As Tom outlined in his blog posting earlier this month our research data management survey (using the Bristol Online Survey tool) was launched and will be open until mid September.We currently have 196 responses from researchers across all faculties. UoN is a research-intensive university with more than 2500 career researchers (excluding PhD researchers).

Our survey is aimed at all UoN researchers (including PhD researchers) and we wanted to discover how data is used and managed across the University. Requirements gathering on RDM is a key activity for us, we aim to deliver a sustainable RDM service which will facilitate and embed good RDM practice at UoN.

We will publish the survey results (anonymised) once they have been analysed, sometime during the Autumn. Some  interim results are as follows:

  1. 85% of respondents are creating or working with documents (txt, pdf, Word etc)
  2. 32% back-up their data daily
  3. 59% do not record or document any metadata about their data
  4. 66% work on externally funded projects
  5. 26% developed a RDM plan for their project
  6. 92% had not received any RDM training
  7. 129/196 respondents wanted to receive training in developing a RDM plan
  8. 49.0% said their research data was confidential to their research group
  9. 30% said they were unsure whether they were required to make their data publicly discoverable and accessible after the project closed
  10. 40% said they would not deposit their data in a subject/discipline specific respository and 48% weren’t sure

Plenty of interesting responses thus far for us to mull over. Tomorrow I will provide an update on our work with DAF and sensitive data, our planned RDM website, and other training and RDM awareness training activities.


New Staff for ADMIRe

I am delighted to say that ADMIRe now has two new members of staff.  Dr Tom Parsons has now started here as Project Manager and Laurian Williamson has started as Service Developer for the project.  Tom comes from a background in both bioscience and aerospace, with extensive commercial project management experience.  Laurian most recently comes from the JISC Repositories Support Project here at the  University and has a wealth of experience in online services, open access and repositories. Both Tom and Laurian can be contacted through the CRC.