DCC London Roadshow

31 May, 2012

The sun was shining on the DCC London Roadshow held at Imperial College last week. However it was the recent increase in momentum (of support for research data management), rather than the sun’s glow, that accounted for the optimism of speakers and delegates at the event.

The first day was opened by Frances Boyle, Assistant Director of Library Services at Imperial, who talked about how important research data management is for Imperial. Research is at Imperial’s core with almost half of its £700+ million income coming from research grants and contracts.

On day 1 best practice was shared through a series of local case studies:

Michael Soljak, Clinical Research Fellow at Imperial provided an interesting introduction to the Rapid Organisation of Health Research Data (ROHRD) project. The project faces many challenges such as dealing with patient identifiable data and the security issues this posses; capturing, merging and holding metadata; and the importance of minting DOIs for data sets.

Jez Cope, Technical data coordinator at the University of Bath gave an overview of their current JISC MRD project: Research 360@Bath. The 18 month funded project is focussing specifically on RDM in science and engineering and there are plans to cascade the lessons learnt throughout the University. The project started with a Data Asset Framework assessment and have now created a Bristol Online Survey for researchers after experimenting with CARDIO. One of the biggest project challenges have been progressing policies through committees, which has proven to be time-consuming. The project has recently established a data repository, which sits on top of their object store, to allow researchers to share data with external people.

Stephen Grace, Research Services Librarian at the University of East London presented on UEL’s experiences so far of working on an institutional engagement with the DCC. UEL has ambitions to become one of the top post 1992 universities for research and have strong senior management support. They are receiving assistance from the DCC on many levels: the implementation of a DAF survey, policy advice, guidance and training. Their RDM policy has been adopted by their research and knowledge exchange committee and was released on15 March 2012. They see it as being hIgh-level and practical at the same time. They are now moving from policy to service and will be building a research Web site over the summer and running a CARDIO assessment in autumn. Alongside this UEL has just won JISC funding for RDM ‘TraD’ adapting existing training materials in psychology and creating new materials in computer science.

Tito Castillo, Senior Information, Systems Consultant at University College London spoke about the Data Management Planning for the UCL Secure Services project (DMP-SS Project). The project has begun to look at how IT services can have a bearing on the way the data is managed. One possible approach could be a framework for public health using standards such as the data documentation Initiative (DDI) lifecycle standard (DDI). Tito introduced the iSO-27001:2005 standard which formally specifies a management system that is intended to bring information security under explicit management control. Security is fundamental for anyone that has data, any researcher could lose data, it is not just about sensitive data. Tito also talked about the use of data management plans and integrated data management planning; the Medical research council has stated that DMPs should be filled in for all funding proposals from May 2012.

Louise Corti, Associate Director at the UK Data Archive, based at the University of Essex talked about her current project: Research Data @Essex. The team has been working on the ground to find out how departments are managing their research data. Initial findings are positive and they have been able to establish a data manager’s forum. Essex is one of the last universities to implement a repository, but this has provided a good opportunity for them to  ‘follow on with data’. They are using the e-prints platform as part of this approach. Other areas the project is looking at include: Datacite and data sharing, metrics for data management plans (i.e. scoring plans), and metadata capture.  The favoured approach is one of a small amount of clear realistically acquirable metadata. They now need to adapt the metadata fields in eprints and injest their sample data. Essex are also working on costing guides.

Day 2 was a strategic training day providing an introduction to curation and DCC tools through presentations and breakout exercises.

All presentations from the roadshow are available online from the DCC website.

The next roadshow will take place at Queen's University, Belfast.


More about

DCC roadshows