New resources

24 September, 2012

There have been loads of useful links circulated recently. As an aide-memoire and signpost to others who may have missed them, here's a quick summary.

First off there's a US study to demystify the data management requirements of research funders. This builds on the DCC's policy analysis to extend the classification and add concepts we've not covered. I hope to look at this in more detail next month to see how we can rework our analysis to suit.

Gareth Knight from the London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine has since released an analysis of health funders data policies. There are various examples here that we need to add to the DCC pages. Something we'll look at when we review the US study for tips. Gareth has also produced a short one-page summary which has proven helpful in getting the senior leadership team onboard.

Just today I noticed that NERC has released its DMP templates and data value checklist - thanks @sorcha_ni! What's interesting about NERC is that they ask for two stages of a DMP: an outline plan at the grant application stage and a full plan to be written in consultation with the relevant data centre once funded.

The outline plans asks researchers to consider three points:

  1. Data management procedures to be followed during the lifetime of the grant or fellowship
  2. Existing datasets to be used by the grant or fellowship (comment on any restrictions on reuse)
  3. Datasets likely to be created by the grant or fellowship which will be made available to a NERC Environmental Data Centre at the end of the Grant

The full plan ask for further detail on processes for generating, documenting, managing and quality assuring data. Roles and responsibilities are also clearly defined. The DCC's online guidance and DMPonline will be updated accordingly.

NERC's data value checklist aims to identify which data should be considered for accession to the NERC Environmental Data Centres. It asks a number of questions categorised as mandatory, important and supporting criteria. The responses are essentially weighted - a yes to a mandatory criteria will automatically result in selection for retention, while multiple 'yes' responses are looked for in the important and supporting criteria. It's a useful way to balance the different concerns. The Checklist also replicates the 7 criteria put forward for assessing a dataset's value in the DCC's How to Appraise & Select Research Data for Curation.

Joss Winn pointed us to the Open Knoweldge Foundation's Open Research Data Handbook. The handbook explains how to publish, licence and manage your data. It's being crowdsourced so if you have advice to share, get involved!

And finally some new DMP resources by Jonathan Rans. The DMPonline quick guide and an extended user guide [both available to download from the DMPonline page] walk users through how to use the tool, providing screenshots and short explanations of what the different functions provide. They've been used when we've been testing the tool and like all our resources are CC-BY licenced, so please reuse them if you can.