Resources on EPSRC compliance

17 April, 2015

May 2015 is fast approaching, so it seems an opportune time to flag some resources provided by the DCC and Jisc to help with EPSRC compliance.

We ran a workshop on RDM readiness earlier this year. Thanks to Laura Molloy we have very comprehensive notes of all the talks. Each of the discussion group sessions has also been written up.

Ben Ryan gave a really useful overview of how the EPSRC is planning to monitor compliance.

  • After 1st May 2015, but before the summer break, the EPSRC will send round a light touch self-assessment questionnaire to pro VCs.
  • After the summer break, the EPSRC will start a process of ‘dip-sticking’ testing to check that published research papers make it clear how the underpinning data can be accessed.
  • In the longer-term, the EPSRC aims to embed compliance checking through formal self assessment and regular ‘dipstick’ visits by the research councils Audit and Assurance Services Group (AASG). This is something the research councils need to consider together though, so is just a proposal for now.

A number of case studies were given at the workshop too. Matthew Addis of Arkivum explained how they’re working with Loughborough, ULCC and Aston to profile different ways in which they can provide support. Bill Worthington gave an insipring example of how smaller institutions can get started for a reasonable budget. They have found a solution that will scale for the institution’s needs, for the costs of 0.1% of their research budget (c.£25-30k). The presentation from Hardy Schwamm also gave some useful observations on the uptake of Pure. 13 out of 14 universities from the user group were using Pure as their data catalogue, and 8 of these were using it as the data repository as well. Limitations were noted though in terms of interoperability, unpopularity with researchers and a lack of digital preservation functionality.

Since the workshop, Jisc has also released a guide on Steps that HEIs can take to meet the EPSRC research data policy. This outlines the siginificance of the EPSRC Research Data Policy Framework, explains some of the challenges in meeting requirements, and give examples of how different institutions are developing services. A series of case studies addressing the approaches different institutions are taking is also forthcoming.

If you have ideas for further support you’d like to see from Jisc and the DCC, please let us know.

Image CC-BY by Glovebox https://www.flickr.com/photos/uclmaps/9360191038