Vote for ideas on Research Data Spring

6 January, 2015 | in DCC News
By: Sarah Jones

It’s great to see how many ideas have been submitted to the Research Data Spring already. There are already over 40 proposals that cover a wide range of research data challenges. There are only a few days left to submit your ideas – it closes on Monday 12th January - so if you think there are gaps, submit an idea now!
Perhaps more importantly, you should register and vote. Jisc needs your input to determine which ideas are of most value to the community so please take some time to read through the proposals, comment and vote. Kevin outlined the process in a blog post last month  After this intial round of voting, a selection of ideas will be pitched to judges at a workshop in February. 
I’ve just been looking through and am impressed by how many topics are covered.
Lots of the proposals are about making researchers’ lives easier. One of the most popular is to streamline deposit by developing an OJS to repository plugin. In a similar vein, another looks at streamlining deposit from Zotero. Cameron Neylon meanwhile has put forward a proposal for a Lab Box to solve local backup problems and provide the basis for more substantial curation systems. 
The University of Sheffield continues this theme of reducing the burden on researchers in it’s Seemless RDM, Seemless Integration proposal. Like several other ideas, this aims to integrate a number of data systems. Arkivum have put forward an integrated RDM toolkit while others are pushing for standards for digital research notebooks to enable data exchange or unlocking the UK’s thesis data through persistent identifiers. The RDM Administration Analytics proposal meanwhile looks at how unis can use data harvested out of different systems to answer key questions and better provide support.
Several other proposals have a discipline-specific focus. The University of the Creative Arts has submitted one on infrastructure for the visual arts, while others look at information governance for clinical research studies, discipline or instrument specific metadata, or developing a cloud work bench for geospatial researchers. Wiley meanwhile have put forward a number of workshops to engage with learned societies and publishers as a way to raise awareness of RDM and improve practice in different disciplines.  
The notion of badges comes up in two proposals: Open Badges for MANTRA to provide a certificate of completion and badges as a proxy for peer review of data. The reuse of data is encouraged across many proposals too. I particularly like Chris Awre’s on visualising research data, as it can be difficult to know whether the data found in repositories provides what you’re looking for without downloading it. 
Other ideas address digital preservation. There’s a sound archiving and reuse proposal from CRiSAP, a pilot from the National Library of Scotland to test the EUDAT technology base, and a proposal from the University of Edinburgh to develop a data vault.  
The DCC has submitted a few proposals related to DAF and DMPonline, and I’ve spotted several others that we could play a role in. I’ve only had space to note a selection above – there are lots more to check through. Please do engage and make sure you help shape the programme of work. Time is ticking…
Image credit: VOTE Licensed as CC-BY by Theresa Thompson