The Open University

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Existing RDM work

The Open University (OU) had recently started an internal project to develop an institutional framework for the management of research data when the DCC engagement began.

The project was led by Library Services and was jointly sponsored with the Research, Scholarship and Quality Unit. The project had 5 work packages, most of which the DCC has contributed to or advised on.

The team has developed a set of RDM principles and guidance webpages, which are available via the OU intranet. Most recently, a successful case has been made for additional resource to recruit an RDM librarian. The OU also plans to develop a custom version of DMPonline.

DCC engagement work

Our support at the OU has focused on three main areas:

  1. requirements gathering
  2. training researchers and support staff
  3. developing guidance materials

Initially we co-developed an online survey using the DAF method. This was followed up by interviewing c.20 researchers across a variety of faculties and running a focus group with senior research administrators. We analysed the data and wrote a full report with recommendations on how to improve RDM practice.

Based on the findings of the DAF survey and specific requests from researchers and support staff, we have run a number of training sessions and developed some guidance materials. We ran three workshops to introduce RDM for different audiences, and co-ordinated another one on managing video data. We have developed an FAQ on Data Management Planning and written a case study on preparing a Technical Plan for the AHRC.


  • The OU is better informed about researchers' data management practices and their support needs. The DAF survey recommendations have helped to inform RDM strategy development
  • Researchers are more aware of good practice and the new services that the OU is putting in place to support RDM
  • We have facilitated networking and sharing expertise through events such as the Managing Video Data workshop
  • Good practice has been shared via case studies
  • Over 30 research administrators have attended training on RDM and an FAQ on Data Management Planning has been produced to support their work
  • The Open University has a set of RDM principles and a clear plan for service development
  • The University recognises the importance of RDM and has recruited a Research Data Management Librarian

Main contact

Elizabeth Mallett, Library Services Manager (Information Management), The Open University