Because good research needs good data

Come learn with us, 2nd run!

Alexandra Delipalta | 13 March 2020

Blog by Ellen Verbakel 

Just over a week in and we all continue to be overwhelmed by responses to the 2nd run of the MOOC* on Delivering Research Data Management Services. In this second run we have about 500 learners from 82 countries and they have been very active in the discussion forum. Literally hundreds of comments and questions - and such insightful responses to the material.

Boudewijn, Ellen and Sarah moderated the first week of the MOOC and have been inspired to do more online teaching as a result. This week you have Rene, Sarah, Ellen, Boudewijn and Venkat answering your questions. In the first week we learnt about the basics of RDM services, the data lifecycle and making the case for support. Participants watched various videos and read case studies, then reflected on the priorities at their own institution. Forum comments show that participants found the inputs from people we interviewed useful:

“A very useful journey in the area of data management.”

Samuel Ebenya

“Useful practice let me think about the challenges again after the inspected case studies.”

Burcu Ortakaya

Data Management Planning and data stewardship were key discussion points. Many funders and organisations worldwide are encouraging DMPs but there are concerns about ensuring requirements are realistic and support researchers’ practices. The data stewardship approach at Delft also raised a lot of discussions. People appreciated their emphasis on open science and found the model a great way to bridge between the various services available in the institutions, as well as between data services and research communities.

The discussion on the stakeholders provided us with lots of insights from the institutions you all work in. The overall conclusion was that there is often a lack of engagement from senior management. Many people wanted to raise awareness, especially among researchers. Services could also be unconnected across the institution so support staff wanted to join up provision to offer a coordinated set of RDM services.

We have a few learners from a research background too. Our course is aimed specifically at those delivering RDM services. Some lessons will be transferable to other contexts, but those wanting to learn how to manage and share data should check out parallel courses such as those noted below:

Our MOOC runs until 5th April, find out more at:

* A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course. Our MOOC is available on the FutureLearn platform and is free to all.