Because good research needs good data

Delivering Research Data Management Services MOOC: Week 4 recap

S. Venkat, OpenAIRE | 04 October 2021

Delivering RDM services - Repositories, metadata, sharing and legal issues

Week 4 of our DRDMS MOOC saw us tackling issues around long-term preservation of data, which essentially boils down to repositories. There are many established repositories out there, and many if not most are catalogued in the re3data.org registry - an invaluable resource for researchers and support staff alike. We learned about discipline specific, more general and institutional repositories and that as a researcher you are best advised to look for one that is discipline specific. Trustworthiness was also highlighted as this is something that is key to increasing uptake of repositories, and for this we looked at CoreTrustSeal1 and ISO certifications2. We asked learners to do an exercise on finding a suitable discipline specific repository using re3data.org and comment on how easy it was for them to do so. Learners were able to find the relevant information they required about the repository(ies) they found, such as terms of use, and we were glad to see that the process was easy. One particularly nice observation was that “It is interesting to think that repositories can store data of ongoing multi-year international research projects…[and]...For small projects, on the other hand, it seems more natural that the deposit is just a closing act.” - indeed repositories could be used in different ways, whether as a continuous part of a project workflow or simply as the last action of a project.

Meanwhile, we were introduced to the FAIR principles3 and that their relevance largely hinges on good metadata. Their growing significance means that increasingly there are mandates from institutional, national and funder level and we need to be more aware of how they can benefit RDM services. An exercise on using a registry of metadata4  analogous to that for repositories illustrated the huge variety of existing metadata standards out there and that should be adopted wherever possible to increase the value of any given data. Finally, we addressed licensing of data and how to disambiguate the rights of potential data reusers - repositories will of course have a large part to play in this since that is where the  data will be accessed from. Creative Commons5 licences are the the most widely used for research data and their most “open” licences, CC06 and CC-BY7, are the favourites of the open science movement.

Next week is the final week of our MOOC and so we’ll be bringing together different elements of what has been learned in the previous four weeks with roadmaps - how to plan the next steps in service provision in your local context. We look forward to seeing you all there and having insightful discussion!


 1. "CoreTrustSeal – Core Trustworthy Data Repositories." https://www.coretrustseal.org/

 2. https://www.iso.org/standard/56510.html

 3. "FAIR Principles." https://www.go-fair.org/fair-principles/

 4. https://rdamsc.bath.ac.uk/

 5. "Creative Commons: When we share, everyone wins." https://creativecommons.org/

 6. "CC0 - Creative Commons." https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/

 7. "Attribution 4.0 International — CC BY 4.0 - Creative Commons." https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/