Because good research needs good data

Training for RDM and DMPs, and the simplicity of DMPonline

Dan Crane, Research Data Manager, King’s College London | 10 November 2020


Dan Crane, Research Data Manager, King’s College London

At King’s College London, like many of our colleagues at other universities, in the last 8 months we have had to think about the way we deliver our Research Data Management training to support our research community. We used to deliver training covering RDM through the research lifecycle in a monthly, three-hour long face-to-face workshop, when that was something people did!  

With most of our researchers and our library research support team working from home, we decided to move our training online. To do this meant we first had to think about the training format. Delivering a three-hour online training session would be unfair for all involved, so we decided to split the content over three shorter sessions of up to an hour, which would all be delivered on the same day but with an hour break between each session. Attendees could sign up for one or more of these sessions each month, meaning they could do them all on one day, or spread them out over a number of months. 

The first session looks at what to do before research starts, with an introduction to RDM and Data Management Plans. The second covers data management during a research project, including storage, back-up and organisation. The third looks at data preservation and sharing when publishing or at the end of a project.  

As not all attendees would be coming to all three sessions, at least in one day, we wanted a way of including in the first session the important things to come in the other two, and the structure of a Data Management Plan gives the perfect way to do this. By talking about the structure and briefly what goes into each section, we can flag that all these parts – storage, security, documentation, costing, preservation, sharing, etc. - are important and require attention before you get started.  

Calling up DMPonline on screen to do this helps even further, as we can point out the availability of the different templates and, even more importantly, that guidance exists for each section. Even if we don’t go into detail about what that guidance is, it’s a great and simple way to show that help is right there at hand. Reflecting on this recently really brought home to me that the best thing about DMPonline is its simplicity. There have been, and will continue to be, many useful developments and integrations, but it remains a beautifully simple and effective way to understand what a DMP is, and how to get started writing one! 

We would like to say thanks to Dan Crane for sharing with us how they transfered their RDM services during pandemic and writing for us this blog post for DMPonline 10th year anniversary! 

As always, we are keen to hear from you about how you use the tool, how RDM works at your institution and fits within your workflows and also how we can improve it, so please feel free to contact us at the details below: 

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