Because good research needs good data

DCC talks at IDCC

Sarah Jones | 26 February 2014

There were lots of DCC presentations in the parallel sessions at IDCC today. To help you keep up with what’s new at DCC, here’s a quick summary.

Evaluating DMPonline

In the morning session Diana Sisu presented on evaluating DMPonline. We have made a lot of changes to DMPonline over the past year, conducting usability tests before and after. Some issues were encountered during the tests, but in the main the results were much improved in the new version. Task completion rates increased, less time was spent on tasks, fewer errors and usability problems were recorded, and subjective usability scores were better. We’ll be continuing to test usability as new features are released and want to facilitate more input from the RDM community. We can’t improve the tool without working closely with our users. 

UK Research Data Registry

Alex Ball had a busy morning with two presentations. The first was on the UK Research Data Registry pilot, funded by the Jisc. We are trialling an implementation of the ANDS Research Data Australia system to aggregate metadata relating to data collections or datasets held in UK research institutions and subject data centres. The aim is to improve data discovery and provide a national level service that harvests metadata from institutional catalogues. We have mapped metadata schema and are currently working with a number of universities and data centres to trial this initial approach.

Disciplinary Metadata Standards Directory

After a short break to catch his breath, Alex took to the stage again, this time to discuss the RDA Metadata Standards Directory Working Group.  Alex is a man of clarity, and there were some great visuals in his talk showing how standards have been customised. He explained how the DCC catalogue of disciplinary metadata standards is being enhanced and extended by the RDA working group. This international collaboration brings many benefits – we can more easily allow user contributions, support a broader range of needs, and ensure better maintenance and sustainability as this is no longer a single organisation initiative. If you want to get involved, check out discussions at the next RDA plenary in Dublin in March.

Institutional Engagements

Last up was Jonathan Rans reflecting on the UMF-funded programme of institutional engagements. The DCC supported 21 universities to build RDM capacity and develop support services over the past 2 years, and we have since reviewed and evaluated the programme. People really valued the tailored nature of support, and found that DCC input helped to broker relationships and build confidence. We have also seen a number of dedicated RDM posts created since. Jonathan explained how we have revised the model to provide modular packages of support so we can assist a broader range of unis. To find out more about the support available, check out our tailored support webpages.

If you’ve missed IDCC, or just want to revisit some talks, check out these links: