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JISC Managing Research Data Programme 2009-11 Outputs

A Guide to Outputs from the JISC Managing Research Data Programme, 2009-11

This page provides a narrative guide to outputs from the JISC Managing Research Data Programme 2009-11 (and for the sake of coherence and completeness some related JISC-funded activities). It is intended as an easy point of entrance to key outputs that will be of interest to others seeking to improve research data management in Universities. From its first appearance in early June 2011 until approximately the end of September 2011 this page will evolve as projects make further outputs available.

Research Data Management Support for Researchers

The Incremental Project has produced useful web pages providing support and guidance for managing research data: Support for Managing Research Data at the University of Cambridge and Data Managing Support for Researchers at the University of Glasgow.

The EIDCSR Project, sister project to SUDAMIH in the Managing Research Data Programme, created a similar Research Data Management site for the University of Oxford. Likewise, University of Edinburgh Information Services has put together a site providing Research Data Management Guidance. Also at from the University of Edinburgh, Research Data MANTRA Project Wiki provides links to a large number of useful RDM resources.

Introductions and How-To Guides 

The UK Data Archive has recently revised its very useful Managing and Sharing Data - Best Practice Guide for Researchers, in part as a result of work undertaken by the JISC-funded Data Management Planning for ESRC Research Data-rich Investments Project (DMP-ESRC).

Building on its wide-ranging set of Briefing Papers, the Digital Curation Centre is producing series of How-To Guides which provide a working knowledge of curation topics, aimed at people in research or support posts who are new to curation, but are taking on responsibilities for managing data, whether at local research group level or in an institutional data centre/repository. The first two guides in this series deal with How to appraise and select research data and How to license research data.

In its early stages, the ERIM Project produced a Review of the State of the Art of the Digital Curation of Research Data which serves as an excellent introduction to and overview of the issues.

Data Management Planning

Developing a data management plan is a core part of good research practice and can bring significant benefits in terms of more efficiently conducted research and avoiding the risk of data loss. The starting point in developing a data management plan should be to consult the DCC's useful overview of research funders' requirements.

The widely praised DMP Online is the DCC's data management planning tool. The tool draws upon the DCC's analysis of funders' data requirements to help project teams create up to three iterations of a data management plan; a 'minimal' version for use at the grant application stage, a 'core' version to be developed during the project itself, and towards the end of the project a 'full' version that addresses issues of longer-term access and preservation.

CARDIO (Collaborative Assessment of Research Data Infrastructure and Objectives) is a benchmarking tool for data management and curation strategy development for use at the departmental or research group level. It was developed through the Integrated Data Management Planning (IDMP) Toolkit and Support Project which interacted with many of the projects in the JISC Managing Research Data Programme. The CARDIO tool builds on this work and further user requirements. The toolkit blends key aspects of the Cornell three-legged stool model, the DAF (Data Asset Framework), AIDA (Assessing Institutional Data Assets), DRAMBORA (Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment) , and DMP Online and draws upon the legacy data within these tools to provide users with practical recommendations for improvement based on real-life examples.

Model Data Management Plans and Guidance

The DMP-ESRC Project produced a substantial and detailed set of Data Management Recommendations for Research Centres and Programmes as well as a summary guide to two key recommendations, relating to research data management strategies and the maintenance of a resources library. Although targeted at large ESRC research investments, these guidelines are widely applicable and will be useful for data management planning in research groups, centres and departments working in other disciplines.

The ERIM Project, examining research data management and sharing issues for researchers at the University of Bath's Innovative Design and Manufacturing Research Centre produced a Draft Data Management Plan for IdMRC Projects. This work build on a set of high-level Principles for Engineering Research Data Management; a Thematic Analysis of Data Management Plan Tools and Exemplars; and a Requirement Specification for an Engineering Research Data Management Plan.


Case Studies and Requirements Analyses

A number of the JISCMRD Projects produced requirements analyses.

Some of the Research Data Management (RDMI) Projects took a broad institutional view:

The Institutional Data Management Blueprint project examined research data management challenges across a number of departments at the University of Southampton to produce its Findings Report.

The Incremental project's Scoping Study and Implementation Plan, took a similarly broad approach covering researchers' requirements in a range of departments at both Cambridge and Glasgow.

Other RDMI Projects focused on the requirements of specific disciplines:

The SUDAMIH produced a thorough Requirements Report for a research data management infrastructure to support humanities researchers.

Working with researchers in the life-sciences at the University of Manchester, the MaDAM Project produced a report detailing Requirements and Gap Analysis. The MaDAM Project has also produced a useful Landscape Review which examines policy, legal and ethical perspectives as well as considering stakeholder perspectives and the institutional context.

The I2S2 Project performed in-depth case studies of practice in various forms of structural science to produce its Main Requirements Report and a Supplementary Report.

Examining use cases for data management and sharing in freshwater biology, the FISHnet Project's User Requirements Report [Use Case Report] is available from the project portal; more information on the project's user requirements work is available from the Project Blog: FISHnet requirements gathering; user management model and more on user requirements part one and part two!

The PEG-BOARD Project has examined the research data management requirements for palaeoclimatic modelling data and is developing a platform for effective data sharing. The PEG-BOARD Case Study is presented in a paper given at the ElPub 2010 Conference.

The Research Data Management Planning Projects also provided requirements analyses:

The ERIM Project conducted a detailed and methodologically rigorous study Understanding and Characterizing Engineering Research Data for its Better Management and also examined Opportunities for and Barriers to Engineering Research Data Re-use.

The DMP-ESRC Project produced a report on Data Management Practices in the Social Sciences, which informed the project's further work.

The HALOGEN Project, at the University of Leicester, was a pilot project to demonstrate how central IT Services could provide support for specific research projects, an approach which potentially can bring cost efficiencies and promote collaboration across departments and disciplines. The project developed a sustainable and potentially extensible platform integrating datasets relating to archaeological finds, place names and the distribution of surnames and genetic profiles in order to support the large cross-disciplinary Roots of the British and Diasporas Projects (Wellcome Trust and Leverhulme Trust funded). HALOGEN produced a Service Specification and a Technical Design Specification, as well as a Data Glossary detailing the datasets to be integrated in the system. A useful summary is provided in the poster that the project presented at IDCC10.

The DMBI (Data Management for Bio-Imaging) Project implemented the open source OMERO Open Microscopy Environment platform for researchers at the BBSRC John Innes Centre. Information on the project's evaluation of OMERO software, the requirements analysis undertaken and the system design are available from the DMBI Project Outline.

The Managing Research Data - Gravitational Waves Project has produced an interesting and insightful report (currently in draft) on research data management in 'big science', taking the the LIGO Gravitational Wave Astronomy collaboration as a case study.

Research Data Management Platforms

Many projects in the Managing Research Data Programme developed technical platforms and software to help researchers manage their data.

The ADMIRAL Project has developed a pilot two-tier data management infrastructure for use by life science researchers.  The ADMIRAL platform (1) supports researchers' local data management needs for the collection, digital organization, metadata annotation and controlled sharing of biological datasets; and (2) provides an easy and secure route for archiving annotated datasets to an institutional repository (in this case the Oxford University Data Store), for long-term preservation and access, complete with assigned Digital Object Identifiers and Creative Commons open access licences. Information about the ADMIRAL Project is easily accessible on the project wiki and the project announcements blog. Under the University Modernisation Fund Programme, the ADMIRAL platform will be further developed and refined as DataFlow.

The FISHnet Project developed a platform for research data curation and sharing in freshwater biology. The platform will be hosted by the Freshwater Biological Association. Inter alia, the Project Blog provides information on their Traffic Light System for Data and the FISHNet server-side technology stack.

The core technical output of the I2S2 Project was to develop the I2S2 Information Model and to implement this within the STFC's ICAT Lite 'personal workbench for managing data flows'. This allows the user to manage data, to capture provenance information and to “commit data” for long-term storage. The project has produced a useful Implementation Plan and a description of the Pilot Implementation.

The MaDAM Project at the University of Manchester developed a prototype research data management platform for researchers in the life-sciences. Information on the platform and its integration with university systems and processes is available in the paper Towards a generic research data management infrastructure presented at the 2010 e-Science All Hands Meeting; in the MaDAM Project Poster presented at IDCC10; and in the numerous presentations available from the project outputs page.

The SUDAMIH Project developed a prototype Database as a Service platform to support research data management for humanities researchers. This work is being extended under the UMF/JISC VIDaaS (Virtual Infrastructure with Database as a Service) Project.

Research Data Management Costing

Understanding how to model the full cost of research data management is a challenging area and one which will require further work.

Useful material for understanding activity-based costing has come out of the Keeping Research Data Safe projects.  Good starting points are the KRDS Factsheet (an A4 four-page factsheet is a concise summary of KRDS’s key findings) and the KRDS User Guide (an edited selection and synthesis of the guidance in the KRDS reports).

The KRDS activity cost model is available to download in two versions: the KRDS2 Activity Model 'Lite' (a one page overview of the main phases and activities in the model) and the KRDS2 Activity Model 'Detailed' (the full model - 12 pages - with all definitions and sub-activities listed).

The DMP-ESRC Project produced a light-weight Activity Based Research Data Management Costing Tool for Researchers in the Social Sciences.

Training Materials

A number of projects in the JISC Managing Research Data Programme have produced training materials which are available for reuse and adaptation.

Working with the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford, the SUDAMIH Project produced training materials for humanities scholars.

The DMBI Project produced extensive OMERO Training Materials, which were used at the project's OMERO in Action Workshop.

The JISC Managing Research Data Programme also includes a set of five projects producing Research Data Management Training Materials for Post-Graduate Courses. Some training material and other outputs are already available:

CAiRO (Curating Artistic Research Output): performance and visual arts.

The DataTrain Project at the University of Cambridge, built on the work of the Incremental Project to produce data management training modules for post-graduate students in Archaeology and Social Anthropology. The DataTrain Archaeology Course Materials (hosted at the Archaeology Data Service) and Social Anthropology Course Materials are available.

DATUM for Health : Research data management training for health studies.

DMTpsych : Postgraduate training for research data management in the psychological sciences. A draft version of the psychology specific guidance is available along with other project outputs.

Research Data MANTRA : online learning materials for research data management in three disciplinary contexts: social science, clinical psychology, and geoscience. Some outputs are available from the Research Data MANTRA Wiki.