Digital Curation Centre (DCC) Roadshow, Loughborough

With thanks to Anne Spalding, Kaptur Project Officer, University for the Creative Arts, for the following account of the DCC Roadshow in Loughborough.

It is now a week since I braved the snow to attend the DCC Roadshow at Loughborough University, my Alma Mater. On a personal note it was a welcome opportunity to relive many happy memories and wonder at the much changed campus.

The event was called ‘Institutional Challenges in the Data Decade’ and provided much food for thought. Overall the event gave an introduction to Research Data Management (RDM), showcased best practice in the East Midlands, and provided an opportunity to start planning RDM services for our own institutions.

Kevin Ashley, Director of DCC opened proceedings with an outline of the opportunities and challenges of managing data. He also observed that there is great opportunity to develop services for research.

The first day consisted of presentations and case studies of how institutions had set up systems to manage research data. It is clear that there are many different approaches to this task and knowing your institution and how it functions is key to success. One very useful tip is to establish what information is already available at an institution and what is needed with regard to research data management. Not doing this could lead to issues with FOI (Freedom of Information), compliance and impact with the REF (Research Excellence Framework). The day concluded with a presentation by Sarah Jones on what DCC can do to help and one of these is to help you build an RDM strategy.

Day two was a more practical approach when we worked both individually and in groups. Again Kevin Ashley opened the session with an overview of the day which in essence was to understand the basics of RDM and find out about DCC resources, tools and services. A key part of the day was about exchanging ideas, skills and expertise in our groups and to think about the RDM services needed at our institutions.

Through brief presentations followed by group work we conducted several activities designed to help us assess the current RDM situation at our own institutions. There was an opportunity for discussion and exchange of ideas as everyone was at a different stage in the development of RDM policies and strategies. By the end of the day we were able to develop a roadmap for RDM and consider the needs of our own institution and sketch a timeframe with actions.

All in all an invaluable experience, I came a way with a greater awareness of RDM, some ideas on what to do next and a long ‘to do’ list including several DCC publications to read.

Further information and downloads of the presentations can be viewed at
http://www.dcc.ac.uk/events/data-management-roadshows/dcc-roadshow-loughborough

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