KAPTUR thirteen months into the project – (13/18)

This is our update for the end of the thirteenth month of KAPTUR.

WP1: Project Management

  • The whole Project team met on the 13th November at The Glasgow School of Art.
  • Over the last month we have been managing the challenge of two of the four Project Officers resigning from the project. John Murtagh was part-time at University of the Arts London (UAL) and has successfully applied for a full-time role at the University of East London working on their RDM training project (starting on 26th November). Tahani Nadim has been awarded her PhD and has accepted a post-doc position at another institution which will begin in the New Year; interviews with internal candidates are scheduled for December.
  • On 14th November the Project Manager met with colleagues at the UAL, including John’s replacement, Sarah Mahurter, Manager of the University Archives and Special Collections Centre. Betty Woessner, Research Systems and Data Manager, will  work with the DCC on the Institutional Engagement project.

WP3: Technical Infrastructure

  • The Technical Manager attended the JISCMRD programme event, 24th-25th October 2012, Nottingham. It was an opportunity to share the technical work that we have been piloting and also to learn from other projects. Following a presentation from Richard Jones, representing the DataFlow project, and a practical hands-on workshop, there was no resolution to the fact that DataStage is unable to connect with EPrints.
  • The Technical Manager has created a test instance of CKAN as this appears to be a way forward with a stronger case for long term sustainability as well as building on the work of University of Lincoln’s Orbital project.

WP4: Modelling

  • University of the Arts London have reported that their policy does not need to be approved by the Academic Board, so this completes their delivery of WP4: http://www.arts.ac.uk/research/data-management/
  • University for the Creative Arts and Goldsmiths, University of London have had their draft policies approved at the same level as UAL, however these now need to go on to their Academic Boards in January for final approval.
  • The Glasgow School of Art have revised their timescale for the policy due to the recruitment of two key staff who they want to feed into the policy; this is now expected to be approved at their Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee meeting in February. Academic Board approval is not required.
  • The four policies will be made available through DCC in due course (UAL’s policy is already available via the link above).

WP5: Training and Support

  • The first KAPTUR training workshop was held at UAL on Monday 19th November, with support from Marieke Guy and Joy Davidson from the DCC (due to the Institutional Engagement work). Further details and a list of attendees is available here: http://ualrdm-eorg.eventbrite.co.uk/ Presentations are available online here: http://slidesha.re/QTrHcs http://slidesha.re/SnzvBL http://slidesha.re/QnwQIq
  • The further three KAPTUR training workshops are scheduled as follows: 27th November (Goldsmiths) with follow-up in January; 30th November (GSA) with follow-up in January; 16th January (UCA).
  • Feedback is being gathered from participants to each workshop as well as from the Project Officers themselves, this will then lead to refinements of the KAPTUR training plan.
  • The materials used as well as the training plan will be reviewed, re-purposed and re-packaged for use in common Virtual Learning Environments and also for deposit to JORUM. This will form the KAPTUR toolkits.

WP6: Evaluation and Sustainability

  • Two of the four case studies have been completed to very good draft stage. The UAL and Goldsmiths Project Officers were asked to focus on this aspect of the project ahead of schedule in order to capture their knowledge before they leave. Their successors will make any adjustments required.
  • The new UAL Project Officer and the Project Manager are attending the JISCMRD Benefits programme event in Bristol, 29th-30th November.

WP7: Dissemination

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RDMF9: Shaping the infrastructure, 14-15 November 2012

With thanks to Carlos Silva, KAPTUR Technical Manager, for the following blog post. The Digital Curation Centre’s (DCC) Research Data Management Forum was held at Madingley Hall, Cambridge from 14th to the 15th November 2012; presentations from the event are available online.

“Technology aspirations for research data management”

The take-home message for the day was that IT will need to be more involved with research and their collaboration will have an impact for future grants, projects and sustainability.

Jonathan Tedds presented lessons learned from University of Leicester via projects such as the UK Research Data Service (UKRDS) pathfinder study and Halogen as well as from other projects such as Orbital. Jonathan covered ‘top-tips’ to get researchers’ attention and how to develop software as a service through the BRISSkit project (Biomedical Research Infrastructure Software Service kit).

Steve Hitchcock covered lessons learned from DataPool on building RDM repositories. The project was specifically to do with SharePoint and EPrints however KAPTUR did get a mention as an example of other projects using EPrints and not re-inventing the wheel. Published in July 2012, an application in the EPrints Bazaar called Data Core:

“Changes the core metadata and workflow of EPrints to make it more focused for as a dataset repository. The workflow is trimmed for simplicity. The review buffer is removed to give users better control of their data.”

Paul O’Shaughnessy from Queen Marys, University of London, spoke about how their IT services are changing and how different parts of the university needed to be involved in making this happen. The University currently has around 16,000 students; they started an IT transformation programme, because their original set-up was not fit-for-purpose, for example there were 7 different email systems. After creating a strategic plan for the next 5 years they realised that a third of their funding income comes from research grants so investing in IT infrastructure to support this was crucial.  They were investing from 3 – 4% whereas other Russell Group Universities tend to invest from 5- 10%. They followed a greenfield approach and mentioned the importance of letting the staff know that it was not just IT who will need to be involved and not just another project. An interesting number was that 25% of HSS grant applications were lost because of poor IT sections.

The aim of the Janet brokerage services is to become a community cloud of available resources, by:

  • developing frameworks and procurement structures such as DPS to facilitate access to services
  • working with DCC and JISC to ensure sensible requirements and priorities
  • hoping to get to a conclusion early next year about these services (Janet is currently in talks with Google AWS, Dropbox and Microsoft Azure will probably follow)

There was a comment about limitations with Dropbox but also possibilities that universities may be able to use it in the future and overcoming the current issues of storing research data outside the EU.

Other topics and interesting points from the discussion:

  • Suggestion that just as there are Faculty Librarians, we should have Faculty IT people.
  • Recommendation to negotiate resources with IT, for example if there is someone with the skills try not to use that person to fix printers but for something more productive.
  • A Russell Group University mentioned that 1TB of data stored over 30 years will cost close to £25,000.

Break-out session on the Engineering and Physcial Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

There was discussion about the research data that they expect projects to make available. They mentioned the importance of joining and gathering together all metadata; and of bringing IT together; a drip feeding of information (for example through OAI, SWORD, other protocols to transfer information and allow metadata to be harvested).

Conclusion

Overall it was a good workshop which provided different points of view but at the same time made me realise that all the institutions are facing similar issues. IT departments will need to work more closely with other departments, and in particular the Library and Research Office in order to secure funding and make sustainable decisions about software.

Finally a ‘flexible’ yet, intelligent approach should be taken from IT for example the use of PRINCE2 methods do not fit research projects as they all change during the duration of the project. The Agile methodology should be used; involvement and knowledge about this from IT should be expected.


JISC RDM Training Workshop, 26th October 2012

With thanks to Jacqueline Cooke, Librarian (Acting), Goldsmiths, University of London, for the following blog post. This workshop was held primarily for the new JISCMRD Research Data Management training projects (2012-13), however other JISCMRD projects were invited to attend, and Jacqueline Cooke kindly represented KAPTUR.

The themes of the day were:

  • Librarians’ role in RDM training
  • design of training sessions
  • advocacy
  • components of good research data management
  • options for publishing data

The first presentation was from the Digital Curation Centre’s (DCC) Research Data Management Skills Support Initiative – Assessment, Benchmarking and Classification (DaMSSI-ABC)  project (2012-13). This project has an overarching brief to support and improve coherence in the development, dissemination and reuse of research data management training materials developed by the JISC RDMTrain projects (2010-11). They will also make links with existing initiatives that promote information literacy for researchers, such as the Research Information and Digital Literacies Coalition (RIDLs) and Vitae, referring to the Vitae Information literacy lens (PDF) on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework.

On a practical level they will support classification and deposit of projects’ training materials into JORUM so they are more easily discoverable for reuse through a JORUM ‘lens’. They will also work strategically to:

  • make links with relevant professional bodies
  • develop criteria for ‘peer review’ of training courses
  • add RDM training to the career profile of librarians

Librarians’ role in RDM training

The strand supports the role of librarians in RDM training, as an extension of their information literacy portfolio and building on their professional ability to act as signposters. See also the Reskilling for Research (PDF) report by Mary Auckland for Research Libraries UK.

RDMRose is looking at taught and CPD learning for information professions. Initially they suggest that librarians have the potential to carry out RDM training but will need to extend their professional identity and build on their existing roles and skills. Many lack knowledge of research culture and need to understand this in order to be trusted.

At the University of East London (UEL) the RDM project builds on the Library’s established lead in RDM. They point out that the Library has a reputation for collaborative projects, they’re credible, they have proven expertise in collecting and cataloguing, compliance (copyright, managing the CLA licence), they value sharing, care about impact through citation and run the repository.

Design of training sessions

The SoDaMaT (Sound Data Management Training for electronic music) project, Queen Mary, University of London and UEL talked about the design of training sessions. There was general discussion as many attendees had previous experience. All were cautious about generic workshops, as researchers in different disciplines or departments will work in different contexts and environments and so advised considering who the training is aimed at.

Tips from the experienced ones:

  • keep it short (1 hour optimum)
  • include technical basics, formats, storage, use of folders as well as theory
  • attach it to other training that is seen as essential or valuable
  • don’t call it ‘digital preservation’
  • fit it into existing research skills programmes especially for post-graduate researchers
  • check consistency of advice with other training on RDM e.g. qualitative data training
  • provide online as well as face-to-face sessions and integrate them

Advocacy

Buy in from your institution’s senior management team is essential; they are now more likely to be receptive due to the current high profile of the Finch report, Open Access agendas and the impact on research funding. SoDaMaT suggest that researchers are engaged by evidence. They use dramatic stories of data loss, and point out the IPR consequences of ‘curation in the cloud’. The University of Leicester’s RDM web page is presented as a scenario:

“What would you do if you lost your research data tomorrow? RDM isn’t principally about complying with policy. It means helping you to complete your research, share the research and get credit for what you have done.”

Effective advocacy emphasises the value of RDM to researchers to make the business case for introducing training:

  • saves researchers’ time looking up previous work
  • helps you get funding
  • it is like ethics, doing it well will enable you to do your research better (UEL)
  • sends your research into the future, enables citation of data along with articles

Components of good RDM

Good practice in RDM has usually been boiled down to four steps, variously

SoDaMaT Preserve Document Organise Publish
Incremental Plan Store Explain Share
University of Leicester Create Organise Access Look after
IHR/JISC Start early Explain it Store it safely Share it

Further details from: SoDaMaT’s wiki ‘Online training materials’, University of Leicester’s RDM page, the JISC ‘Incremental’ project page, LSE/Cambridge/IHR/ULCC’s ‘Sending your research material into the future’ project.

Options for publishing data

The trainer needs to ask questions about the data and about working practices and agree a definition of data, because “researchers have many ways to approach RDM on their own terms” (UEL).

  • What data is available? (e.g. in science raw data/usable data/datasets/supporting material/all worked data)
  • Who decides what data to save and give access to? (Referee? RCUK? PI?)
  • Where can data be published? (national data archives/learned societies website/institutional repositories/journals). Not all of these will be available in all disciplines.

There was a discussion of data publication issues, covering:

  • Culture change, how much awareness is there of the issues of RDM?
  • Citation of data supporting published articles works well if publishers hold it, then the data package gets a doi (see Dryad project)
  • Publishers/learned societies say they will do what communities want, therefore there is an opportunity to influence development of other players
  • Publishers should not take IPR of data, advise use of a CC-BY licence if possible
  • EPSRC institutional ‘Roadmap to research data management’ includes training

Managing and citing sensitive data

With thanks to Anne Spalding, Kaptur Project Officer, University for the Creative Arts, for the following account of DataCite’s Managing sensitive data workshop, The British Library, London, 29th October 2012.

On Monday 29th October I attended my first DataCite workshop; this particular workshop is the third in a series. Slides from this and previous workshops are available via The British Library Datasets web pages.

During the morning session there were four presentations followed after lunch by a workshop where four groups focussed on data management scenarios. Feedback from the workshops and a general discussion rounded off the day.

The first speaker, Veerle Van den Eynden spoke about managing sensitive data from the UK Data Archive‘s experience. She explained in broad terms the legal aspects and also the role that research ethics, data archives and repositories play in the management of research data.

Jonathan Tedds from the BRISSkit project spoke of managing medical and personal data. As part of the project a survey of 3000 staff was conducted in 2010 regarding their own use and re-use of research data. In due course a summary of their findings will be available as part of the project outcomes. Jonathan emphasised the need to make the process of depositing data more engaging for researchers. Jonathan mentioned work in managing research data undertaken by the University of Virginia Library.

From UKOLN, Cathy Pink gave a very interesting presentation on working with commercial partners as part of the Research 360 project. One focus of the project is on the issues and challenges that arise from private sector partnerships and research collaborations. Cathy illustrated the different collaboration agreements that are in place at Bath University. Another important aspect of citing and discovering research data is the use of metadata and Cathy cited the work of Sally Rumsey ‘Just Enough Metadata’.

The final presentation was given by Brian Mathews of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). Brian’s talk focussed on some issues in research ethics arising from data sharing and also that we are working in a political environment. He referred to the Opportunities for Data Exchange (ODE) and a paper entitled ‘Ten Tales of Drivers and Barriers in Data Sharing’.

One of the main discussion points emerging from the workshops and feedback was the use of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs). A particular issue was with assigning a DOI to a single object which could change over time and how to note this, is another DOI required? Could an umbrella DOI be assigned for the whole object but somehow allow for changes? Solutions for handling this might depend on work practices within institutions.

This event provided me with a further insight into the complexities of managing research data. The variety of perspectives also demonstrated that we are all grappling with the same issues but might well take different solutions dependant on the institutional environment.