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
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One Comment on “JISC RDM Training Workshop, 26th October 2012”

  1. […] Jacqueline Cooke attended the RDM Training workshop on 26th October (blog post). […]


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