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.