MRD South West Regional Meeting

Gareth, Hannah and I attended the MRD south west projects meet up last week at Bath.  Thanks to colleagues at Bath (especially Jez Cope) for arranging and hosting the meeting.  It was a useful opportunity to meet other colleagues and explore areas for potential collaboration.  Below are some brief notes/thoughts that we took away from the meeting.  We hope to follow this up at Exeter in a couple of months’ time when we will all have a bit more to share:

  • Bath and Bristol both looking at connecting backup/VRE with repository for easy deposit from integrated environment; Bath looking at using SWORD; Bristol building their repository on top of their RDSF data storage system; Exeter have separate backup and repository systems and are looking at how these can be joined up, also looking at SWORD.  Bath and UWE using Eprints, Bristol using Drupal, Exeter DSpace.
  • All looking at how repository/data deposit can be integrated with CRIS – PURE at Bristol and Bath, Symplectic at Exeter.
  • Methodologies for investigating data management: Exeter is using an adapted version of DAF; Bath used DAF last year; UWE will also be using a questionnaire method; Bath and Bristol are looking at the use of CARDIO further into the project.
  • Looking at other methods of capturing information about data use, we wondered where data management queries are currently going?  Do they mainly go through IT and is there an accessible record of them?
  • We talked about capacity for dealing with DMP queries for the long term, part of sustainability planning; there’s been a lot of focus on training for PGRs but at what point should we start focussing on training for librarians and support staff?
  • All felt that the Library should be the eventual home for RDM advice and curation service (but possibly RKT or equivalent at DMP/bid writing stage).
  • Build DMP awareness into mandatory stage of funding bid process, i.e., financial check.  This seems to be the only compulsory element of bid submission.
  • Discussion around when to start PGR training – when they start is not the time to overload them with info.  Basic ‘survival’ guidance could be followed up at various points in their research with more specific training.
  • Policy: the Edinburgh research data management policy is a great starting point but may need updating to take account of more recent developments (e.g., EPSRC policy)?
  • Generic principles are needed at institutional level (issues of ratification) these can be adapted for more detailed discipline-specific use – this would be easier to update, possibly annually – issues here regarding who has responsibility for managing updates.  There needs to be a clear distinction between policy and procedure.
  • Any institutional policy developed should take care not to deter commercial/industrial partners (clear opt out of Open Access) and we need to be aware of collaboration issues.
  • How to enforce policy? Initially just guidelines, not heavily monitored as culture and practice hopefully changes over time?  The possibility of funding councils imposing sanctions for non-compliance (i.e., deposit on Open Access) is a useful stick (also a bit of a carrot).  It was mentioned that funders are starting to turn down proposals that contain weak DMPs/Technical Appendices.
  • Advocacy: what are the benefits for researchers? Secure storage; possibility of citing data for REF; links with subject specific data repositories; not depositing data twice in different repositories.
  • Possibility of future use of data repository stats for REF tracking/institutional benchmarking.

Posted under Reports

This post was written by Jill Evans on February 6, 2012

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