Open Exeter – the benefits!

We have been thinking about the key benefits that Open Exeter will generate during the project’s lifetime and continue to produce when the project finishes in March 2013. The benefits are different for different stakeholders but we will highlight the benefits for individual researchers and research groups and for the University of Exeter as an institution as we will concentrate on these in the project’s advocacy plan. The evidence for these benefits will range from concrete evidence (i.e. the existence of a one stop-shop webpage), to quantifiable evidence (i.e. number of data deposits in the Exeter Data Archive (EDA)) to less measurable indications of the impact of the project (e.g. changes in research culture; that researchers are aware of the concept of good practice in research data management (RDM)). One way to evaluate differences in behaviour would be to repeat some of the exercises we are beginning now towards the end of the project (or after it has finished). We are surveying researchers and PhD students in a number of ways in order to gain knowledge of existing practice in and attitudes towards RDM – we launch our online survey next week, have our first in-depth interview with a researcher tomorrow and will conduct case studies in the near future. By the end of the project we hope to be able to show at least some shift in behaviour and attitudes, although obtaining indications of a widespread cultural change is bound to be a longer process.

These are the three principal benefits that we have identified at this point in the project:

Clarity about and awareness of good practice in RDM across Exeter’s research community.

The evidence for improvement in this area will include:

  • Researcher’s compliance with funder’s policies on RDM
  • A ratified institutional policy on good practice in RDM in which roles and responsibilities are defined
  • A one stop-shop webpage with clear information and guidance about RDM
  • Discipline specific data management training programmes
  • Improved data management skills of researchers and support staff measured by their uptake of training programmes and number and nature of queries about RDM.

Increased visibility and reuse of University of Exeter research

We hope to see the following evidence of increased discoverability and reuse of University of Exeter research:

  • The existing pilot DSpace data repository will be extended across the University to all disciplines
  • Increase in the number of datasets deposited in EDA
  • Increase in number of views of University of Exeter research data and research outputs
  • Increase in number of citations of University of Exeter research data and publications
  • Increased research funding as a result of good practice in RDM

A sustainable long-term plan for University RDM services

Our evidence will include:

  • A medium and long term costed plan for Exeter’s RDM services based on researchers’ input and feedback as well as anticipating changes in funders’ policies and international standards for RDM
  • Training and guidance embedded into existing training modules and services
  • Information and advice about RDM flagged to researchers at relevant points in the research lifecycle

Posted under Advocacy and Governance

This post was written by Hannah Lloyd-Jones on February 9, 2012

Comments are closed.

More Blog Post