Technical Update

In the technical part of the project, now we have upgraded our live and test Dspace installations to the latest version (1.8.2) and switched to Oracle 11g (our previous version of Postgres needed to be upgraded and our support at the Univeristy is much better for Oracle), we’ve been able to move onto looking at developing a submission tool that can cope with some quite heavy research data loads.

The most important scenarios from our perspective are:

  1. How to get large data into Dspace (Gigabytes and possibly even Terabytes)
  2. How to submit data composed of many different files (without zipping them up first)

Feedback from researchers gathered by our colleagues in the library has shown these issues to be very important, and critically, the ‘out of the box’ Dspace submission feature does not handle these very well.

To combat these, we are looking developing two different prototype submission tools:

  1. A SWORD based submission tool using Python
  2. A submission tool using the SWORD service document but then submitting via the Dspace command line import sccript

By developing each tool in parallel we hope to determine which works the best. We have so far found that while the Dspace command line tool can submit large files (successfully submitted a 6GB piece of data), the SWORD tool has hit upon some issues.

However, we hope to eventually have at least one fully working solution, if not two, that can be sued to submit data of any shape or size.

Posted under Big Data, Technical development

This post was written by Ian Wellaway on July 31, 2012

Holistic Librarian: Thing 3

Introduction:
As the Holistic Librarian, I am piloting a self-learning training course on Research Data Management for Subject Librarians. My third task was to document my response to a researcher who wants to publish an article and the data that backs up their conclusions on Open Access.

What I knew about the topic before the task:

I knew that the phrase ‘on open access’ signified a movement (in higher education) that aimed to bypass the likes of publisher’s burgeoning pay walls, making the results of publicly funded research… public, which entails collaboration – a word that has a positive meaning now- can happen.

What I know now:

I’m starting to realise the gravitas of ERIC The Exeter Research and Institutional Content archive –The University of Exeter’s repository, and what Symplectic is  – the University’s research publications management system – via which data can be reposited on ERIC yielding a permanent reference link.
Open Access to Publications has varying degrees of repositability depending on the Publisher’s policies as on the website Sherpa Romeo where permissions are colour coded:

Gold: paid for open access publishing

Other Archiving colours

Green: can archive pre-print and post-print
Blue: can archive post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing)
Yellow: can archive pre-print (i.e. pre-refereeing)
White: archiving not formally supported

For Data repositing there is a dedicated repository EDA at Exeter (for image repositing there is DCO).
I obtained this information first by searching on the university website which yielded the following highly informative result:

rep

Perhaps there ought to be a consulting OA officer with a dedicated website, chat and FAQs given the growing significance of OA in the fabric of research – This OAO should be embedded in various team meetings where OA is publicised and receives maximum exposure and support.
I found the task a learning curve, and would like to have the confidence now to contribute fully as a Subject Librarian to making OA a reality.

Posted under Holistic Librarian, Training

This post was written by Afzal Hasan on July 16, 2012

Tags:

Draft OA and RDM policies now available

We are pleased to announce that the University of Exeter’s two draft policies on Open Access (OA) and Research Data Management (RDM) are now available on our website.

Our Policy Task and Finish Group decided to create a separate policy document for PGR students in addition to the draft policy for UoE researchers. The aim of both policies is to provide clear high-level information about the University’s expectations on OA and RDM. The documents will be accompanied by guidance on the implementation of the policies at College and research group level.

We welcome any feedback and comments that you may have. Following this period of consultation, the policies will be revised by the relevant boards and we hope that they will be ratified by the end of 2012.

Posted under Advocacy and Governance, News

This post was written by Hannah Lloyd-Jones on July 16, 2012

DARTS3 (take two)

In addition to asking the conference delegates at DARTS3 what training they would feel comfortable conducting (see my blog yesterday) we also asked them what training is currently offered at their institution. The results are below:

 

Please tick all that apply

In which of the following does your institution/workplace provide training?

For researchers

For Librarians/support staff

How to Develop a Data Management Plan

3

0

Organising Research Material

7

0

File and Document Management

7

3

Legal and Ethical Issues

19

4

Bibliographic Software

30

23

Institutional Repositories and Open Access

24

20

The results are quite clear and show why the delegates felt most confident teaching on Bibliographic Software and Institutional Repositories and Open Access; they already taught these topics. Obvious from this table is the fact that even those few institutions that do conduct training on research data management (RDM) issues for researchers do not provide a similar service for support staff. It should be said here that a number of the delegates were not sure whether training was provided or not. If training is in fact provided but the delegates are unaware of it shows that all of us involved in RDM projects must not only create the necessary training modules/materials but also advertise them as widely as possible to both researchers and support staff. Our interviews at Exeter have also made it clear that we must also highlight why the training is necessary and make it relevant. If not, then researchers (and support staff) will not take the time out of their schedules to attend.

Posted under Advocacy and Governance, Training

This post was written by Gareth Cole on July 12, 2012

DARTS3

A couple of weeks ago I presented a paper at the Third Discover Academic Research Training and Support Conference at Dartington Hall. For a full review of the two days see Laura Molloy’s JISC MRD Evidence Gathering blog. Our paper was entitled “Creating and Maintaining a Sustainable Research Data Management Service: Where Do Librarians Fit?” and the slides are available on our website.

In addition to my paper, it was interesting to listen to the other papers and also to speak to other delegates. It is easy to sit in a research data management (RDM) bubble and think that everyone knows about RDM issues. However, in speaking to a number of delegates it soon became clear that for most of them, RDM did not sit high up on their agendas (if indeed it sat there at all). Those of us working on RDM on a daily basis must remember that not everybody is and any sustainable solution needs to take this into account.

As I was speaking just after lunch we decided that rather than having to listen to me droning on for an hour we would include an interactive element. We decided to produce a questionnaire on research data management training. Following on from our DAF survey a quick analysis of the answers to the questionnaire has proved very informative.

We asked in our DAF survey which areas related to RDM researchers would like training in. There were a total of 284 respondents and the answers were as follows (respondents could give more than one answer):

Training Area

Number

How to Develop a Data Management Plan

144

Organising Research Material

123

File and Document Management

112

Legal and Ethical Issues

115

Bibliographic Software

83

Institutional Repositories and Open Access

121

In our DARTS3 questionnaire we asked in which of the above fields the delegates would feel comfortable teaching. The results are below (although there were c50 delegates we only have the results from the 33 questionnaires collected by us on the day):

In which of these would you feel comfortable training researchers?

Not Comfortable at all

Comfortable

Confident

How to Develop a Data Management Plan

29

4

0

Organising Research Material

21

11

1

File and Document Management

17

15

1

Legal and Ethical Issues

25

7

1

Bibliographic Software

5

10

18

Institutional Repositories and Open Access

3

14

14

As can be seen, there is a definite need to “train the trainers” on RDM issues. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the delegates present at the conference felt much more comfortable teaching on Bibliographic Software and Open Access than the other topics. However, the results of our survey show that training on Bibliographic Software is the least required by researchers (although this could be because it is already provided at Exeter). If we are expecting that librarians, or related staff, are to lead workshops, training sessions etc. on RDM issues in the future then they need to feel comfortable on the topic before they can teach. The knowledge to teach cannot be passed without effort and at Exeter we have started to train librarians and support staff: we are running a segment we are calling “The Holistic Librarian” with one of our subject librarians and members of the DCC recently ran a half day training session for our Subject Librarians, IT staff and Research and Knowledge Transfer staff.

This is, of course, an ongoing process and we will continue to “train the trainers” throughout the lifetime of the project.

Posted under Follow the Data, Holistic Librarian, Online survey, Reports, Training

This post was written by Gareth Cole on July 11, 2012