The Holistic Librarian – Thing 13

Hi. I am Anne Dinan and I am the Subject Librarian for Education, Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology

Task 13 was:

A post-doctoral researcher is leaving the University and the research that she has undertaken is part of a larger research project. What advice would give her so that the research is usable by the other members of the research group?

 

What I knew about the topic beforehand:

It is often the case that researchers move to different institutions, and the problem of sharing research results is not new.

What I know now:

I interpreted the question as involving a researcher who had left the university but who was still collaborating with former colleagues.  In this case my answer would be as follows.

One of the aims of REF is to reward and encourage the effective sharing and application of research findings.

It may be that there are specific requirements on the researcher to share data.  Many research funders expect data sharing where possible, and some publishers require authors to make data available as a condition of publishing.

Research data can be requested under the Freedom of Information legislation.

The Digital Curation Centre provides information on data sharing with an overview of funders’ data policies.

Data can be shared with external contacts ( and members of the previous research group) in a variety of ways, including:

  • Sending files by e-mail
  • Usage portable storage media e.g. CDs, USBs ( with encrypted data for security)
  • Online file sharing services such as Dropbox  or Microsoft sharepoint
  • Secure File transfer ( supported by University IT Services) , or with online services such as Yousendit
  • Wikis –allow text to be edited and uploaded
  • depositing the data with a specialist data centre
  • submitting data to a journal to support a publication
  • depositing data in an institutional repository or website

 

A second situation would be if the researcher left with no further contact with the research group. What information would she leave to her former colleagues so that they could use her data?

She could leave data on a central university server, or on portable media ( USB or CD) or send files by e-mail as previously listed.  It would depend on the type of research data ( e.g. respecting confidentiality, Copyright issues).  Some data would need to have specific details explained e.g. type of data, type of equipment, date of research collected.

How did I obtain this knowledge?

Some tips were given at a talk by the Open Access and Data Curation Manager during Open Access Week in October 2012.

More help can be found on the web.

The UKDA ( United Kingdom Data Archive) has useful information on managing and sharing data.  There is a useful publication Managing and sharing data: best practice for researchers.    The UKDA has a section on sharing data.

The Directory of Open Access Repositories – OpenDOAR provides helpful information.

What else would you like to know about the topic? How did you find this task? How would you improve it?

This is an interesting topic but also a quite complicated area. As the momentum for Open Access increases, so it will be easier to access information and share data to mutual benefit. Collating information on good and bad experiences in this area would be useful.

 

 

Posted under Holistic Librarian, Training

This post was written by eadinan on December 19, 2012

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The Holistic Librarian – Thing 14

Hi. I am Anne Dinan and I am the Subject Librarian for Education, Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology

Task 14 was:

A researcher asks if his research data can count as a research output for the REF. How would you find out?

What I knew about the topic beforehand:

I knew that REF aims to increase the quality of the research, and that data has to be submitted for the REF, but not the details and criteria involved.

What I know now:

The REF will assess 3 elements which reflect the key characteristics of research excellence: outputs, impact and environment.  The elements will be assessed and rated by the expert panels on a five-point scale, varying from unclassified to four-star (exceptional i.e. world leading). The quality of research outputs will be the main element of the assessment.

All submitted outputs will be treated equally, and panels will not make judgements about the quality of outputs solely on the basis of citation information.

HEIs should select staff and their outputs for assessment. Eligible staff are those who have produced research of high quality;  all types of high quality research output are encouraged.  The criteria for assessing outputs will be ‘originality, rigour and significance’.  Sub-panels will assess outputs through expert review.  Outputs will be assessed against international standards of excellence.

Types of output should be categorised into the following broad types:

  1. Books (or parts of books). ii. Journal articles and conference contributions. iii. Physical artefacts. iv. Exhibitions and performances. v. Other documents. vi. Digital artefacts (including web content). vii. Other.

In some cases, research data can be research output for the REF.

How did I obtain this knowledge?

There is useful information on REF on their website.   There is an Assessment Framework and Guidance on Submissions.

Further information within the University of Exeter may be obtained from:

The Open Access and Data Curation Team and Research Knowledge and Transfer

What else would I like to know about the topic?

This is an area which subject librarians need to know more about in order to answer individual enquiries.  It is a complicated and new area, so advice would be useful.  So far, I have responded to requests as they arise.

How did I find this task? How would improve it?

Collating the information on all topics would be useful. A group discussion would be beneficial, so that feedback and ideas could be exchanged.

Posted under Holistic Librarian, Training

This post was written by eadinan on December 19, 2012

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The Holistic Librarian – Thing 15

Hi. I am Anne Dinan and I am the Subject Librarian for Education, Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology

Task 15 was : What advice could you give a researcher about naming and organising files and folders? How would you find out this information?

What I knew about the topic beforehand:

We all create and save documents all the time, but may not be doing so in a systematic and efficient way. Being better organised means that the documents can be found more easily.  The PC will run better if you regularly clean out files which are no longer needed as they take up unnecessary space.

What I know now:

It will save time and be more efficient to follow certain guidelines.   Some tips include:

Keep things simple. Be consistent.

Keep names short.  It is better to avoid long file names.  Create separate sub-folders e.g. draft 1, final draft.

Use numbers to name different versions of files e.g. Policy1, Policy2

Use dates to identify different versions e.g. Chapter 050911 = chapter from 5th September 2011, Chapter 0501212 = chapter from 5th December 2012

Avoid large folder structures.  If necessary, use an alphabetical menu which makes it simple to find files.

Separate ongoing and completed work.  Review work regularly and remove files which are no longer current to a different folder.

Always back up work.  Keep copy of files on desktop, USB, CD, or archive folder.

Make sure that your system of organising files and folders is acceptable and useful to others working with you.

Make sure that your way of storing files can be understood in the future.

How did I obtain this knowledge?

Some tips were given at a talk by Open Access and Data Curation Manager during Open Access Week in October 2012.

More help can be found on the web, including:

File organization tips from Microsoft

and Easy Computer tips.

What else would you like to know about the topic?

Other  tips and amendments might be made where necessary if future need arises.

How did I find this task?  How would I improve it?

It was useful to look at ways of storing information more effectively and efficiently.

 

 

Posted under Holistic Librarian, Training

This post was written by eadinan on December 19, 2012

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The Holistic Librarian – Thing 18

Hi, I’m Aeronwen Cole and I am the Subject Librarian for Archaeology, Classics & Ancient History, History and Modern Languages.

Task 18 was to document “Which factors could affect the Intellectual Property Rights of a dataset? Where can you find guidance on this?”

What I knew about the topic beforehand:

I knew that I should think about: Who created it; Where it was created; When it was created; Who funded the research out of which the dataset was created.

I would go to the Research and Knowledge Transfer (RKT) webpages for information on this topic.

What I know now:

I know that if a researcher is employed by the University then the data belongs to the University. I also now know that the IPR situation can be less clear cut when other institutions are involved.

How did I obtain this knowledge?:

I looked at the RKT and Legal Services webpages.

What else would I like to know about this topic:

I have previously received copyright questions from researchers concerning open access publications. In the future I may receive similar questions concerning datasets so I will keep an eye on the RKT pages for updates.

How did I find this task? How would I improve it?

I found this task difficult to research as I have never had any enquiries from researchers on IPR issues concerning datasets.

Posted under Holistic Librarian, Training

This post was written by A.G.Cole on December 17, 2012

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The Holistic Librarian – Thing 17

Hi, I’m Aeronwen Cole and I am the Subject Librarian for Archaeology, Classics & Ancient History, History and Modern Languages.

Task 17 was to document “What types of information does the Data Protection Act cover? In which ways should this data be treated differently from non-sensitive data?”

What I knew about the topic beforehand:

I knew the Act covered personal data relating to living individuals.

What I know now:

The Act covers personal information about living individuals in both electronic form and manual form (e.g. paper files) when the information is held in a relevant, structured filing system.

Data covered by the Data Protection Act should not be shared with other researchers unless informed consent has been obtained by the relevant parties. It may also not be possible to make this data available via open access unless it is anonymised.

How did I obtain this knowledge?:

I looked at the University of Exeter Data Protection web pages. I attended a session on data protection during Open Access week given by Caroline Dominey (the University’s Records Manager) where this topic was discussed.

What else would I like to know about this topic:

I haven’t had to deal with enquiries of this nature in my work yet but potentially it’s something I’ll need to learn more about if I receive specific enquiries.

How did I find this task? How would I improve it?

I found the second part of the question ambiguous.

Posted under Holistic Librarian, Training

This post was written by A.G.Cole on December 17, 2012

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Open Access Week @Exeter

What we wanted

In the beginning there was the word, and the word was ‘Openaccess’. I know, ‘Open Access’ should be two words, but never mind that.

When I joined the Open Exeter Project, at the back end of August, Open Access Week @Exeter was little more than idea. We knew that we wanted to raise awareness of, and spread the word about, Open Access across the University of Exeter. We wanted to attract some of the big names, and we wanted to make it clear that the University of Exeter takes Open Access seriously.

I think we managed that.

What we did

We began with a list of names; Cameron Neylon, Alma Swan, Brian Kelly, and many others. The invitations were crafted, a timetable was drafted, and promo materials were commissioned (grafted is too much of a stretch, even for me).

The response was overwhelming– and positive, which was great.

We had Cameron Neylon speak on ‘How I learnt to stop worrying and love the RCUK policy’

We had Alma Swan speak on ‘Open Access and You: a relationship with promise’

We had Brian Kelly speak on ‘Open Practices for the Connected Researcher’


More than that we also had Mark Thorley talking about the RCUK policy, we had founder Mark Hahnel talking about figShare, Ann Grand on Open Science, Alejandro Lopez Cobos from BioMed Central and Margaret Hurley from the Wellcome Trust.

It wasn’t just external speakers either, we also had excellent input from internal staff such as Gareth Cole’s workshop on How to Write a Data Management Plan and Caroline Dominey on Data Storage, Protection and Sharing.

The great thing about it from an Open Access point of view is that we were able to record the majority of our speakers so the talks are available to anyone who is interested. You can find them on the University of Exeter Library’s YouTube channel, and we’ve even got the slides on SlideShare.

What came out of it

The goal was to raise the profile of Open Access within the University and we did that, and not just with a focus on the researcher and academic, but also for the staff who support them.

Before I began working for Open Exeter I didn’t know much about Open Access, but after Open Access Week @Exeter I have a much better understanding. The full week of events across a broad range of areas has added a lot to my knowledge, and more than that all my friends and family have heard of Open Access now too. Whether they wanted to or not.

Posted under Open Access

This post was written by James Nathanael Beeson on December 11, 2012

The Holistic Librarian – Thing 16

Hi, I’m Aeronwen Cole and I’m the Subject Librarian for Archaeology, Classics & Ancient History, History and Modern Languages.

Task 16 was to document “A researcher receives a Freedom of Information request about research data. How should he proceed and what should he consider when responding to the request?”

What I knew about the topic beforehand:

I knew Freedom of Information (FoI) requests must be responded to unless an exemption allows you not to disclose the information. I was aware of some high profile cases where researchers haven’t wanted to respond to a FoI request.

What I know now:

Legislation requires the University to respond to a FoI request within 20 working days from receipt of the request. It is good practice to acknowledge a request on receipt. If a researcher is in any doubt about how to respond or does not want to supply the data then he should consult his immediately. If a researcher normally agrees to share data, he should continue to do so, whilst bearing in mind areas such as ethics, privacy and confidentiality. However, in circumstances where he does not want to supply the data, or if he thinks there are legal or ethical reasons why he shouldn’t supply it then he should consult his FoI Practitioner as soon as possible. He should keep all communications between himself and the requester.

How did I obtain this knowledge?:

I looked at the JISC Freedom of Information and research data: questions and answers web site and the University of Exeter Freedom of Information web pages.

What else would I like to know about this topic:

My awareness of this issue will increase if I have requests from researchers.

How did I find this task? How would I improve it?

I found this task interesting to research and I’ve learnt a lot.

Posted under Holistic Librarian, Training

This post was written by A.G.Cole on December 5, 2012

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Dspace authentication with Single Sign On

We’ve made a breakthrough recently by implementing a custom SSO authentication module into one of our test Dspace repositories.

Essentially, this means that users at the University of Exeter will be able to login to Dspace using the institutional SSO service. This can either be done at the Dspace website, or beforehand on another application hosted by the University that also uses the SSO service.

Once logged in via SSO, Dspace grabs the username that is passed automatically by the user and logs them in to Dspace. So if a user has already logged in to the MyExeter portal and then they go to the Dspace repository, they will already be logged in and needn’t type in their details again.

On the technical side, this is done in Dspace by creating a new custom authentication module and adding it to the authentication stack. We used the current LDAP code and amended it to ignore anything parsed in but instead to grab the authenticated userID from the HTTPServerRequest object in the java code using request.getRemoteUser. However, this only works if you first add tomcatAuthentication=false to the ajp connector in tomcat’s server.xml config file.

Once we have a finished module (it still needs a little bit of work) I’ll submit it to Dspace itself so the developers can use it as a starting point for there own Dspace SSO authentication.

Posted under Technical development

This post was written by Ian Wellaway on December 3, 2012