Marine Renewable Energy Policy Case Study Published

We are pleased to announce that we have published a case study on developing research data management policy at research group level. The report, which was co-written by the Open Exeter project and the Marine Renewable Energy Group, is available in ORE and looks at how RDM policy and procedures were developed and implemented by the Group.

Marine Renewable Energy research on the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus is led by Dr Lars Johanning and is part of the College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences (CEMPS). The group decided to develop a research data management policy to ensure that the data it uses are secure, will be reusable in the future and can be shared easily amongst collaborators. The policy work was accompanied by a review of the way in which the group store data. This work has been supported through the Bridging the Gaps initiative and led by Dr Ian Ashton in conjunction with others in the research group.

Read the case study here – comments welcome!

Posted under Case studies, News, Policy, Reports

This post was written by Hannah Lloyd-Jones on July 26, 2013

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JISCMRD Programme poster

At the JISCMRD Programme meeting in Nottingham on Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th, the Open Exeter Project (along with all the other projects funded under the Programme) will be presenting a poster on project progress. Due to our full Open Access Week timetable I will be the only member of the team who is able to come to the meeting. As such, I thought it might be helpful for interested parties to have a sneek preview of what the poster will look like.

As you can see, we have tried to show that Open Exeter, working with Exeter IT, the Library, Academic Colleges, Research and Knowledge Transfer and the research community has made substantial progress in numerous areas. Feel free to leave comments on the blog or see me at Nottingham if you have any questions.

Posted under Reports, Research

This post was written by Gareth Cole on October 19, 2012

Update on technical development of our DSpace submission tool

Just uploaded a new technical report by Ian Wellaway to our repository:

This report reviews the approaches that were identified earlier this year as possible solutions to the ‘big data’ upload issue: using the default DSpace upload tool; using third-party software and tools; developing a bespoke solution for Exeter.

Ian outlines the development work that has been done in these areas and the outcomes. For a time we have been developing two prototypes concurrently – one that could, ideally, be easily reused by other HEIs, and a more bespoke tool catering for Exeter’s specific needs but with less cross-institutional transferability.

Various tools and applications are evaluated and discussed: SWORD, sworduploader, EasyDeposit and Globus FTP.

Hope this will be of interest to other MRD projects and wider.

Posted under Big Data, Reports, Technical development

This post was written by Jill Evans on October 2, 2012

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Open Exeter DAF survey results

We will post more on our survey results shortly but I wanted to get the report out quickly as I think there may be interest in the findings, particularly amongst JISC MRD projects.

You can access the report from ERIC, our repository:

It would be great to get some feedback or comments.  Equally, we are happy to answer any queries arising from the report.

Posted under Online survey, Reports

This post was written by Jill Evans on August 8, 2012

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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


How to Develop a Data Management Plan


Organising Research Material


File and Document Management


Legal and Ethical Issues


Bibliographic Software


Institutional Repositories and Open Access


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



How to Develop a Data Management Plan




Organising Research Material




File and Document Management




Legal and Ethical Issues




Bibliographic Software




Institutional Repositories and Open Access




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

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