Winning the Grant and Delivering the Plan: a researcher’s view of data management plans as enablers or barriers, David Beavan, University of Glasgow, RDMF6
RDMF VI ‘Meeting Funder Imperatives’Winning the grant and delivering the plan:a researcher’s view of data management plansas enablers or barriers.David Beavan
Outline• Projects at the University of Glasgow• Barriers and enablers – Project planning – Active phase – Post funded phase• Conclusion
Projects at the University of Glasgow• Digital Humanities in the School of Critical Studies – English Language, English Literature, Scottish Literature, Theology and Religious Studies• Major funder is the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Also ESRC, Leverhulme, Mellon, JISC etc.• Experience in developing projects – From data management plan assistance and advice – Playing an active role in the management of the project – Contributing my skills and knowledge directly to the project
Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech (SCOTS)• EPSRC and AHRC funded• Five year project, completed in 2007, but still active• Four million word resource of Scots/English texts and speech from 1945 to present• Research areas – Scope the current use of Scots in various genres – Grammatical differences of Scots vs. Standard Scottish English – Variant spelling rules and automatic detection/normalisation• www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk
Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing (CMSW)• AHRC funded• Three year project, currently in final phase• Four million word resource of Scots/English writing from 1700 to 1945• Research areas – Investigate orthographic and phonologic changes over time – Development of Literary Scots and its ideological implications – Variant spelling rules and automatic detection/normalisation• www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/cmsw/
Project planning – barriers• Seen as an unwelcome distraction from the articulation of the main research goals• Unfriendly and foreign terminology is off putting• Difficult to consult with individuals, guidelines or standards• Tempted to hand over to a specialist at the last minute or worse…• Written in haste with no appreciation of what is required
Project planning – enablers• Data created by the project is valued and respected• Life beyond project anticipated• Confidence that the research is achievable• Data management plan coherent with the overall project plan, even if it is called an ‘appendix’• Support professionals engaged at an early stage to assist in the writing of data management plans• Research goals shaped and enhanced by technology
Active phase - barriers• Time sunk into fleshing out and establishing – Standards, guidelines, protocols, workflows, monitoring etc.• If data has high entropy (less structured, many special cases) standardised workflows are restrictive• Too many constraints stifle creativity, researchers feel like a slave to the machine• Slow to react to changes or new circumstances – Much effort has been sunk into processes, reluctant to change
Active phase - enablers• Progress monitoring and projections easily produced• Data exchange is efficient and effective – Data is documented and well understood and expressed – Additional analysis methods etc. can be easily adopted• Further exploitation of resource and or data• Access to communities and advice groups who share approaches, technologies and practises• Resource savings by establishing common platforms
Post funded phase - barriers• Last minute push to finish project can lead to severe departures from the data management plan• Resources must be spent to take stock, organise and archive the data and supporting documentation• Temptation to allow resource to continue as is, despite future plans
Post funded phase - enablers• Preservation and Sustainability – Deposit into institutional/content specific repositories – Mitigate against technological obsolescence through wise format choices and documentation• Multi-faceted re-use – Resource can later be enhanced horizontally and vertically – Data combined with other sources or absorbed into third-party resources• Learning from successes and mistakes
Conclusion• Starting to plan early pays off, often stimulates and informs other research facets• Support is often available, but not always well advertised• Working with supporting professionals works when viewed as sharing responsibilities and playing to strengths, not an admission of defeat• Remain flexible, plans do change• Ensure procedures do actually help reach research goals
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.