RDM at Northampton uni


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Presentation given by Miggie Pickton, Marieke Guy and Sarah Jones at IFLA 2012 in Helsinki. The paper describes research data management initiatives at the University of Northampton and how the DCC is supporting these through its institutional engagement programme.

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  • A new university - achieved university status and research degree awarding powers in 2005 12325 undergraduate*, 2535 postgraduate* students and 200+ research students *Source: HESA 2010/11 http://www.hesa.ac.uk/dox/dataTables/studentsAndQualifiers/download/institution1011.xls
  • Little was known centrally about university researchers’ data storage requirements, or the research workflow that incorporates the creation and management of data No university wide data storage policy or procedure existed Research funders are beginning to demand that data as well as published research outputs are made openly available In NECTAR (our institutional repository), we had available the infrastructure to store and preserve digital data Reaching the researchers … previous studies had noted that the process of undertaking a DAF project had been valuable in itself, even if the resulting inventory of data was only partial
  • Project team: two project researchers (graduate interns) plus a Project Board comprising staff with expertise in repositories, records management and collection development Ran from May to June 2010 (eight weeks) Data collection, three stages: Initial interviews with research leaders in each School; online survey of researchers; one-to-one interviews with researchers Topics covered: Types, sizes and formats of research data; data ownership; storage; security; sharing and access (short and long term); funders’ requirements
  • 80 researchers responded to the survey and 16 agreed to take part in the follow-up interviews; all Schools were represented Some common behaviours identified e.g. overwhelming use of Microsoft software for creating documents and spreadsheets (.doc/.docx and .xls/.xslx files); .jpeg preferred for images Greater variation in software and hence file types used for databases, audio and video Data storage needs, behaviours and vulnerabilities vary through the research lifecycle: A few researchers had previously lost data but most performed regular backups to avoid this. Researcher views on open access to data : 56% of participants agreed that they would like a university repository to store their research data, but not necessarily to offer open access Responses varied by School (Business and Education most in favour, Health and Social Science most against) Examples were given of funders who expressly forbade sharing of data Most researchers had not applied for funding from a body that required open access to research data Nine recommendations made, covering: Reporting to senior research managers and leaders Creation of research data policy (and procedure to support it) Clarification of ownership of research data Training and guidance Dissemination of findings An ideal opportunity for the library to lead the way
  • Library staff were instrumental at every stage. October 2010 – DAF project report presented to University Research Committee (URC) by Research Support Librarian and Records Manager November 2010 - URC Research Data Working Group* convened to discuss: Scope of policy Fit with research lifecycle Procedure to support policy Relationship with other university policies and practices (e.g. research ethics; academic misconduct) November-December 2010 – policies from other institutions reviewed *URC Research Data Working Group comprised: Repository Manager; University Records Manager; Director of Research and KT; a researcher January 2011 – discussions with the DCC re ‘generic’ version of DMP Online January 2010 – first RDM proposal presented to URC: RCUK recommendations to be followed (RCUK, 2009) Principal Investigator to complete a data management plan at the start of every project (DMP Online recommended for this purpose) A central dedicated storage facility for research data to be provided Support and training to be offered to researchers Members of URC expressed concern URC concerns: Duplication of effort - “we have to do this already ” ... for funders, professional bodies, etc. Relevance or applicability to different disciplines Reluctance to set disposal date (or even review date) – “I’d be very upset if my data were deleted” ... Aversion to procedures being mandatory Expense – who will pay for it? So back to the drawing board... Following further discussion between researchers, records managers and library staff, a revised proposal was eventually submitted to URC in June 2011: Emphasis on encouragement rather than mandate No longer expected for every research project Simplified internal procedures Default five year review period Additional help offered for identifying external data archives ... and the University’s Research Data Policy was approved
  • https://www.northampton.ac.uk/info/20283/academic-research/1606/research-data-policy Research Data Policy In June 2011 the University's Research Committee approved the following policy and procedure for the management of research data. The University of Northampton recognises that good research is underpinned by good research data management. In accordance with the recommendations of Research Councils UK, the university expects researchers to: "Keep clear and accurate records of the research procedures followed and the results obtained, including interim results Hold records securely in paper or electronic form Make relevant primary data and research evidence accessible to others for reasonable periods after the completion of the research: data should normally be preserved and accessible for [at least] ten years"... ..."Manage data according to the research funder's data policy, and all relevant legislation Wherever possible, deposit data permanently within a national collection." (Research Councils UK, 2009, p.5) If no appropriate national collection exists then following the completion of the research project all data will be deposited in a secure central storage facility to be provided by the university. In order to meet these expectations, the Principal Investigator is, at an early stage of their research project, encouraged to produce and then follow a data management plan (DMP). The DMP Online tool is recommended for this purpose. Research data management procedure At the start of every funded project, the Principal Investigator will produce a DMP in line with the funder's specific requirements, or if no requirements are specified by the funder, then in accordance with the good practice described by DMP Online. The Principal Investigator will be responsible for ensuring that the actions outlined in the DMP are carried out. At the end of a project data will be deposited in either a national collection or in the university's secure central storage facility.  If the latter then the data must incorporate adequate descriptive metadata and, if necessary, accompanying explanatory documentation.  Datasets within the university's central storage facility will be subject to review after five years following deposit.  The review will be undertaken by the researcher and the Records Manager.  In the absence of the original researcher, an appropriate academic colleague will conduct the review with the Records Manager. If required as a result of the review, data will be destroyed or otherwise securely disposed of by the University Records Manager.
  • All of these initiatives enable library staff to engage with researchers on matters that are important to them, raising the profile of the library and (critically) demonstrating that libraries have more to offer than just books and electronic resources.
  • An interesting trend to emerge is who is addressing RDM within the unis. The library is leading in most cases and is involved regardless of who’s championing the cause.
  • There are nine areas where over 50% of the respondents with Subject Librarian responsibilities indicated that they have limited or no skills or knowledge, and in all cases these were also deemed to be of increasing importance in the future. These are listed in order of the importance in 2 - 5 years that respondents placed on them.
  • There is a clear trend towards providing support for research that is driven more by the requirements of researchers than it has been in the recent past, and a movement in some institutions towards a more proactive model of engagement with researchers. The Tilburg respondent, for example, says that the focus needs to change from collections, to the process of doing research and mainly supporting the latter, “from collections to connections”.
  • RDM at Northampton uni

    1. 1. Leading from the library:Research Data Management (RDM) at the University of NorthamptonMiggie Pickton, Sarah Jones & Marieke Guy IFLA, Helsinki, Finland, 14th August 2012
    2. 2. Outline• RDM initiatives at University of Northampton• RDM support from the Digital Curation Centre• The role of the librarian in supporting RDM
    3. 3. The University of Northampton• University status achieved in 2005• Increased focus on research and supporting the research community• 200+ research students; more research active staff• Like other UK institutions, we want to perform well in the REF (Research Excellence Framework)
    4. 4. Research data at NorthamptonBack in 2010...• Increasing external interest in research data (from funders, publishers etc)• Central services knew little about researchers’ data management practices• No research data policy existed• So we undertook our first research data project, using the DCC’s Data Asset Framework (DAF)
    5. 5. DAF at Northampton• Project team: librarian led, two researchers• Ran from May to June 2010 (eight weeks)• Three stages of data collection• Topics covered: Types, sizes and formats of research data; data ownership; storage; security; sharing and access (short and long term); funders’ requirements
    6. 6. DAF project outcomes• 80 researchers responded to the survey; 16 follow-up interviews; all Schools represented• Findings: some common RDM behaviours, some variance; little interest in open access• 9 recommendations, including creation of a research data policy and procedure (Full results and recommendations are described in the project report – see Alexogiannopoulos et al., 2010)
    7. 7. From project to policy
    8. 8. Northampton’s RDM policy & procedureFollow the RCUK Code of Good Practice– At the start of a project, produce a DMP in line with funder or university requirements– Carry out the actions outlined in the DMP– At the end of the project, deposit data in a national collection or the universitys secure central storage facility 
    9. 9. Outline• RDM initiatives at University of Northampton• RDM support from the Digital Curation Centre• The role of the librarian in supporting RDM
    10. 10. What is the DCC? su an ces i rv D p d lo t se ev por p• A UK centre to support universities with RDM e Institutional  data catalogues Workflow  assessment Pilot RDM  tools DAF & CARDIO  DCC  assessments Guidance and  support  training e team c as e h et RDM policy  ak Advocacy with senior  development M management Customised Data  Management Plans
    11. 11. Institutional support• We’re giving in-depth RDM support to 21 universities – 60 days of effort per university – Deploy DCC & external tools – Support varies based on university needs – Lessons to be shared with communitywww.dcc.ac.uk/community/institutional-engagements
    12. 12. DCC support at NorthamptonTrial the Research Data Policy – Write Data Management Plans (DMPs) – Try out the research data storageDevelop disciplinary trainingRaise awareness & roll out good practice
    13. 13. Data Management Plans• Testing DMP Online with researchers• Develop plans with individual researchers  guidelines for the group / centre• Improve the Northampton tool & guidance
    14. 14. Research Data Storage• Test using TUNDRA2 (the Electronic Records Management System) for research data• Pilot studies in November 2012 – Can TUNDRA2 support data? – Are the access controls sufficient? – What else is needed by researchers?
    15. 15. Disciplinary training• Use disciplinary case studies for relevance• Review existing materials for good diagrams, explanations, examples...• Include ideas from participating researchers• Embed into core curriculum
    16. 16. Raise awareness & good practice Raise awareness of the policy Write DMPs & test storage Develop examples for training Roll out good practice
    17. 17. Outline• RDM initiatives at University of Northampton• RDM support from the Digital Curation Centre• The role of the librarian in supporting RDM
    18. 18. Leading from the library• Dedicated Research Support post in library since 2007, now a team of two• ‘Open Research’ at Northampton: – NECTAR, the institutional repository – Northampton Open Journals – Research Data Policy• ... ALL initiated by library staff and delivered in consultation with the research community
    19. 19. The library is leading on most of the DCC engagements Library Information management is a Research key skill in RDM, so Office it’s a major role for IT librarians
    20. 20. But, librarians feel they lack skills...Skills gap 2-5 years NowPreserving research outputs 49% 10%Data management & curation 48% 16%Complying with funder mandates 40% 16%Data manipulation tools 34% 7%Data mining 33% 3%Metadata 29% 10%Preservation of project records 24% 3%Sources of research funding 21% 8%Metadata schema, disciplinary standards, practices 16% 2% From RLUK, Re-skilling for Research, Jan 2012, p43
    21. 21. The Informatics Transform: re-engineering libraries for the data decade• Address the lack of data informatics skills• Mainstream data librarians & data scientists• Embed new skills into LIS & iSchool curriculum Lyon, ‘The Informatics Transform’ in IJDC, 7(1), 2012
    22. 22. Fill gaps through engagement?“Librarians may need to raise their profile, become ‘researchers’ themselves; getting embedded in the research community; gaining credibility; and collaborating as equals." Bent et al, Information literacy in a researchers learning life in New Review of Information Networking, 13 (2), 2007
    23. 23. ConclusionsRDM requires the input of all support services, butlibraries are taking the lead in the UK – why?– often run publication repositories– have good relationships with researchers– highly relevant skill setNorthampton is a great example - be inspired!
    24. 24. Thanksmiggie.pickton@northampton.ac.uk University of Northampton sarah.jones@glasgow.ac.uk m.guy@ukoln.ac.uk Digital Curation Centre