"Perfection is the enemy of the good "Supporting research data management: A pragmatic approach


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"Perfection is the enemy of the good "Supporting research data management: A pragmatic approach

  1. 1. “ Perfection is the enemy of the good” Supporting research data management: A pragmatic approach Catharine Ward, Cambridge University Library Sudamih Workshop, Oxford, 22 nd July, 2010 A pilot project for supporting research data management
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Scoping Study </li></ul><ul><li>Concerns and Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Key findings </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation plan – recommendations </li></ul>
  3. 3. Objectives <ul><li>A scoping study to determine key research data management and preservation needs of researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a plan for addressing these issues </li></ul><ul><li>Create and pilot tools and services </li></ul><ul><li>Embed the resources and findings within the University departments and supporting services and feed these up to a wider audience through the DCC, DPC and JISC </li></ul>
  4. 4. Scoping Study <ul><ul><li>Archaeology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chemistry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engineering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>English </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biology / SPRI </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Building on HATII digital preservation study </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-structured interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Similar departments to allow comparison </li></ul>
  5. 5. Concerns and issues <ul><li>Procedures for creating and organising data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>how best to name, structure and document data? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Data storage and access </li></ul><ul><ul><li>never enough storage! the need to access data remotely </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Backup </li></ul><ul><ul><li>who is responsible? (often not done – and is rarely done well) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Preservation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How? Who? Blank looks that back-up isn’t preservation… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Data sharing and re-use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ok, but only on my terms </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Issues with existing guidance & training <ul><li>Difficult to find </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to use </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t know who to ask for assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Training is often not relevant or convenient </li></ul><ul><ul><li>need for disciplinary examples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>online resources for anytime access </li></ul></ul>“ The whole thing is incredibly dull.” “ There’s no point being told all this stuff when you’re not using it because – I only learn how to do things when I need to know.”
  7. 7. Key findings <ul><li>Main concerns similar between Cambridge and Glasgow - not discipline-specific - but recognise the need for disciplinary examples for training to be understood </li></ul><ul><li>Simple issues often the most irksome </li></ul><ul><li>Training and guidance resources must be simple, engaging and easy to access </li></ul><ul><li>Points of intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Language matters </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Implementation Plan: Recommendations </li></ul>
  9. 9. Produce simple, visual guidance on creating, storing and managing data <ul><li>Making help easier to find: </li></ul><ul><li>We will create simple, centralised data management web pages </li></ul><ul><li>including categorised links and pithy notes to… </li></ul><ul><li>- Existing local and external resources </li></ul><ul><li>- New resources created for the project </li></ul>
  10. 10. University of Edinburgh’s Information Services portal MIT Libraries’ Data Management and Publishing webpages UKDA guidance pages
  11. 11. What to call this? <ul><li>So we know we have to translate research data management vocabulary from specialist to non-specialist – but how ?  We need to find words and phrases that at least have a chance of making sense to researchers who are not specialists in information management / records management / data preservation / data curation.    </li></ul><ul><li>http://incrementalproject.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/vocabularyjargonterminology-synonyms-and-specialist-language/ </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Making help easier to understand: </li></ul><ul><li>Produce simple, visual guidance on creating, storing and managing data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. Fact sheets, FAQs, flow diagrams, checklists </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Cooks Illustrated WikiHow.com
  14. 14. Offering practical training resources with discipline-specific examples <ul><li>Stand alone slides/resources that can be dropped into other courses – train the trainer </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate with existing courses within departments </li></ul><ul><li>Work with researchers to document their experiences, video case studies etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide online training materials and tutorials </li></ul><ul><li>Create/host screencasts for anytime access to training </li></ul>
  15. 16. Work in progress <ul><li>A performing arts case study based around the DCC Lifecycle Model (example from Oxford workshop – thanks!) </li></ul><ul><li>Will audio-record the autumn ‘ Curation for Researchers ’ course to create online content </li></ul><ul><li>(model used in Planets project and well received) </li></ul><ul><li>Embed training in existing courses </li></ul>
  16. 17. Connect researchers with support staff who can offer tailored advice and partnering <ul><li>Raise awareness of existing support staff and services through data management portals and outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Offer on-to-one support to help researchers define best approach for their context </li></ul><ul><li>Build links with research office to point researchers to relevant support when apply for grants </li></ul>
  17. 18. Work towards the development of a comprehensive data management infrastructure Cambridge University Library HATII Digital Preservation Advisory Board Many local initiatives, projects and exemplars… Enlighten
  18. 19. Thanks for listening  Any questions? <ul><li>For further info: </li></ul><ul><li>Email: Catharine Ward - [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Project website: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/preservation/incremental/ </li></ul><ul><li>Project blog: </li></ul><ul><li>http://incrementalproject.wordpress.com/ </li></ul>